C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Amy McFarlane in 1947. Yes, wife of Leslie McFarlane. We’ve had Harriet Adams as the author several times, and she is their daughter, but this is the one and only book written by Amy.
Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1970 by Priscilla Baker-Carr.
Cover: Rudy Nappi. Wow, I always hated this cover, and still do. The yellow is so overwhelming, and the ghostly effect of the ship is so faint, it just repels me. If you are a yellow admirer, and you’ve been waiting breathlessly for this cover to finally get reviewed, you now hate me.
Setting: Bayport, and seemingly every port within driving distance, and then at the end of the book a sea voyage. But it takes until the end of the book for that to happen. Because once again, crooks who so cleverly come up with an intricate scheme to rob people, pick Bayport and Aunt Gertrude as the scene and victim of the crime. That’s just asking for trouble…
Where’s Fenton This Time?: Hanging around the edges as usual. He’s always working on some other angle, hears about the boys and the clues they uncover, gets enthusiastic about what they got done, then goes back to his usual dead ends. But hey, this time at the end he comes sailing to the rescue. Literally.
Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, with Callie and Iola popping up briefly, Tony Prito, and Biff has graduated to the point where even Gertrude recommends him to provide muscle.
What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Fly fishing ties.
Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Strawberry shortcake, baby!
Plot: An older gentleman contacts the boys, says he has a mystery, but first book me a vacation the three of us will take and I’ll tell you about the mystery later. Meanwhile somebody is intercepting delivery packages and selling what they steal to stores. And then there is the report of a phantom freighter out on the water.
Review: Not bad, Amy. You learned a lot from your husband, and you created a typical Hardy Boys story. Where I have a problem, however, is the idea of the older guy trying to get the Hardys to go on vacation with him. Amy paints it as Frank and Joe being bemused by the man, but I didn’t buy it. I saw little in this guy’s attitude that made me want to spend time with him. As for the bad guys, man, 2/3 of the book is them trying to keep Frank and Joe off any ship in port. When will bad buys learn that trying to stop Frank and Joe from doing something is the fastest way to get them suspicious of you. Silly smugglers, tricks are for rabbits and kids, not crooks.