Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon
C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: John Almquist in 1956. His second of two in a row that Mr. Almquist wrote, the only ones he did.
Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1972 by Pricilla Baker-Carr.
Cover: Rudy Nappi. What a beautiful cover this is! Nice shades of underwater blue with green vegetation. Frank and Joe scuba diving with a ray in the foreground. Having handled rays, I know how gentle they actually are, but hey this makes the cover look striking, so shut up. The funny thing is the book begins with scuba diving and ends with scuba diving, but not so much in between. This is sort of a scene from the book, sort of symbolic (no rays appear in the book), mostly just a pleasant cover.
Setting: Bayport and nearby Pirate’s Hill. Naturally. Amazing how much treasure is buried around this town. They should just dig up the whole area and retire.
Where’s Fenton This Time?: Washington D.C., as usual. Probably sorting out some partisan bickering or something. But our Mr. Chapter XX does show up in the end.
Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Biff, Tony, Callie, Iola.
What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Guess. Just guess. Go on, you know you want to. Need a hint? Look at the cover. Got it? And nope, he never uses it in the book other than some practice stuff in the pool. Hey, do you see Chet on the cover? Didn’t think so…
Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Nuttin’. Mr. Almquist didn’t go for that sort of low-brow writing, I guess. But man, I could go for a heaping slice of pie or something.
Plot: The boys are scuba diving when someone shoots at them underwater. Silly crooks, don’t they know that if they just ignore Frank and Joe the boys will ignore them back? Noooo, they have to shoot at them and start a process whereby these stubborn kids simply WILL.NOT.STOP until they bust you. So trying to figure out why a diver tried to KILL THEM, they get contacted by two different individuals, opposed to each other, and accusing each other of bad behavior, both of whom want Frank and Joe to find a cannon. Huh? Why? Well, that’s the plot. Find the cannon. Avoid getting killed in the process.
Review: It’s suspenseful, and the mystery of the cannon is decent. I’m a bit tired of the author throwing two people at us and telling us one of them is bad and letting us wonder which one. That’s a plot device that got used a LOT. But it is engaging enough, and that cover deserves a point.