Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon
C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Andrew E. Svenson in 1975. The third of three in a row he wrote, among others. And with that we say goodbye to Mr. Svenson.
Was It Revised?: No.
Cover: Rudy Nappi. A symbolic cover, for no such scene occurs in the book. In fact, this cover refers to an historical event, not something Frank and Joe are looking at in the present. A very yellow cover, appropriate for the setting, but hardly my favorite look. And what are Frank and Joe reacting to in a pose that indicates danger? Camels?
Setting: Bayport, Jamaica, Morocco in Africa. The boys really travel in this one!
Where’s Fenton This Time?: Back in the States working on another angle. Until he shows up in Chapter XX.
Which Chums Show Up?: It’s a Svenson, so we get the whole gang: Chet, Biff, Tony, Phil, Callie, Iola. Tony and Phil and Biff and Chet go to Jamaica, but only Chet goes to Africa (along with their new Jamaican friend William).
What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: None. Even Svenson is giving up now.
Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: An unnamed pie was baked for Chet, but the poor reader never learns what type it was. C’mon, Chet, spill it!
Plot: The boys find an African mask washed up on the shores of Jamaica where they are on holiday. Bad guys immediately try to get the mask from them. Or kill them, if possible. Meanwhile Fenton is investigating some stolen airplane tickets that are being resold illegally. Meanwhile the mask seems to hold the key to an ancient African treasure. You know, a typical Hardy Boys plot.
Review: Nothing wrong with this one. Mr. Svenson tries to educate his readers about other parts of the Earth, and it would be fun to discover a bit of Africa and of Jamaica as a ten-year-old. The actual plot about masks, maps and gold is classic Hardy Boys.
On the other hand, it felt a bit disjointed, as if he was trying to put all the elements of a Hardy Boys story in a big bowl, but just didn’t mix them enough. It has a bit of by-the-numbers feel to it.
Not my favorite Svenson, but he remains an excellent writer for the series.