Tag Archives: Callie Shaw


9Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1930

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1965 by Tom Mulvey

Cover: Rudy Nappi, just a bit of red and yellow, but more brown and blue this time.  A daytime scene right out of the book.  This time instead of them staring at a bad guy from a distance, they are in full investigative mode.  Good cover.

Setting: Bayport, plus briefly the Caribbean and Montana.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Oh, busy doing his own investigating, but he’s now mostly out of the picture.  No cavalry needed here.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Biff, Iola and Callie.  Mostly Chet.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Speaking like a dead man.  You had to be there.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Both strawberry short cake as well as gingerbread with apple sauce and whipped cream.  Frank and Joe are full.  Chet could use a little more.

Plot: Someone is stealing platinum parts from an air shipping company.  Frank and Joe become employees to investigate.  A dead man keeps speaking (but remember the Scooby Doo rule!).

Review: Not bad at all.  The boys get to do a lot of flying, something that becomes a key part of their investigative tool box for most of the series.  I think the 1950s and 1960s loved the idea of freedom through the air because the Hardy Boys sure do love them some flying.

This book has a good mystery, gang members who throw grenades, a presumed dead pilot who keeps haunting the living pilot who took his job, a tornado, a severe storm on an island, Chet being humorous in a way that ties right into the plot, and chattering bad guys in the end as we wrap it up.

And now we are done with the single-digit books, and it’s time to move into the Hardy Boys classic period with some very interesting books coming up.

Score: 7



Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1929

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1964 by Andrew E. Svenson

Cover: Rudy Nappi, yellow and red yet again, but this time green is prominent and the background is daytime with the beach.  As always the boys are watching something, this time the hermit by the caves.  Not bad.

Setting: In Bayport some of the time, but south along the Atlantic coast for the cave story, and north for a brief time at a university.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: He sticks around Bayport while the boys travel.  Fenton is supposed to protect a transmitting tower above Bayport.  Fenton, you had one job!

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Tony, Biff, Iola, Callie.  For once Iola and Callie get to do some detective work!  But they don’t get to do much, and frankly are stereotypically female in the writing, unfortunately.  They deserve better.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Metal detecting.  Boy does it come in handy!

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: No pie for you!  Gertrude merely shows up toward the end for a spinning wheel minor subplot.

Plot: A young woman wants to find her brother who has disappeared from university.  Investigating this, the boys stumble onto a smuggling operation.

Review: I dunno, this one seems odd to me even though it’s like all the others in several ways.  Frank and Joe investigate something, someone tries to hurt them, they investigate, they get attacked, they reach the end of the story and do something heroically suicidal in order to figure out the mystery, they get captured, heeeeeeer’s Fenton, the end.  Just didn’t flow.  Mr. Svenson only rewrote this one and the Melted Coins, so maybe I’m just noticing the different tone of the writing.

Score: 5



Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1928

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1964 by David Grambs

Cover: Rudy Nappi, yellow and red yet again With some blue on Joe.  The usual trope: the boys looking on in amazement at something dangerous and/or sinister.  Cool depiction of the human spider.  Their bikes look dated however.

Setting: Back in Bayport, that hotbed of criminal mischief.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: New York City investigating a weapons smuggling case.  Don’t worry, he shows up at the end.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Tony, Biff, Jerry, Iola, Callie.  Chet gets the big action, as usual.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Wilderness survival, aka vegetarianism.  Yup, rock, meet hard place.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Ah, a chocolate fudge cake that she has Chet deliver to a neighbor since he is on a diet and thus won’t touch it.  A hilarious scene results that is very well written.  Hint: never entrust a cake to Chet Morton.

Plot: A gang is stealing cars near Bayport, and how they do it is the key part of the plot since this is a particularly clever gang.  Lots of folks involved and moving parts.  Oh yeah, and foreign weapons.  Oh, and a long-lost treasure (the Hardy Boys find so much treasure in their career, they should be billionaires by now).

Review: I like this one a lot.  All the pieces are in place with the chums, Chet’s hobby, Aunt Gertrude, Fenton off somewhere but performing the cavalry role in the end, Bayport continuing its amazing streak of criminal behavior, clever crooks, this one has it all.

Score: 9



Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1928

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1962 by James Beuchler

Cover: Rudy Nappi, a rough night on the bay, Frank and Joe providing classic bright red and yellow contrasts to the dark sky and water.

Setting: Bayport again!  My, still lots of crooks in this town.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Bayport again, but busy working on his case (would you believe it intersects with the boys’ case?) so he is mostly out of the picture.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Callie, Iola, Tony, Biff, Jerry — Hey, they’re in the title, so they might as well show up.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Getting kidnapped…

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Nothing!  They eat, but Gertrude doesn’t make them anything.  What was she thinking?

Plot: Bank robbers, costume parties, mistaken identities, hermits, shantytown dwellers. Chet and Biff get kidnapped, and thus the title.

Review: Pretty good.  A serious situation with their best friends getting kidnapped, and this leads to some very good detective work.  A more realistic tale.  This story moves nicely.

Score: 7



Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1928

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1962 by Alistair Hunter

Cover: Rudy Nappi, a classic look again with Frank and Joe investigating in a dark place, but some nice color placement gives it punch.  Love the bright yellow light through the crack in the floor.

Setting: Bayport again!  My, lots of crooks in this town.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Bayport again, but working on a case he can’t talk about and he comes and goes each day, so the boys are mostly on their own.  Hey, wanna bet they are all working on the same case again?

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Callie, Iola, Tony

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Microscopes

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Generous portions of deep-dish apple pie.

Plot: Someone is passing out counterfeit twenties, and meanwhile outside of town is this old mill that is being used by a company involved in top-secret missile research, and Fenton is trying to stop sabotage at said company.

Review: Mixed.  It seems to be a lot of show-up-at-mill, something happens.  Rinse, repeat.  And boy do the crooks blab a lot at the end, worse than a classic Bond villain!  But there is nice detective work by the boys, Gertrude shows up, it’s exciting.  Decent early Hardy Boys.

Score: 6


2Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1928

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1959 by Harriet S. Adams

Cover: Rudy Nappi, a bit too much brown and yellow for my taste, but nice action scene that accurately pictures not only the plot but the title too.

Setting: Bayport again.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Still at home, the slacker, though he does have the good taste to get himself kidnapped for a good long stretch.  This is truly the boy’s show now.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Biff, Tony, Phil, Callie, Iola, Jerry

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: I told you, she ain’t showing up until book three, but Chet did get a nice slice of lemon meringue pie from a farmer and his wife.  Frank and Joe are getting hungry.

Plot: Smugglers, an abandoned house overlooking the water, and hey, bet there’s a connection between the two!

Review: This is where the Hardy Boys really get going.  Fenton gets kidnapped and is out of the picture for half of the book, so it’s Frank and Joe’s time to shine, and shine they do.  They use clues to figure out where the hiding place is, and where their father is prisoner, and then they show great courage to rescue him.  Chet and Biff get to help by going for the Coast Guard, and this division of labor is a standard part of Hardy Boys plots.

The bad guy seems awfully contrite at the end, but it is interesting to get the criminal’s perspective for once.  McFarlane wrote a good story that, though aimed at kids, is fairly sophisticated about crime and law enforcement.

The franchise is now set up and we are ready to roll.

Score: 6



Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1927

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1959 by Harriet S. Adams

Cover: Pretty classic, really.  Frank and Joe looking at a threatening situation, nice use of color, but otherwise generic.

Setting: Bayport

Where’s Fenton This Time?: At home, of all places!

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Callie, Iola, Jerry, Biff, Tony, Phil — pretty much the whole gang right at the start.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: She doesn’t appear until book three, so I’m afraid the boys went hungry.

Plot: Hurd Applegate and his sister Adelia live in a old mansion on the outskirts of Bayport.  They suffer a burglary and suspect their caretaker.  The Hardy Boys take on their first case by trying to find who really stole the jewels and securities.

Review: In some ways this is primitive proto-Hardy Boys, in other ways Mr. McFarlane set in motion the complete package right from the start (or maybe Ms. Adams did the trick in 1959, I’m not sure).  Either way, this is basic Hardy Boys, but the foundation is laid.

The classic suspenseful moment to end each chapter is not quite in place yet – some of the chapter endings are hardly enough to raise an eyebrow in concern – but that approach is being attempted.

Chet is in place already, and Callie and Iola get tentative steps toward their personalities, but the other chums are there by name only.

The mystery is four-part:

  1. Who stole Chet’s jalopy?
  2. Oh, solved that, but who stole the jewels?
  3. Oh, solved that, but where are the jewels?
  4. Oh, so THAT’S the old tower being referred to

The end.

So as a start, it’s a good foundation.  As a standalone entry in the canon, it’s lesser Hardy.

Score: 5