Tag Archives: Caribbean

18: THE TWISTED CLAW

18

Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: John Button in 1939, the second of his five books in a row.

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1969 by Tom Mulvey, the last of his five revisions.  I like each of his previous four quite a bit.  

Cover: Rudy Nappi, red and yellow (if you look for it), but mostly red, red, red.  And the usual spoiler being revealed.  Frankly, this is a Scooby Doo cover.  You can just picture Shaggy and Scooby wandering the museum at night while a sinister pair of eyes peer at them from the suit of armor.  As usual, the Hardy Boys anticipated and set the pattern for Scooby Doo.

Setting: Bayport, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Delaware, Miami, and a Caribbean island.

Where’s Fenton This Time?: Right there working with the boys.  And yes, saves the day in chapter XX as is typical.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, and Iola briefly.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Archaeology, but only briefly mentioned in order to get two jokes at Chet’s expense in the middle of the book, and then repeat the joke as the book’s final line.  And it ain’t that funny.  No, this looks like the author knows McFarlane typically gave Chet a hobby, so he would too, but he doesn’t know how to embed it into the story.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Oh, she’s too busy clucking that no good will come from [whatever the Hardys are doing, that always leads to good coming from it].

Plot: A pirate king with his own island, two freighters being used for no good, a series of museum robberies.

Review:  Again this doesn’t read like a McFarlane.  Lots of stuff happening, but it’s more of a procedural about working on ships, on how to rob a museum, etc.  Not that interesting or typically Hardy Boy-ian.

Score: 6

9: THE GREAT AIRPORT MYSTERY

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