Tag Archives: Harriet S. Adams Cover




Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon

C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Harriet S. Adams in 1946.  No more Leslie McFarlane.  But this is the same Ms. Adams who rewrote both books 1 and 2, so she’s not new to this game.

Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1969 by Priscilla Baker-Carr.

Cover: Rudy Nappi.  More orange than red, and Frank is really letting down the side by wearing blue, but I quibble.  This is a great cover, full of action and menace.  Look at the threatening shadow on the wall!  Nicely done.

Setting: Bayport, and seemingly 10 minutes drive in every direction from there.  Read the book to get that.  You know what astounds me?  The crooks in this story move from city to city for their nefarious deeds.  They set up in a new city, pick a local hideout, steal and then move on.  So here’s my question: If Bayport is world famous for harboring the world-famous detective, Fenton Hardy, and his sharp sons who are also world famous, what idiot crook thinks that’s the spot for them to set up?

Where’s Fenton This Time?: He’s good this time.  He’s on the sidelines doing his thing, but when the boys get into a very serious scrape, we see Fenton on his game.  He cooly and methodically figures out how to save his sons.  It’s exciting to finally seeing the master in action.

Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, with Callie and Iola popping up a few times, and they even help out in the case briefly.  Phil gets mentioned once but does not actually appear.

What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: He bought a boat.  Which he promptly loses.  Then never buys another one again.  Natch.

Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Nothing.  Evidently Bayport has run out of flour or something…

Plot: A house with no visible locks, and a man who is supposed to have died showing up looking very much alive.  Add some crooks who decide to make the lockless house their hangout, and you’ve got trouble, right here in Bayport city.

Review:  A nice one.  There’s a marvelously creepy scene where one brother hears the other say, “let’s go” as they are exploring a deserted house.  Only it wasn’t the other brother saying it.  And the person saying it has no idea the brothers are present.  Very well done scene.  Nice exploration of locksmithing, Fenton gets to shine, it all takes place in Bayport, the secret panel is a rough fate to experience.  I like this one.

Score: 8


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