When I was a young boy in the late 70s, early 80s, I was devouring books at a variety of reading levels, and was delighted with the blue border hard cover editions of The Hardy Boys, I didn’t have them all, but I had a collection that would grow whenever I lacked anything else to read, and was rather proud at how quickly I could whip through them.
I thought it might be nice to take a stroll through memory lane and dive into the series anew, though I’ll be honest I don’t remember which ones I didn’t and didn’t have, but boy did I love those covers, the promise of mystery and thrilling adventure – I loved them.
Originally written in 1927, the first novel The Tower Treasure, got a reworking in 1959 to update it for the time period, though there are still some things that feel a little out of place. That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable, but it felt like a mish mash of ears in a couple of places, as the characters were updated for the 50s (and eventually beyond).
In the small city of Bayport, the Hardy family lives, there’s Fenton, his wife Laura, and their sons, 18 year old Frank, and 17 year old Joe, both of whom are attending Bayport High, and hope, one day to follow in the footsteps of their father, and become detectives.
Their first adventure, and lets be honest, they are more adventure stories than they are full on mysteries, starts with a daring car wreck, and the theft of their friend Chet’s jalopy. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when the same person who stole Chet’s car, attempted to rob a ferry ticket office, and may have made off with the jewelry and bonds ensconced in a safe in Tower Mansion.
Their friend Slim’s father works at the Manson, but is believed to be the guilty party, and loses his job, and is arrested, plunging the family into poverty.
With the promise of a thousand dollar reward, and the hopes of proving their friend’s father’s innocence, Frank and Joe, with their gang of friends, including Chet, and gal pals Callie and Iola, attempt to figure out who the crook is (with a lot of help from their father) and find out where the goods are hidden.
It’s a fast moving tale, and the mystery is easily resolved, as the clues lead from one thing to another, without any real difficulties for the characters. And the boys are very well manner and behaved as they run their investigation, though they are quite willing to give a rival detective a hard time.
And this launched a series of adventures for the boys, penned by different writers under the pseudonym of Franklin W. Dixon, but that didn’t mean much to me at the time, I was only interested in the next story. The Hardy Boys helped to turn me into a voracious reader, and I will join them for another adventure when I read The House On The Cliff.