The Hardy Boys: The Secret of the Old Mill (1927/1962) – Franklin W. Dixon

Frank and Joe Hardy are back in their third adventure, The Secret of the Old Mill, and their friends Chet and Tony are along for the ride!

It’s summer break, Chet is trying to get a job to flame the passions of his new hobby, science, and he wants to work at Elekton, a new lab that has itself set up near an old mill that has been converted into a guards’ barracks. But when Chet makes change for a man at the train station the boys find themselves in possession of a counterfeit bill and a new mystery for them to suss out.

While their father, Fenton, pops in and out of the story, apparently working on his own case (but you just know they are going to connect sooner or later), the boys track down leads, even as their entire family, including their visiting Aunt Gertrude, is threatened to leave the case alone.

There are saboteurs, chases, and tense moments a plenty in this fast paced read that leads the boys, and the reader to discover what is really going on in the Old Mill.

Once again, there’s not a real big mystery here, the boys know what’s going on, they are just looking for the supporting evidence and the guilty parties. And they are determined to find it, you know with some family friendly breaking and entering.

These are still a lot of fun to read, and I get that the police in Bayport, where the Hardys live, have a lot of respect for the boys and their father, but man, what about chain of evidence not to mention the boys interfering in a police investigation?

But that’s not the point of the stories, it’s about doing whats right, standing by your friends, and brininging the baddies to justice, and making it home in time for dinner (or hoping Chet brings enough sandwiches for everyone).

While there are story threads connecting the books, mainly just mentions of things that have gone before, or what we can expect next time, the characters don’t reall change or grow that much. But I can definitely remember projecting my younger self into these characters when I was reading them as a kid.

Now, they appear just a little too neat, but both of them have good heads on their shoulders, and are determined to make their town a safe place to live. Despite those intentions, lots of things seem to happen in this little burg, and next time the Hardys learn what to do to find The Missing Chums!

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