I was flying home from Michigan today and needed a book for the flight, so I stopped in a bookstore in East Lansing and bought a copy of The Hidden Harbor Mystery, written in 1935 by Franklin W. Dixon. For those of us who grew up on the Hardy Boys it was a wonderful reminder of what we loved about the series - Frank and Joe Hardy, and their "fat chum, Chet Morton" looking danger square in the eye and bringing the criminal to justice. As the book opens, the boys are travelling without their parents on a steamship in foul weather. In case we're not paying attention, Frank tells us in the third paragraph, "Just the kind of setting for a mystery."

Within just a few pages, Frank and Joe discover a mysterious stranger in their stateroom and a fight ensues. Even as the boys are fighting with the intruder, the steamship founders on a reef, begins to take on water and explodes in a fiery inferno. The boys have to jump overboard and attempt to swim to shore. Joe and Chet make it, but Frank, helping an injured elderly gentleman is lost at sea. Frank is found just in time for the elderly gentleman to accuse the boys of robbing him of $6,000. The Hardy Boys are arrested!

I would write more, but I've been away from the book long enough. I need to get back to the story and find out whether Frank and Joe catch the bad guys and clear their name.

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Joyce, I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys too - also the Three Investigators (Red Gate Rover, anybody?). For me, they were the next step up from the Famous Five and the Secret Seven. Happy days!
Joyce -
You'll be pleased to know that Frank and Joe faced danger bravely. There was a moment, when they were strung up by a lynch mob I thought for sure it was the end of the Hardy Boys, but "In this moment of peril, Frank, as always, retained his presence of mind." And so the boys narrowly escaped. They solved the crime, caught the criminal, convinced him to confess and restored their own good names. They even managed to return home with a piece of evidence which allowed their father, the famous detective Fenton Hardy, to settle an unrelated case.
It sounds like Dixon understands how to keep the story moving. Maybe we need to read those books again.

Did you go to that used book store on Grand River? Oh, what's the name of it? I found a ten of gems there thru the years. What a memory...
Yes, Dennis. The Curious Book Shop on E. Grand River (and, oh, what a name for a book store).
The Curious Book Store. That's it. There are some great old magazines in the basement, too. I've picked up a bunch of the Police Gazettes, Alfred Hitchcocks's, etc.
My father used to go to dusty little flea market shops and funky almost-antique stores about every other weekend, where he picked up vintage Nancy Drew, Dana Girls, and Hardy Boys books for me (then about 50 cents to a dollar a piece). Now my nine-year-old daughter has the entiire collection and devours one mystery after another. I nearly fainted, though, when I spotted a couple of the same titles I own at a used book shop for $60.00-70.00/each!!! My Nancy Drew collection spans #1-52 plus the cookbook. The new books in both the Hardy and Drew series do not compare to the originals. I still envy Nancy's speedy little roadster. Anybody want to go for a spin?
oh wow, I read lots of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew when I was going up, wonder if it is the very start of the crime/noir obsession :)
OH!!!! I miss the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew! I wonder what it would be like, reading them now.

I'm going to find out, for sure! Thanks for the reminder. Lots of good memories!
We get alot of vintage Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew at the used bookstore where I work. Always love to see them. I also was a big fan of The Three Investigators. The new Nancy Drew (in the movie) looks awfully young...but, maybe I'm just getting old. lol!
Have to confess that the summer movie for me is "Nancy Drew". I grew up on the Hardy Boys, Dana Girls, Nancy Drew, and the Bobbsey Twins. My Dad read me a chapter a night for years. I looked forward each night to that chapter and weekends when I might con him into an extra chapter. Must be why I love a good mystery today.
aaah. Nostalgia. I recently stumbled upon a reading of a Biggles book on the BBC7radio website. It was read by Michael Palin who captured the pip-pip tally-ho, jolly hockey-sticks accent perfectly. Made me smile.


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