I may have played my wild card a little too early. We’re two weeks into Bookstravaganza, and I was disappointed that I hadn’t broken into the double digits yet, so I picked this quick read off of my shelf. Despite the fact that my sister owned dozens of Hardy Boys novels when we were younger, I’d never read one before. During a trip to the Wee Book Inn a couple of years ago, Bruce made me buy one–and I can’t quite recall why. I think it had something to do with how ridiculous these books are, a fact that I’ve now discovered for myself.
Everyone in this book has the memory of a goldfish. While searching for a stolen vehicle, the boys scratch paint off cars of the same model as the stolen one in an attempt to discover if the colour had been concealed. After damaging at least a dozen cars, the owner of the vehicle remembers that the front seat had a distinct tear it…. There are other examples of grave stupidity, including witnesses only remembering mysterious strangers bandying about when the Hardy boys question them or rival detective Smuff who seems too dumb to function let alone solve crimes.
My favourite part of this book was when Dixon dropped the name of the next one into the narrative of the text:
“[The Hardy boys] accepted it all with a grin, but secretly, each boy had a little feeling of sadness that the case had ended. They hoped another mystery would soon come their way, and one did at THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF.”
Though the Hardy Boys may have solved the mystery of the stolen treasure, many mysteries still bother me: Why did Chet keep his sneakers in his car? What “special medicine” did Mrs. Robinson require (is it ’20s-YA-book code for liquor)? Will Hobo Johnny seek his revenge on the Hardy Boys for looting from his water tower? Who is “John Bird” of “Rm. 12,” and did he ever finish reading all of the Hardy Boys novels that he had begun checking off in my copy of the book? (He added his phone number under his name, so I may be able to do some sleuthing of my own….)
Books Read: 10