May 2017 Update


Bayport Beat
Greetings and welcome to the May edition of The Hardy Boys News with new and upcoming releases and a review of “The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin” by Mark Wilson.
New This Month

Nancy Drew - Hardy Boys Big LieNancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #3 – May 2017 – For Sale
Nancy Drew has a killer plan. In order to clear their names from accusations of their father’s murder, she and the Hardy Boys will have to infiltrate a family of petty thieves — by beating at their own (card) games! The classic characters dive deeper into the seedy underbelly of a tourist-town — and they begin to find out if they’re really able to go bad in order to do good.

 

Upcoming Releases
Nancy Drew - Hardy Boys Big LieNancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #4 – June 2017 – For Sale
Who can you really trust? Now on the inside of the Rover gang that runs Bayport’s criminal world, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys turn to a black sheep brother to guide them through it all. But as they put together a sting operation, are they the ones that will be stung?

Adventures #15
Con Artist in Paris
– September 2017 – For Sale
Brother detectives Frank and Joe follow a crooked trail of artistic deception in the fifteenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series.

The Hardy Boys are visiting Paris! Joe is excited to check out all the street art he’s heard about. And Frank can’t wait to go to all the museums he’s researched.

On their very first day in the city, the brothers are woken up early in the morning by fireworks. But these are no ordinary fireworks. They are a part of elaborate cover for the heist of a priceless artifact. What’s worse, the theft seems to have been orchestrated by Joe’s favorite street artist, an unidentified outlaw and activist that goes only by the name Le Stylo. Everyone seems sure that it’s him, but the Hardys are suspicious. From everything they know about Le Stylo, the crime is out of character. Sure, he makes a habit of provoking the authorities, but he’s an activist; not a thief. Could the artist known for his mystique have been framed? Frank and Joe are determined to find out.

A race to find the real thief has Frank and Joe following clues that lead them all over Paris, where they hobnob with rich art patrons, travel in a car that can only be described as a small Batmobile, and explore the extensive Catacombs under the city. Deep in the world of artistic deception, the boys have to wonder, are they in over their heads?
 
Clue Book #5Clue Books #6
A Skateboard Cat-astrophe – 11/17
For Sale: PaperbackHardcoverKindle
Illustrated by Matt David

Detective brothers Frank and Joe must figure out who sabotaged Skeeter the Skateboarding Cat in the sixth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.

Everyone in Bayport is talking about the first annual skateboard contest. The winner gets free mac and cheese balls from The Easy Cheesy food truck for the whole year! Frank and Joe just wish there was someone to beat the school’s biggest bully, and best skateboarder, Diesel Diffendorfer. Then their best friend Chet shows them a video of Skeeter the skateboarding cat.a cat that happens to belong to the new kid in town, Carlos Martinez. Suddenly, a plan is hatched.

Carlos agrees to enter Skeeter, in the contest. Who wouldn’t want free mac and cheese for a year? But just when Skeeter hits his final trick, a mouse runs across his path! Distracted, Skeeter hops off his skateboard and chases after his furry foe. When Frank and Joe run to catch him, they discover the mouse was a toy. Could someone have sabotaged Skeeter’s big day? It’s up to the Hardy Boys-and you-to find out!

Hardy Boys Adventures Graphic Novel #4 – November 2017 – For Sale
Scott Lobdell (Author), Paulo Henrique Marcondes, Daniel Rendon, Lea Hernandez (Illustrators)

Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The New Case Files – February 2018 – For Sale
by Stefan Petrucha (Author), Sarah Kinney (Author), Gerry Conway (Author), Sho Murase (Illustrator), Paulo Henrique (Illustrator)
 


New Cover Art For October 2017


Hunting for Hidden Gold
Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In Hunting for Hidden Gold, the fifth book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy pursue a notorious gang responsible for a payroll robbery. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

The Shore Road Mystery
Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In The Shore Road Mystery, the sixth book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy encounter a perplexing set of mysteries when they agree to help their friend Jack Dodd and his father locate a family treasure. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

The Secret Of Caves
Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In The Secret of the Caves, the seventh book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy discover the secret of the Honeycomb Caves while searching for a missing professor. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

The Mystery of Cabin Island
Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In The Mystery of Cabin Island, the eighth book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy encounter several dangerous setbacks as they search for Johnny Jefferson and some antique stolen medals. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!



Guest Review

The Hardy Boys
“The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin”
Season 01; Episode 13
By Mark Wilson

DVDSynopsis (no spoilers):
An innocent afternoon scuba-diving excursion along the coast remarkably turns up a real treasure chest, in the form of an ornately carved box wrapped in exotic cloth. The subsequent discovery of an ancient Chinese artifact inside quickly hurtles the boys into the enigmatic and dangerous world of Chinatown, martial arts and an international smuggling operation.

Similarities to the Original Novels:

This episode appears to be based on the novel “The Mystery of the Chinese Junk”, Volume 39 in the original mystery stories. In both the novel and the episode:

• The story begins with boys diving near a floating marker buoy, nearly being injured as a large boat passes directly overhead. In the novel Joe and Chet dive under the buoy to avoid being hit by Clams Dagget’s ferryboat, while in the episode Frank and Joe are snorkeling when a fishing boat throws a heavy box overboard as it passes the buoy.
• Thefts involving the boy’s downstairs laboratory are committed by two men who utilize special skills, and then knock out the lights to evade the Hardy’s and escape. In the novel Arnold Balarat steals cash that had been locked in Fenton’s safe while the boys are downstairs, while in the episode Chao and Chu steal the Jade Kwan Yin using Kung Fu to break into their downstairs filing cabinet. Later in the novel Balarat and Chin Gok return to steal a file on the “Chameleon” utilizing expert safecracking skills.
• The boys are attacked twice. Once in Chinatown; by Chin Gok’s men in the novel and Wang’s men in the episode, all wearing masks, and also in a personal residence; by Chin Gok at Balarat’s mansion in the novel and at the Hardy home in the episode.
• A Chinese newspaper provides the first clue to the possible identity of the criminals. An article dropped by one of the assailants in Chinatown in the novel, and shredded newspaper used to pack the Jade Kwan Yin in the episode.
• A new acquaintance in Chinatown translates Chinese writing. Dan Foy who translates the newspaper article in the novel, and Lily who translates an inscription in the episode. Also in the novel, Jim Foy translates symbols on the “bluish amber” (jade) cufflinks.
• A large boat is sabotaged in an attempt to thwart the Hardy’s investigation. In the novel a hole is sawed into the Hai Hau’s hull, while in the episode a bomb is placed aboard the fishing boat. In addition, a small boat is used by the smugglers to escape the harbor; after searching the Hai Hau in the novel and after planting the bomb in the episode.
• A Chinese smuggler lies to the Hardy’s in an attempt to acquire from them an artifact said to have religious significance to his people. In the novel Chin Gok offers to buy the Hai Hau claiming it was used to transport a sacred Buddha statue, while in the episode Chen Lee claims to be the rightful owner of the Jade Kwan Yin statuette which his niece Lily described as representing a legendary Buddhist deity. Also in the novel, Jim Foy explains the significance of “bluish amber” (jade) in Chinese legend.
• Rivals both compete against one another and form tenuous alliances. Chin Gok and his gang compete against George Ti-Ming and collude with Balarat in the novel, while Wang and his men work for Chen in the episode but then collude to profit from his operation.
• The boys return to a private property for information, not realizing the owner is in fact a criminal himself. Balarat’s mansion in the novel, and Chen’s studio in the episode.
• Chinese artifacts are exported from Hong Kong to the United States with contraband smuggled aboard. The Hai Hau and five other junks housing various stolen goods in the novel, and the Jade Kwan Yin containing precious gems in the episode.
• An exotic wooden box is used to store smuggled gems. A bamboo box containing “bluish amber” (jade) gems in the novel, and a green teakwood crate housing the Jade Kwan Yin in the episode.
• Authorities from Hong Kong secretly search coastal areas for stolen property. In the novel Hong Kong private detective George Ti-Ming secretly searches the Hai Hau and Rocky Isle in Barmet Bay, while a news report in the episode mentions Hong Kong undercover agents searching harbors and small islands.


Narrative (spoilers):

Act 1: The episode opens during a TV news report being intently watched by Fenton Hardy, concerning a continuing crack-down by Hong Kong police on international smuggling activity. Consisting primarily of narcotics, precious gems and antiques, the contraband is estimated to value at least a Billion dollars, and is being smuggled aboard ships and planes all over the world. The situation is severe enough that both American and European governments are meeting in London to develop a coordinated plan of action, while in Hong Kong undercover agents are searching harbors and small islands with cooperation of the FBI, as the United States is the primary receiver of the stolen goods.

Meanwhile along the New England coast, Frank and Joe are snorkeling beneath a floating marker buoy as two Asian men are seen donning scuba-gear on the nearby beach. Just then a fishing boat approaches, and as it passes the buoy a sailor drops a heavy object overboard which sinks to the bottom, nearly hitting Frank. The boys bring the object to the surface, alarming the two men who nervously comment that they must get the chest back before “Wang” finds out. Meanwhile the boys tow the burlap-wrapped package ashore for further investigation.

Act 2: Returning home later and having picked up Callie Shaw, the boys carry the package inside, greeting Aunt Gertrude in the doorway as they continue to their laboratory downstairs. As Callie goes upstairs to change clothes, Aunt Gertrude informs her that Fenton is out on a missing person case and probably won’t return home until late that night, then asks what it was the boys were carrying that dripped water all over her carpet. Callie replies that they don’t know yet. At that moment, the two Asian men (Chao and Chu) are seen pulling up in front of the house, having followed the boys and Callie home. Downstairs, Joe waves a hand-held detector over the package determining that there’s no metal inside, as Frank comments that the burlap is uncharacteristically made of flax and therefore shouldn’t be hard to trace. Removing the burlap, they discover it covers a highly ornate, green teakwood box. Raising the lid, they initially find a concrete slab, confirming the box was intentionally thrown overboard to sink to the bottom rather than having accidentally fallen off. Underneath they then find a layer of shredded newspaper written in Chinese, suggesting the boxes owner may be Asian. Sifting through the paper just as Callie joins them, the three are amazed to discover a jade statuette safely stored inside. Wondering aloud who might own it, Frank suggests they check for fingerprints just as Joe notices an Oriental engraving underneath the statues base. Frank makes a copy of the engraved inscription by placing a sheet of paper overtop and shading with a pencil. Noting its beauty, Callie nonetheless declares the statue is not unique. Frank questions why someone would go to such trouble for something that wasn’t special, but Callie assures him she’s seen another in a Chinatown curio-shop. They then lock up the statue and drive Callie to Chinatown hoping someone there might be able to decipher the inscription.

Finding the art store in Chinatown, the boys and Callie speak to an employee named Lily who informs them that many statues like theirs are imported from Hong Kong. She adds however that there is only one original, and while it may be worth many thousands of dollars on the open market, to her people it is priceless. She explains that Kwan Yin is a Chinese Buddhist deity, a goddess of mercy. In the old days, she was thought to be the guardian of fishermen and there was a little Kwan Yin temple in every fishing village. Frank tells her they may have a clue to the age of their statue, and shows her the copy of the inscription. Lily tells them the inscription is a well-known poem written in the 12th century, so their Kwan Yin couldn’t be much older than that. But when Callie replies that the statue looked very old to her, Lily reads the poem again and realizes the reason for it sounding so familiar is because it is her uncle’s favorite. Lily begins to ponder the similarity of the poem to the original, prompting Frank to ask if there’s anyone who could tell the real Jade Kwan Yin from a copy. She replies that her uncle, Chen Lee, is an expert on Chinese art, particularly the Jade Kwan Yin. Lily then takes the boys to meet him, while Cassie returns to the van to radio their status to Aunt Gertrude.

Arriving at her uncle’s martial arts studio, the boys observe two men competing against one another as Lily explains that her Uncle Chen was a Kung Fu champion in Taiwan who has since retired and now teaches. She introduces the boys and explains to Chen that they found a Kwan Yin in the ocean with an Autumn Eve inscription, and then inquires whether the one he’s been expecting has arrived yet. Startled, Chen speaks to Lily in Chinese asking her to leave, then leads the boys to another room for tea, after which one of the students nervously picks up a telephone. As the student eavesdrops, Chen questions the truthfulness of their story, and then explains that the real Kwan Yin that his people spent thousands of dollars to obtain was stolen aboard a ship while en route to him from Taiwan to Boston. He adds that a man named Chang Kyo called him that morning demanding ransom, and that he wishes also to humiliate Chen. Chen instructs the boys to bring the Kwan Yin to him, and if it is authentic then that will prove the ransom demand is a bluff, and they will inform the police that the statue has been returned to its rightful owner. He adds that the Kwan Yin is to be placed in a parade that will be held the following night. The boys assure Chen they will return it to him in an hour.

Meanwhile at the Hardy residence, Chao and Chu are searching the house with flashlights for the Kwan Yin. Finding a locked filing cabinet downstairs, Chao breaks it open using a Kung Fu technique and discovers the statue inside, just as the boys are returning home. Chu knocks out the lights using a similar technique when he hears the boys coming down the stairway to investigate the burglary.

Act 3: As the Hardy’s cautiously make their way down the stairs in darkness, Chu grabs Frank’s ankle causing him and Joe to tumble to the bottom, allowing both men to rush up the stairway with the statue in hand. The boys reach the front door themselves just in time to see the men speeding off in their car, and then retrieving their motorcycles from the back of the van begin to chase after them. The boys quickly catch up and follow the men at high-speed through downtown Bayport, who make numerous wild turns trying to lose their pursuers. The car speeds through a parking lot, just missing a moving delivery van that cuts the boys off, forcing them to slide into a stop. By the time the van moves out of their way, the car has vanished. Frustrated, the boys return home to search the house for fingerprints.

As the boys inspect the damaged filing cabinet, Fenton and Aunt Gertrude return home themselves and are startled to find the house ransacked. Fenton instructs Gertrude to wait at the door while he investigates, and while relieved to find the boys unharmed, becomes confused as they rapidly relate to him the day’s events and annoyed that they have yet to notify the police. Discouraged, the boys go to their room and discuss the case further just as Callie calls them on the CB radio. She informs Frank that while the local Port Authority was unaware of the Kwan Yin, they were investigating stolen goods traffic from Hong Kong. The next morning after meeting with Chief Collig and before going on to search for the fishing boat that dropped the statue, the boys and Callie visit Lily again to explain the theft. With sadness, Lily tells them the story of why the Kwan Yin is so important to the Taiwanese descendants living in Bayport. The boys promise to find the statue before the parade, not realizing Chen is eavesdropping from behind a curtain.

Act 4: Wang, who turns out to be one of Chens students, orders Chao and Chu to destroy the fishing boat in order to eradicate any evidence that might incriminate him. Arriving at the docks themselves shortly afterwards, the boys and Callie locate the boat just as someone onboard sets the timer to a bomb. Joe then hears the sound of a motorboat, and the three take cover and watch as a man motors away from the fishing boat, ties up at the dock and races past their position on foot. Intrigued, the boys board the motorboat themselves and venture over to the fishing boat to investigate. Searching for the Kwan Yin with their pencil flashlights, Joe is able to retrieve a few fingerprints just as Frank hears the sound of something ticking. He follows the sound until he discovers the bomb, and then grabbing Joe the boys race up onto the deck and dive overboard mere seconds before the boat explodes into flames.

Act 5: Swimming back to shore, the boys instruct Callie to notify the Coast Guard just as Chao reports to Wang that while the boat was destroyed, the Hardy’s may have escaped. Wang then calls Chen, informing him that he has the Kwan Yin and that the ransom price is now $100,000, adding that he has only until the following night to raise the extra money before abruptly hanging up on him. Later that evening in their downstairs laboratory, Frank discovers that the fingerprint they found on the boats ship-to-shore radio matches one they lifted from their filing cabinet. The following morning the boys and Callie return to Chinatown to assure Lily that the Kwan Yin was not aboard the boat, when Chen enters the room to apologize for the boy’s narrow escape and informs them that the statue will be delivered that night as he has decided to pay the ransom. Concerned for Chen’s safety, the boys follow him to his martial arts studio. Finding the studio empty, Frank speculates that Chang Kyo might possibly have an insider working there, prompting the boys to begin dusting for fingerprints. They match one of them to the print taken from the ships radio, just as a man wearing a Chinese mask rushes into the room and attacks them. Unable to overpower the man, the boys nevertheless manage to evade his attack and take shelter in the back room where they are then confronted by Wang and forced to flee into the streets. Finding the parade has just begun, they search for Chen to warn him that his students are working for Chang Kyo. They find him waiting in an alley just as Wang and his men confront him with the Kwan Yin, demanding their ransom. As Chen expresses his outrage at their betrayal, the boys jump the men from atop the roof, grabbing the statue before hiding amidst the chaos of the celebration and fireworks as Chen himself flees. The boys eventually spot Chen, but as they run across the street to meet him, Joe stumbles and drops the statue which shatters into small pieces on the pavement. Finding precious gems mixed in with the shards, the boys are shocked when Chen informs them the Kwan Yin was a fake and that he was the fence for the smuggling operation all along. Before he and Wang can act further however, they are surrounded by Fenton and Chief Collig’s officers and taken into custody.

Finale: Having rejoined Callie along the parade route, Chief Collig informs a very disappointed Lily that her uncle has been watched by Interpol for some time, and has been the principal East Coast fence for art objects and gems being smuggled out of Hong Kong. Fenton adds that Wang stole the statue from the ship, with the intention of selling it to his boss Chen. When Frank asks who Chang Kyo was, Fenton jokingly replies that he believes it’s a kind of Chinese breakfast cereal, to which everyone laughs.

Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Season 1
The entire first season of the 1970s ABC-TV series available from Amazon.com.


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The latest news, reviews & articles for fans of Franklin W. Dixon's Hardy Boys mystery books since 2005.