Welcome to the May edition of The Hardy Boys News with upcoming releases and a look at “What Happened At Midnight”.
17: The Gray Hunter’s Revenge – 10/18
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
Frank and Joe investigate a supernatural crime in the seventeenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series.
One of the Hardys’ favorite writers, Nathan Foxwood, has recently died in a tragic car accident. Now, the press is swarming his house in Bayort to get the scoop on the novel he completed just before his untimely death.
When Joe hears that Nathan’s wife is having a giant estate sale, he drags Frank with him. Who could pass up the opportunity to see inside their favorite author’s home? Nathan’s wife says she wants to get away as quickly as possible; strange things have been happening since their first night there and now her husband is gone and she’s sure the house is haunted. But Nathan’s assistant, Adam, is not so willing to blame it all on the supernatural. Valuable things keep disappearing from the house-why would a ghost need money? Adam recognizes the Hardys’ from an article he read and asks for their help.
Of course Frank and Joe Hardy don’t believe in ghosts and are positive they can get to the bottom of all this. But when Adam is mysteriously hurt after spending the night alone in the house, the brothers start to wonder; what is the motive for these crimes if not ghostly revenge? Could these brother detectives be in over their heads?
8: The Time Warp Wonder – 11/18
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez
Detective brothers Frank and Joe work to debunk a time travel machine in the eighth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.
Bayport Elementary is almost ready for the annual science fair-it’s all down to the final touches. Frank and Joe have collaborated on a detective helmet. It’s the perfect lie detector-just place it on a suspect’s head and the bells and whistles will tell you when they’re lying.
But not everyone is as prepared for the big fair. Their good friend Phil has designed a time machine he calls the Time Warp Wonder. He just needs to figure out how it works first.
Phil uses Chet’s hamster as a test subject. And the machine really does make the hamster disappear from the cafeteria! It’s just that Phil isn’t sure where the hamster went or how to get him back. Frank and Joe are not so sure the hamster went back in time. They have a feeling their Clue Book will be more help to Chet’s hamster than Phil’s calculations.
But the brothers start questioning their instincts when they receive pictures of the hamster in different time periods; dressed as caveman with the dinosaurs, suited up in armor in the middle ages, in a top hat watching Abe Lincoln give a speech. Could Chet’s hamster really be traveling though time? It’s up to the Hardy Boys-and you-to find out!
Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The New Case Files – December 2018 – For Sale
by Stefan Petrucha (Author), Sarah Kinney (Author), Gerry Conway (Author), Sho Murase (Illustrator), Paulo Henrique (Illustrator)
Some of literature’s most famous detectives team-up in a feature length story! Plus zombies, vampires, this one’s got everything! Five thrilling graphic novels are collected here featuring world famous teen sleuths Nancy Drew and Frank and Joe Hardy. First, see them like you’ve never seen them before-teaming up! Plus, Nancy Drew is off slaying vampires and the Hardy Boys call it quits…after crawling with zombies.
This Month: What Happened At Midnight
10: What Happened At Midnight – Collectible Editions For Sale
Cover Art & Edition Information
Original: 1931 Leslie McFarlane (213 pages) – For Sale
Outline: Edna Stratemeyer
Revised: 1967 Tom Mulvey (173 pages) – For Sale
Outline: Tom Mulvey
Revision: Drastically Altered
Art: 1931 W.S. Rogers
Art: 1945 A new frontispiece by A.O. Scott
Art: 1946 New cover art by unknown artist (Paul Laune?).
Art: 1967 Rudy Nappi
Notes: In 1941 the text on page 213 was altered to include the title of the next book.
Jim Lawrence edited and did extensive rewriting on the revision.
The Hardy Boys break up the Taffy Marr jewel smuggling ring.
Description of current edition: Frank and Joe race against time to retrieve a scientist’s top-secret invention before thieves get their hands on it. But the young detectives soon discover that they are involved in a mystery far greater in scope than just safeguarding the invention. When Joe is kidnapped, this incident starts Frank of on a chase that could end disastrously for him and his pals.
Review: What Happened At Midnight
#10 in the series – 1931
Written by Leslie McFarlane
The Plot: Bayport’s got one of those new-fangled Automats and Chet Morton (who else?) brings the Boys and the rest of the gang down to sample its culinary treats. The lads engage in some “innocent” horseplay with some farmboys from Crabb Corners and Joe stumbles into a large, blond man (Chris) who becomes enraged and makes a scene that the manager of the Automat is forced to break up. Shortly thereafter, more “innocent” horseplay with the same farmboys causes Joe to stumble into the same guy again, causing him to drop his package, which breaks open in the gutter. Doubly enraged now, the man threatens Joe and only the intervention of Frank prevents a nasty street brawl.
That night, the Boys and the rest of the gang attend a party at the Morton farm. Joe and Iola go for a stroll and, at the stroke of midnight, Joe gets abducted! Their chums suspect a practical joke by the Crabb Corners crew, Frank doesn’t agree and they conduct a search. When Joe doesn’t turn up by the next morning, Frank is forced to tell his mother. He then spends the next few chapters hunting for Joe until Aunt Gertrude shows up for a chapter and a half of almost unneccesary and time wasting ranting.
The old bat does drop a couple of clues however and Frank dashes out of the house to round up the gang and go searching for Joe. They spend a couple of chapters sailing the Sleuth around the caves near Barmet Bay, getting caught in a sudden fog and almost run into by a tug boat, until they find Joe stashed away in a secluded cave. They make an escape with the kidnappers in hot pursuit. As the bad guys hurl boulders and take pot-shots at them, the Boys and the gang sail away in the Sleuth. The end — hey wait a minute! It’s only Chapter 11!
Joe explains that his kidnapper was the big blond guy, Chris, who is involved with a gang of diamond smugglers. Seems that Chris had thought that Joe had seen the smuggled diamonds he dropped in the street back in Chapter 2 and so kidnapped Joe to keep him from going to the cops.
The next day, Joe is feeling better and they begin to tail Chris, following him all the way to New York City. There they discover that Chris is a member of the notorious Taffy Marr smuggling gang. They have a few adventures in the Big Apple, culminating with Joe having his pocket picked, forcing them to hitchhike all the way back to Bayport!
On their way back, they wash dishes for breakfast at a greasy spoon and manage to get a ride with a couple of Justice Department investigators. Amazingly enough, the investigators are not only going to Bayport but they are also investing the Taffy Marr gang and give the Boys the lowdown on the gang.
Back in Bayport, the Boys deduce that the new clerk at the jewelry store is none other than Taffy Marr in disguise! They tail him to the airport, where he charters a private plane. Due to the connections they made there in the last story (The Great Airport Mystery), the Boys are able to get a pilot and plane in short order and begin chasing Marr. Taking a page from just about any Ted Scott story, the plane not only runs into fog but the engine conks out, forcing all aboard to bail out!
Well, it’s back to Bayport again, where, the next day, they get a report that Taffy Marr has been spotted in town. Hooking up with the two Justice Department investigators, they chase Marr out along the Shore Road (in a violent rain storm, naturally!). Marr has hooked up with some of his gang members and a battle ensues. The bad guys are captured of course and the Boys get to split yet another reward. The next evening, there is a small celebration for the Boys at the Morton farm and all the loose ends are tied up. The End.
Comments: This isn’t a bad story but, for a number of reasons, it’s never been a favorite of mine.
For one thing, Leslie McFarlane seems to be pandering to his audience here. The “innocent horseplay” that is so glibly dismissed as youthful hijinks in the first two chapters is only slightly short of criminal behavior and certainly is not what we expect of our heroes or their chums.
And how about that party at Chet’s for 15 to 17 year olds that goes on until 2 AM, complete with orchestra and in the middle of the greatest economic depression in the country’s history?
For another thing, Aunt Gertrude is at her obnoxious, overbearing worst in this story. For whatever other faults the villain Chris may have had, one can only admire his audacity for standing up to the old hag. Just once I’d like to see perennial jellyfish Laura Hardy get enough gumption to stand up to Gertie and say something along the lines of “Gertrude, you old battle axe, this is my house and these are my boys, so kindly shut up and mind your own business if you wish to continue sponging off us!” but, alas, Laura has never said a word.
Another odd thing is the complete absence of Fenton, who is out west on a case. Not a word from him or to him, even when Joe is kidnapped! I kept expecting him to show up and somehow tie his current case into the plot but he never did. Instead, those two dopey government agents show up for the climax. It would have been just as easy to tie Fenton into the plot, so why use those two dopes at all?
Those of you interested in the “Where’s Bayport?” question can find some info on that here. It’s clearly stated that NYC is about 200 miles from Bayport, although in which direction is unclear.
We also discover another Hardy relative, a “Cousin Hattie” of Gresham. Just who she is related to is open for speculation but it is Gertie who refers to her as cousin. We also learn the Gertie is 65 years of age, which has to make her Fenton’s elder, if not eldest, sister.
The one part of the story I particularly enjoyed was the Boys’ trip to the city. Their adventures there are plausible and well written. The recounting of their trek back to Bayport (sleeping in Central Park, taking trollies etc.) lends an air of authenticity to the story.
The review originally appeared in The Bayport Times #21 – Since then my opinion of the story has improved.
Original Outline for “What Happened At Midnight”