December 2018 Update

bayport beat
Season’s Greetings and welcome to the December edition of The Hardy Boys News with a look at new & upcoming releases and the book of the month, “The Secret Warning”. I’d also like to announce my new Series Books Sales Page!

new this month

Hardy Boys Adventures #17

17: The Gray Hunter’s Revenge – 12/18
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 Bayport 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?

Clue Book #88: The Time Warp Wonder – 12/18
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!

coming soon

Hardy Boys Adventures #1818: The Disappearance – 02/19
{“The Vanishing Room” has been renamed “The Disappearance” and given a new plot.}
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
The Hardy brothers and Frank’s new girlfriend, Jones, are attending a local comic book convention on the shore. They meet up with Jones’s friend Harper, a fellow comics super fan, on the boardwalk outside the convention. The four of them spend hours running from booth to booth and end the perfect day with pizza at Harper’s short-term rental apartment.
Things don’t stay so perfect, though. On the way home, Jones realizes she switched phones with Harper by accident and she is getting some really scary texts. When they show up at the apartment the next day, they find it totally destroyed and Harper is missing. Frank and Joe start digging into their new friend’s life, hoping to find out where she might have gone, but the more they find out about her, the more mysterious she becomes. Can Frank and Joe find this secretive character? Or has she disappeared forever?

Clue Book #89: Who Let The Frogs Out? – 04/19
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez
Detective brothers Frank and Joe must solve a muddy mystery in the ninth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.
Bayport Elementary is hosting a Mud Run to celebrate spring! A particularly muddy part of the town’s park will be set aside for the race and Coach Lambert has even managed to make more mud by using the park’s hoses and shovels. Frank and Joe can’t wait to splash through the muck.
But on the day of the race, the runners are stopped in their tracks by croaking, blurping bullfrogs! Lots of people in the town had been annoyed that the park was being taken over by a bunch of muddy kids. Could someone have sabotaged the race with buckets of frogs?

book of the month: the secret warning

Hardy Boys Cover Art Hardy Boys Cover Art Hardy Boys Cover Art

17: The Secret Warning – Collectible Editions For Sale
Cover Art & Edition Information
Original: 1938 John Button (220 pages)
Outline: Edna Squier (nee Stratemeyer)
Revised: 1966 James Lawrence (176 pages) – For Sale
Outline: James Lawrence
Revision: Completely Different
Art: 1938 Paul Laune (frontispiece removed in 1947)
Art: 1962 John Leone
Art: 1966 Rudy Nappi
Notes: In 1941 the text on page 219 was altered to include the title of the next book.
The Hardy Boys go deep sea diving to recover the treasure from the sunken “Katawa” and foil the plans of the thuggish Gus Kuntz.
Revised: The Hardy Boys investigate the strange disappearance of an ancient Egyptian artifact. 

Description of current edition: Strange events involve Frank and Joe Hardy in a mystery which shrouds an ancient treasure-the golden head of the Pharaoh Rhamaton IV. The owner of the million-dollar golden Pharaoh’s head claims it was aboard the freighter Katawa, which sank not far from Whalebone Island. But suspicious developments indicate that Mehmet Zufar may be trying to defraud the shipping line’s insurance company. Frank and Joe enthusiastically accept the challenge of their famous detective father to assist him in investigating the complex case for Transmarine Underwriters.

(or at least how I remember it, having read it very late at night)
by Mike Humbert

    Hardy Boys #17, (A.K.A. The Secret Warning) was first published in 1938, and was the first of five Hardys novels to be ghostwritten by Dr. John Button (okay, let’s hold down the booing!). The good doctor had taken over the reigns from the legendary Leslie McFarlane, who had written the previous sixteen volumes, and is generally regarded as the best of the “Franklin W. Dixons.”
While not as flawed as some of Dr. Button’s later attempts, (including The Mystery of the Flying Express, and, of course, The Disappearing Floor), The Secret Warning had its share of peculiar literary decisions, which I’ve chosen to exaggerate here, possibly to humorous effect. I hope you enjoy it.
This originally appeared in The Bayport Times #31 September 2001

    Tap! Tap! Tap!
“It’s a mystery to me,” said Joe Hardy as he worked over the engine of the Sleuth, “what it is that puts the motor out of order all the time.”
“It certainly is a puzzler,” agreed Frank Hardy, Joe’s dark-haired older brother. “Perhaps we should stop just tapping on it, and try a different approach to repairing it.”
“You fellows should leave it broken if you ask me,” drawled their chum Chet Morton, his gelatin-like mass conforming to the bulkhead behind him. “Why tempt Mother Nature?”
Frank and Joe exchanged perplexed glances.
“Think about it,” Chet continued, “as soon as this tub is fixed, you’ll want to take it out on the bay again. Then, as always, a sudden storm will come up, and then, as always, I’ll be knocked out of the boat, into the freezing water. Who needs it, I say!”
“Don’t worry, Chet,” taunted Joe. “The only way you could sink would be if someone harpoons you!”
The stout boy laughed good-naturedly at this latest crippling blow to his self-esteem.
Just then, Frank glanced up and saw a tall, lanky figure walking on the dock.
“Say, fellows! That’s Mr. Perry, the deep-sea diver! Did you know he wears thirty-two pound shoes?”
“No,” drawled Chet. “Did you know my uncle wears women’s underwear?”
Realizing how valuable the skills of a deep-sea diver would be to repairing the Sleuth’s motor, Frank called Mr. Perry over to the boat, and explained their dilemma.
“Have you tried tapping on it?” suggested the lanky diver.
Soon, with four heads proving marginally better than three, the Sleuth’s motor was purring like a kitten. With Chet at the controls, the stout lad began to move the boat a foot or two.
Suddenly, as if to add action to the story, the Sleuth impacted another motorboat which, for some reason, no one had noticed directly behind them. The jolt of the collision sent Perry hurtling into the water. Chet, while humiliated by his obvious incompetence, was nonetheless relieved not to have been, for once, the one who ended up in the water.
“You’ll pay for this!” snarled Bock, one of the two collision victims.
“Yeah, we’ll get you Hardys through a series of empty threats and petty vandalism,” sneered Simon, as he piloted the other boat to safer waters.
“I don’t like their looks,” drawled Chet, an opinion which would be shared by most everyone the Hardys would speak to in the foreseeable future.
“Chet, since when do you have a drawl?” interjected Joe.
“I do seem to be drawling a lot lately,” drawled Chet.
“I wonder how those fellows knew our names,” mused Frank.
“I have a hunch that will never be explained,” predicted Joe.

Eventually, Frank, Joe and Chet got around to rescuing Mr. Perry, who, fortunately, had not been wearing his thirty-two pound diving shoes at the time. As it turned out, Mr. Perry had originally been on his way to keep an appointment with Frank and Joe’s father, Fenton Hardy, the world-famous detective. This could hardly be considered a coincidence, since no one ever came to Bayport except small-time smugglers and clients of Mr. Hardy.
The boys escorted Mr. Perry to their home, where Mrs. Hardy insisted on providing the dripping diver with some dry clothing.
“That’s very kind of you,” expressed Mr. Perry. “A T-shirt and an old pair of sweat pants will be more than enough.” But Mrs. Hardy, who had a “thing” for tall, well-dressed men, insisted that the near-total stranger wear her husband’s favorite tweed suit (along with his new Van Husen button shirt, his favorite necktie, and a pair of cufflinks that had been given to Mr. Hardy by his late grandmother). After force-feeding Mr. Perry a huge dinner, capped off by multiple apple pies, it had become obvious that Mr. Hardy was displaying his usual lack of punctuality.
“I’ll try to contact Mr. Hardy some other time,” lamented Mr. Perry. “I guess there would be no reason for me to leave my phone number, or address, or any way at all for him to contact me. But dinner was lovely. And thanks for the swell suit!” And with that, the now-well-dressed diver took his leave.

“Welcome home, Dad! Gee, it’s great to see you,” gushed Frank and Joe to their father. Mr. Hardy’s famous exploits had once caused him to neglect his sons for weeks at a time. Now that Frank and Joe had demonstrated considerable talent as amateur detectives, Mr. Hardy often let his sons assist him on important cases, putting them directly in harm’s way.
“Nice to see you again, boys,” chimed Mr. Hardy, giving the boys a noncommittal hug. “Sorry I stood up yet another potential client but I suppose there’s always more where he came from!”
“What kind of case are you working on, Dad?” inquired Joe excitedly.
“Darned if I know,” chuckled Mr. Hardy. “My memory is so bad that if didn’t take notes constantly, I’d be completely up the creek. That’s why I keep those notes in a safe place.”
“You mean in your wall safe,” guessed Frank.
“Or your file cabinet or desk drawer,” speculated Joe.
“No, no, all wrong,” answered the famous sleuth, grinning confidently. “Someplace much safer: in the pocket of my favorite tweed suit!”
Frank and Joe exchanged nauseated glances.

Fenton Hardy paced the room like a caged lion. Time was running out. If the boys didn’t recover his notes, he would be in a terrible jam. If only he could remember some of the pertinent details of the case, such as who the client was, or what he was supposed to be investigating. No, it was just no good. Too many whacks on the head from too many criminals. He would have to wait to hear from Frank. And the other one, the blond fellow.
The famous detective was ruminating on how the blond boy didn’t really look very much like him when the phone rang. He snatched it up anxiously.
“Hello? Dad?” came the voice on the other end. It was Frank. Mr. Hardy breathed a sigh of relief. The boys had come through for him!
Frank Hardy spoke into the receiver of the pay phone. “Yes, Dad, we managed to track down Mr. Perry, and your tweed suit as well.”
“That’s wonderful news, Frank. Any complications along the way?”
“Uhhh, well,” began Frank, “an old man in a restaurant accused us of stealing his cane, and had the police arrest us.”
“What!” ejaculated Mr. Hardy. “That’s ridiculous! Why would you steal his cane?”
“Oh, it turned out well enough. We dropped your name, as we always do, and they let us go.”
“I suppose that’s all right, then. No other problems?”
“Well, at one point we came across an elderly woman who had apparently fainted; we took her to the doctor,” continued Frank.
“Was she with the old man who lost his cane?” queried Mr. Hardy.
“No, this was pretty much unrelated. It turned out the doctor was her husband, and he then accused us of having murdered her.”
“Murder! Frank, what in the world are you talking about,” gasped Mr. Hardy, who was rapidly becoming exasperated.
“He attacked us with a bullwhip. But then the old woman’s parrot returned, and she was fine again.”
“Bullwhip?? Parrot??”
“The parrot was named Ferdinand, incidentally…”
Mr. Hardy was nearing apoplexy. “Frank, what does any of this nonsense have to do with my notes? You did recover them, didn’t you!”
“Well, we thought we had them after the fire, but–”
“Fire!! What fire!?”
“At the tailor shop, where your suit was. Joe and I broke into the shop when a fire started.”
Mr. Hardy’s hand covered his eyes as he spoke into the receiver. “You broke into a tailor shop and started a fire? Good God, why??”
“I’m pretty sure the fire started first. Anyway, Joe pulled your suit from the burning shop, but it turned out he only got the pants.”
“Not the jacket that contained the notes?” croaked the detective, his voice all but inaudible.
“Somehow or another, Bock and Simon ended up with the jacket and–”
“The two fellows whose boat we rammed the other day,” explained Frank.
“Oh my God,” whimpered Mr. Hardy. “My insurance…”
“Oh, and we’ve also been helping Mr. Perry with his deep-sea diving. It’s really exciting, Dad! You wear this big helmet and–”
“I… really… don’t want to hear. Tell me… about the notes….”
“And someone keeps breaking into our hotel room and leaving threatening notes. It’s happened four or five times now, but they’ve gotten away every time. The most recent time they made off with an experimental underwater X-ray camera that had been entrusted to us. I mean, we did leave it unattended, but who figured they’d break in yet again?”
Fenton Hardy let loose a pitiful cry of anguish.
“Anyway, we finally managed to get the notes back from Bock, Simon, and their boss, whose name I don’t think I can say over the phone, so we’ll be sending them to you right away, Dad,” Frank announced triumphantly. He heard no reply on the other end other than a low sobbing. Then came a sharp click and the droning of the dial tone.
“Was Dad proud of us?” Joe asked his brother.
“I’m not sure. I guess we were cut off,” theorized Frank, replacing the pay phone’s receiver in its cradle.
“Enough of this detective stuff,” drawled Chet one last time. “When do we eat?”
Frank and Joe exchanged humorous glances and all three boys shared a hearty laugh.

original outline for “the secret warning”

Wreath Wreath Wreath

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