A Figure In Hiding – Applewood Books

A Figure In Hiding – Original text edition by Applewood Books.
The Plot: The Boys and Chet go to the movies and the theater is robbed. They pursue the crook but lose him. They run into Mr. Hardy, who is tailing two members of quack Dr. Grafton’s “Eye Syndicate”. Spying on the crooks from adjoining hotel rooms, they overhear a contretemps between one of the baddies and his adopted daughter, Virginia Sinder. She flees the hotel and is pursued by Frank and Joe, who, after discovering the unconscious theater robber on the way, save her when she drives her car into the river. The cops show up and Ginnie takes a powder, leaving Frank and Joe to go back to town in the thief’s car. Chet is questioned at police HQ for his alleged involvement in the theater stick up and then is mysteriously dispatched to Boston by a phony note purporting to come from the Boys. Things really get cooking when Mr. Hardy enlists the aid of one of Grafton’s intended victims to bait a trap for the quack. Grafton manages to get away by gassing the Boys but not before they realize that Grafton is actually the long-lost neer-do-well son of the intended victim! After trailing Grafton’s henchmen, the Boys encounter Virginia hiding out on a farm. At the same time the two henchmen come looking for her and she escapes, only to seek shelter at Grafton’s country hide out. She’s held prisoner so Frank, Joe and Chet help her escape. Once again, she runs away from the Boys and they are re-captured and almost buried alive! They manage to escape, Fenton arrives with the cops, Grafton’s syndicate is smashed and Virginia is reunited with her real family.
Comments: Really good story! Another winner by Leslie McFarlane! The action never lets up from beginning to end. The sub-plots tie together nicely (except for Chet being sent to Boston, which is never adequately explained) and nobody does anything particularly stupid (except the inexplicable behavior of Virginia Sinder and her grandmother which borders on idiocy, proving the old adage of the apple not falling far from the tree!) The Boys show plenty of guts, quick thinking and some decent detecting. Grafton is one of the meanest, slimiest villians ever! Aunt Gertrude is annoying, ill-mannered and ill-tempered as usual. Definitely in the top 10 of all the stories in the original canon.
RATING: 5*

Extreme Danger (U.B. #1)

In Extreme Danger, the first volume of the Undercover Brothers series, we find Frank and Joe entering a new era of more mature adventures as agents of A.T.A.C. (American Teens Against Crime). In addition the story is written in first person narrative style with Frank and Joe alternating chapters.
This story has the Boys investigating the sabotaging of an Extreme Sports meet in Philadelphia. Suspicious accidents and even a murder are centered around the meet and it’s up to Frank and Joe to find out who is behind them! There’s plenty of exciting adventure and mystery to be had in the course of the investigation.
Many of the characters from the older stories show up here: Mr. & Mrs. Hardy and, of course, Aunt Gertrude who is now called Aunt Trudy. Naturally, it wouldn’t be a Hardy Boys story unless Chet Morton showed up and he makes a cameo appearance late in the story.
I enjoyed this story and if it is a sign of things to come, the new series should be a hit!
RATING: 5*

Running On Fumes (U.B. #2)

Running On Fumes finds Frank and Joe investigating possible eco-terrorists living in a hippie-like commune in the California desert.
They infiltrate the group to investigate the charismatic group leader Arthur Stench (take off a half a star if you find that name ridiculous too!).
There’s plenty of action taking place in this story, right up to the surprising conclusion!
I enjoyed this story and like the new Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers series so far. I just hope the stories will remain as good.
RATING 5*

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