This month's issue features collectible discoveries, news, letters, a review of Slam Dunk Sabotage & more!
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Wayne Sheldrick for the cover scans he provided for the latest addition to my Hardy Boys Home Page: The Hardy Boys Cover Art Gallery. The Gallery is now complete and open to the public!
The latest digest, "#150 - The Crisscross Crime", has hit the stores and Amazon.com
The latest Supermystery, "Process Of Elimination", is in the stores and Amazon.com
Tony Carpentieri has informed me that the third edition of his excellent reference book, Hardy & Hardy Investigations, is about to go to press.
As the baby boomer generation slips into middle-age and longs to relive the simple pleasures of youth, early picture cover (PC) Hardy Boys books, particularly the original text editions, are more in demand and are getting hard to find. In fact, some are downright scarce!
The "key" books to a collection of original text PC's are: The Secret Of The Old Mill, The Missing Chums, A Figure In Hiding & The Disappearing Floor but all the original text books listed here are very hard to find.
Original text editions of The Tower Treasure, The House On The Cliff, While The Clocked Ticked & The Hidden Harbor Mystery were never published in the PC format.
All PC original text books through volume 40 come with the brown multi-scenes endpapers.
Revised texts of Tower Treasure & House On The Cliff did come in the PC format with the brown endpapers and you can amuse yourself and amaze your friends by rebinding original texts into these covers!
As I have written elsewhere, 1st editions of revised texts & 1st editions of new cover art command a premium. Consult a guide book (like Hardy & Hardy Investigations) to identify these editions.
Here are some of the ones to look out for:
"M-i-l-d-r-e-d!" Her shrill voice responded throughout the house.
A moment later the boys mother, a slender, graceful woman, came down the stairs. "What is it Gertrude? Has anything gone wrong?"
"A gang of burglars just robbed us, he ran out the back door and down the street toward the railroad tracks!" Gertrude related.
Frank Hardy older of the two boys who just finished tying his necktie said "Joe I'll go over to Seaview Bluff, it's only about a two hour walk if I go along the railroad tracks!"
Joe Hardy, blond and a year younger than his brother stated " I'll run and get the Sleuth and meet you there!" The Sleuth was the boys fast speedboat they had berthed at the Yacht Club Pier. "Aunt Gertrude quick, call Dad and Chief Finch and tell him what happened!"
Joe picked Frank up at Seaview Bluff. Neither had any luck locating the villains.
"Joe lets go back to Dad's office, maybe he has a lead." Frank stated.
"Come in you two young rapscallions!"
"Hello Dad," the boys exclaimed softly as they entered and fastened the door.
Smiling broadly, Fenton Hardy doffed his flowing beard. "I'm glad you came, boys. We've plenty to do, so let's not waste time."
"We're ready, Dad." Frank nodded.
"The burglar is at the Bayport Hotel, just across the hall in room 37 from room 38 that I have taken. I want you to get me a Dictaphone tonight so I can wire his room before he comes in. He's at the movies now, I happened to find out."
"You know what to do."
Joe came in with a package.
His father beamed. "Good work Joe. Now we'll have to hurry. The movies will be over in about twenty minutes."
Expertly the boys went to work, first opening the flimsy locked Room Thirty-Seven with a piece of wire. In exactly fifteen minutes and just as heavy footsteps sounded on the staircase, they returned to Mr. Hardy's room, grinning triumphantly.
"Meet me in my office later and don't let anyone follow you. I'll assign Detective Kelly to help."
Later at the elder Hardy's office, Detective Kelly stated to Joe. "Saw a fellow following Frank earlier, anyhow, I managed to steer the fellow away from Frank," Kelly went on with a significant tap on the pocket where he kept a small blackjack.
Joe smiled knowingly.
"I had a phone call from your Dad," Kelly continued. "Seems your Aunt Gertrude tossed a monkey wrench into things."
"As Usual," Joe smiled grimly. "What did she do?"
"It seems that when yore Dad was talking to Frank on the phone, well the old lady-excuse me, I mean yore Aunt Gertrude-comes in to bawl your Dad out for lettin' you two gallivant around."
Joe smiled again. "That's nothing unusual."
"While she's waiting for him to finish talkin' a man comes into the office. Aunt Gertrude thinks he's about to murder your Dad, so she whacks him over the head with her umbrella, Wham!"
What is going on you might ask? How can this be. Frank and Joe, breaking and entering, bugging rooms, and knowing how to use blackjacks!
Fenton Hardy with a beard, Laura Hardy called "Mildred", Chief Collig named Finch, and Aunt Gertrude a raving psychotic bully!
Am I in an alternate reality?
I wove the quotes into a story to grab your attention. The book is #20 The Mystery of the Flying Express. Written in 1941 by John Button to Harriet Stratemeyer outline, it is one of the most unusual books of the series.
I grew up with the blue Picture Cover books. However these come in original text and revised text.
When I was young most of the books I purchased new were revised text. I can't tell you how exciting it is to read the original text versions of these books. Of course if you read Dust Jacketed versions you know what I mean.
The original text were written in the style of the times and offer a glimpse into a time period before some of us were born.
I would like to encourage everyone to read both the original text and revised text versions of this wonderful series.
From: email@example.com (Paul Tyrrell)
Just finished rereading "What Happened at Midnight" and they made two references that may shed some light on where Bayport is. On page 135, the diamond gang in New York says that Taffy Marr is "lying low down shore..." The reference to down or south is interesting. On page 139, after the Hardy's have been robbed, they start hitchhiking home. They estimate that it is about "two hundred miles" and they hope their shoes hold out. So fellow fans. 200 miles down the coast from New York city. What do you think? This is from the 1931 version.
Editor: WHAM probably supplies more info on Bayport's location than any other story.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank Dachille)
Hey Readers! You are invited to write in and share your opinion on this burning issue!
This Month: Slam Dunk Sabotage
by Ted Magilley#140 in the series.
Published October 1996 by Minstrel Books
The Plot: WHAM! Joe is elbowed during the big game which results in a foul shot that wins the game! The Bayport Bombers are in the conference championship. Yes, in between mysteries and casefiles the Hardy boys have had time to take their high school basketball team to the top. Their friends have helped, of course. Biff is a valuable teammate, Chet is the coaches' assistant, and Iola is a cheerleader. Poor Callie gets to sit in the bleachers with Mrs. Hardy and Aunt Gertrude while new friend Jamal (from #135 and #144) is on the losing team. Also on the losing team is Glen Revelle, the player that clocked Joe, too bad Glen's father clocked him. Who wants to give a scholarship to a sore loser? Then a threatening phone call is made to the Hardy home which Joe *69's to the local rec center- just where Glen was heading. BAM! Frank is attacked while jogging behind the rec center the next night. What gives? Is someone trying to hurt Bayport's MVP's. If they win mega-millionaire Marvin Coates will buy Bayport High a state of the art score board. But why does his computer wiz nephew hate him and freak when the Hardy boys are around? SLAM! Right into Fenton Hardy's big case of ATM fraud, all the little guys are rounded up but who is the king-pin? The Hardy's sort through clues and come up with an explanation, but can they stop the king-pin in a helicopter chase along the coast?
Comments: The Hardy Boys meet Chip Hilton (kind of) in this sports mystery. All the clues are presented along the way (it's almost too easy to spot them) and the puzzle can be solved using a little brain power. This is another strong story that starts out small and keeps building and building. The best part though is the interaction between the Hardy Boys and their friends. They sort through clues at the pizza parlor as close friends (like Chet) give their input. Then when the Hardys realize their case is connected with their father's they all have a heart-to-heart in the kitchen over Aunt Gertrude's sandwiches. Very nice touch. The writing is strong but seemes to be aimed at very young readers at times. Overall very good and I really liked the cover!
Hardy Facts: Joe bench presses 225 lbs. (pg 41); Aunt Gertrude likes to bowl to relax (pg6)
Grade: **** out of 5
Buy this Book From Amazon: Slam Dunk Sabotage
From: email@example.com (Eva)
I just found your Hardy Boys site and have a few questions. First, a brief bit about me:
I'm a 20 year old girl, and I read teh HBCFs fanatically when I was about 11. (Do you find that there are many female fans? I always thought I was one of the few; any idea whether that's true?) I read the first 50 or so, and then drifted away from them. Anyway, now that I'm in college, I'm finding myself drifting back to my junior higher days, and part of that movement was my move back to the Casefiles. I love #29 the best, and Frank is my favorite. Other favorites are #80, #103, and #57. I have six Casefiles and the 3-in-one Casefile edition.
Okay, what I wanted to ask: do you have a copy of HBCF #11 you will sell to me? I've put in an order through amazon.com and am keeping an eye out at use bookstores, but it is of course hit and miss, since #11 is out of print.
Next- I can't contribute much to the Hardy Boys stuff on the net, since you've covered so much that I'd only be copying. But I do have an extremely silly HBCF parody I'd like to put up on my site, and I'd love to have a couple scanned pics to go with it. Can you/will you scan the covers of HBCF #29 and #80 for me? I can provide an alternate e-mail where .jpgs or .gifs can be sent. I'd like to use these two pics on my site, and I would provide a link to your page. My parody is clean and kid-friendly, so it's not objectionable, though its literary/humor merit is certainly in the eye of the beholder. It pokes fun at the "that *always* happens!" plotlines. Once I have it online, I'll let you know, and if you like it, will you link to it from your site?
Please let me know whether you can help me out. Thanks for providing a site where I can see just how huge the Hardys canon is! I'm really just a Casefiles fan, and haven't even read all the Casefiles there are, but I'd like to be able to contribute a little to the info available on the net.
Editor's Note: Can any Hardy fan out there give Eva a hand?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tara Shank)
I love the Hardy Boys, maybe more than life itself. I would do anything for them! It's weird, though. I am female, and almost 20 years old! I have been reading the Hardy Boys since I was 7, and still read them to this day. I read my entire collection (a whooping 20 books or so) every month. When I don't read them, I get very depressed, and unsociable. Oh well. Let me know what you would like. I'd be glad to make a comment on the books.
Editor: Who would have thought the Boys were such a babe magnet?
From: email@example.com (Joe Pandur)
There was a recent article describing the Boys' mother and her name as Laura. I believe in one instance her name was given as Laura Mildred Hardy. In one book ( of which I don't remember) Aunt Gertrude was calling through the house for M-I-L-D-R-E-D. Any help with this would be appreciated.
Also as to where is Bayport? I would side with the "north of New York City" location and particularly like the Long Island resort town description as detailed in Issue #7.. Also if you take every book in the series and note the surrounding towns, highways, street names, etc., you can arrive at a pretty good sized city with surrounding "suburbs."
Hardy Boys T-Shirt - $15.00 postpaid
The One And Only! - Brown Logo on Tan Shirt
Perfect when riding your motorcycle, motorboat or roadster!
Here Come The Hardy Boys - Stereo LP Album - $29.99 postpaid
In GREAT shape, plays perfectly. The first album from the animated series.
Wheels - The Hardy Boys - Stereo LP Album - $29.99 postpaid
In GREAT shape, plays perfectly. The second album from the animated series.
Thunder Mountain Game - Super Clean & Bright! - $29.99 postpaid
Scarce Canadian edition.
Everything (cover, rules, game cards) is in both French & English!
A hard-to-find Hardy collectible.
Thunder Mountain Game - Super Clean & Bright! - $17.99 postpaid
Hardy Boys Thermos - Great Condition! - $18.99 postpaid
NOTE: Postpaid items for parcel post to lower 48 states only.
Other destinations or First Class/Priority Mail require add'l postage.
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