|the hardy boys unofficial home page|
Welcome to the Bayport Times.
This issue featuring a look at The Mark On The Door, a somewhat different look at The Secret Warning, new collectible discoveries, letters and more!
The Unofficial Hardy Boys Home Page now has it's very own domain name: HardyBoys.us
The Bayport Connection Hardy Boys message board also has a new URL: members.boardhost.com/fwdixon
Be sure to bookmark the new locations.
The Secret Of the Old Clock
Any Nancy Drew fan could tell you that The Secret Of The Old Clock was the first title in the Nancy Drew series but did you know that it almost became a Hardy Boys story? See Hardy Boys Titles That Never Were!
Hardy Boys TV Sightings
On the FOX show "Futurama", a character is seen going through a pile of books muttering "Hardy Boys - too easy, Nancy Drew - too hard." The creator of the show, Matt Groening, is also responsible for the hit FOX show, "The Simpsons", a show which has mentioned both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew several times. It seems a likely bet that Mr. Groening was (or maybe still is) a fan of the Boys.
Hardy Boys E-Mail Group
If you're not already a member, you're missing out on the latest Hardy Boys news! It's also a great place to buy/sell/trade your Hardy Boys items or just talk about the Boys with the over 300 other members who have joined since 1999!
Just go to: www.groups.yahoo.com/subscribe/HardyBoys
Or E-Mail HardyBoysemail@example.com
Books Make Great Gifts!
Just about everyone appreciates getting a book as a gift. Check out the New On The Shelves section for the latest Hardy Boys stories or visit my Amazon Sales Page for a huge selection of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Chip Hilton, Judy Bolton, Horatio Alger, Harry Potter, Bowery Boys, 3 Stooges and other books, CD-ROMs, videos and DVDs - all discount priced.
PLUS - Check Out My Used Book Sales Page
The Bayport Times always needs new Hardy Boys related articles, book reviews or collectible discoveries. If you would like to become immortalized on the web, please direct E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent additions to the Hardy canon
All These Titles Are Available For Sale From Amazon.com - Just Click!
Cover Page From 1970's TV Show Script - Mystery On The Avalanch Express
Note the cast - It looks like a who's who of washed up teen idols!
A couple of teen magazines from the 70's with articles about Shawn Cassidy & Parker Stevenson.
Hardcover copy of Super Sleuths I
May be British or a library rebind.
This Month: The Mark On The Door
# 13 in the series.
Published in 1934 - text by Leslie McFarlane
Reviewed by Jeff Rice
The Plot: "The motorboat was just speeding back down the bay when the storm broke. There was a howling gust of wind, a few slashing streaks of rain, a flash of lightning, a roll of thunder. Then the skies seemed to open. The rain fell in a torrential downpour. Bayport was completely obscured from view ." This is how Leslie McFarlane launches the story; with Frank and Joe caught out at sea during a sudden Bayport squall in their sleek motorboat, the Sleuth. Now if this is not a classic, quintessential Hardy Boys opener I don't know what is; the boys caught out in the notoriously tempestuous weather of Barmet Bay! This is not how I expected The Mark On The Door to begin, given the dry desert scene on the cover.
Comments: The original The Mark On The Door is an absolute delight to read! I found myself completely absorbed by this book. I even chuckled out-loud at some of the subtly humorous scenes. This is clearly a Leslie McFarlane authored book; full of humor, detail, and finesse. It is beautifully paced giving the reader the chance to experience some of the emotions and feelings of the boys as they undertake what turns out to be their first long-distance plane flight and international case. You can feel the boy's excitement and sense of wonder as they prepare for their first trip outside the USA.
(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.
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."
"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.
by Bob Finnan
While researching the Hardy Boys in the Stratemeyer Syndicate archives of the NY Public Library, I came across some interesting documents which illustrated the process by which Hardy Boys titles (and presumably plots) were selected.
After the initial list of titles proposed by Edward Stratemeyer, every year several titles were proposed. I suppose that Ed and the staff at the Syndicate sat around and hashed them over before selecting the title(s) for the coming year. I assume that until his death in May 1930, the titles were approved by Edward Stratemeyer himself.
Many of these titles never saw the light of day and it's interesting to speculate on just what kind of stories may have been created. 1929/30's Who was Tom Kettle/Tatters sounds pretty bad - perhaps he was a relative of Harry Tanwick! Thankfully, the now archaic Missing Liberty Bonds title was never used. While the title, Missing Chums, is a bit antiquated, it is at least understandable. I doubt there are many kids (and perhaps adults!) today who could tell you what a liberty bond is. (For you kids: it was a bond issued by the USA during World War One to help finance the war. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of these were sold and, to date, millions of dollars worth of them have not yet been redeemed. Would-be Hardy Boys are urged to look in Grandma's attic and perhaps solve the mystery of The Missing Liberty Bonds!)
Many of the other titles are mundane but some are tantalizing. What could we have expected of 1930's The Disappearance Of Fenton Hardy - another House On The Cliff perhaps? Of course, steady readers know that a disappearing Fenton Hardy is not exactly unusual in the series. From the original 1927 House On The Cliff to Spiral Bridge in 1966, Fenton had the knack of disappearing at the drop of a hat! In fact, one would be hard-pressed to name a book in which Fenton isn't missing at least part of the time. 1932's The Mystery Of The Bayport Lights sounds intriguing, especially with all the current reports of mysterious lights over the NJ Turnpike and other places! In fact, all the 1932 title proposals are rather unusual.
Several titles were proposed in multiple years. Additionally, some titles had hand written corrections/suggestions added to them or words crossed out. All such permuations are listed separately.
Initial Title Proposals
I lost a great deal of sleep last night perusing your website! Thanks for providing such thorough and entertaining information on the books that were a treasured part of my youth.
My wife and I recently moved and my interest in the Hardy Boys was rekindled when we came upon a box of the old books that had been tucked away in the attic for many years. My brother started the collection in the 1950s and I picked it up in the '60s; it is the complete series up to "Mystery of the Whale Tattoo," which was issued about the time I lost interest in the books (probably from my disgust with "The Secret Agent on Flight 101" - even as a kid I could tell that was a stinker!). All editions are whatever was on the market from about 1955 through 1968, including several yellow-spine editions and all original editions from those years. - John Larrabee - Associate Editor, Fine and Popular Arts; Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
I've just gotten started in the Hardy Boys. I may start Nancy Drew too. I just wanted you to know how much I love your website. I could spend hours on it. You are really doing a great service for people like me---those of us discovering these great books and characters and in need of information. - John P. Mitchell
I looked up the Hardy Boys on a search engine and came up with your site. Good idea. I received my dad's copies of his H.B. books when I was a kid and just recently started looking through them again. I stopped collecting after #53 when the stories weren't as good anymore.
Keep up the good work. - Brant Helvenston
I have just finished browsing your absorbing site dedicated to the Hardy Boys. I have been a fan of the Hardy Boys for more than a quarter of a century, having been given my first Hardy Boys book (The Secret of Pirates' Hill) by a family friend for my eighth birthday. Although too young to understand it properly at the time, I read it with relish a couple of years later - and proceeded to read every book in the series that I could get my hands on.
It is to the Hardy Boys that I attribute my life-long love of reading. It was also from this series that I learned to write : I memorized one of the books almost word-perfect in my early teens - which taught me all about writing style. Now, as an English-language tutor, I use these mysteries as textbooks for teaching immigrants the idiom of the English language (as well as giving them something to read that they won't want to put down!).
If the time comes when I am less busy and I get to make a website dedicated to the Hardy Boys, I will link your site to it. It's one of the best I've seen! - David Cannon.
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