David Grambs - Shastrix Books

David Grambs

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The Short-Wave Mystery

The Short-Wave Mystery

Franklin W Dixon, Leslie McFarlane & David Grambs

27th October 2019

Book 24 and I’m well into the run of the original Hardy Boys novels. I remember this one quite a lot from reading it as a child - or at least the opening chapters.

It’s a good mystery, involving a lot of clues that gradually unwind themselves. But it does almost feel like a marketing tool for radio sets - the Hardys have bought them for their home, car and boat, and use them all the time in this story - although despite that the connection to the plot only becomes clear very late on. I wondered a bit if this is a product of the 1960s/70s rewrite that changed things up a lot in some of the books.

So while the story has dated from the use of technology which no longer is used, the tale remains good - including a bunch of supporting characters who help to flesh things out, and the ever present new hobby for achey Morton. The narrative over uses the word ‘cinch’, which doesn’t feel like a word anyone uses in real life any more, and I wondered if new audiences would enjoy it less than I did.

Finally there almost seem to be hints of subtle feminism making their way into the plot, with Aunt Gertrude seemingly making a bit more of herself than she might first appear.

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Footprints Under the Window

Footprints Under the Window

Franklin W Dixon, Leslie McFarlane & David Grambs

21st December 2014

Hardy Boys book twelve, as updated in 1965, sees the sibling detective teenagers rescue a man who has fallen overboard, and who gives them a cryptic warning about footprints before disappearing. It's a good adventure story that includes some international travel.

Parts of the story feel dated, and to an adult reader a little bit odd - as in one of the earlier stories, references to unfriendly countries are vague and don't feel a natural part of the narrative. On the other hand, they added a little grandeur to the story that some of the earlier books were lacking with an over reliance on a particular type of criminal.

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The Shore Road Mystery

The Shore Road Mystery

Franklin W Dixon, Leslie McFarlane & David Grambs

1st November 2014

The sixth book in the Hardy Boys series, in my case the revised edition from 1964, sees the Hardys investigating a spate of car thefts from along the Shore Road in their hometown. It's the first time I've felt that the pair have really tackled a crime in a methodical manner suited to real detectives.

The plot moves at a good pace, carries humorous moments successfully, and as a mystery works really well. Probably one of the best stories up to this point in the series.

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The Haunted Fort

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  2. The Shore Road Mystery
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  4. The Short-Wave Mystery
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  6. Footprints Under the Window