Shastrix Books

Recently reviewed

Wipeout

Wipeout

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

The Hardy brothers head to the south of France (where it seems everybody speaks English in 1989) to help an old friend who is entering a windsurfing competition.

It’s quite in the style of a classic whodunnit, with a house full of guests, lots of suspects, and lots of motives. The boys even go a bit Poirot setting up schemes to help unmask the villain.

Not a bad adventure at all.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
Danger on the Air

Danger on the Air

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

The Hardy brothers take part in an explosive TV show in their 95th adventure.

The series feels like it’s back on an educational journey in the late 80s, with plots seemed designed to teach readers, in his case about how TV is made and the various technologies involved.

The plot is complex, with a good range of characters, suspects, and motives, but I’m not sure is given quite enough information up front to make it meet the true criteria of a mystery story.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
Breakdown in Axeblade

Breakdown in Axeblade

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

The Hardy brothers head off to Wyoming in their van, which promptly breaks down, abandoning them in the weird town of Axeblade.

The novel feels weirdly like a proto-Lee Child/Jack Reacher thriller, as the boys meet the locals who are varying levels of unfriendly, and work out the mystery of the town.

It’s an odd entry in the series, but not terrible.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
The Serpent's Tooth Mystery

The Serpent's Tooth Mystery

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

The Hardy Boys are drawn into another case when their friend Phil is accused of snake theft.

It’s an interesting setup that provides a bunch of interesting snake information, but the investigation is a bit simplistic and chaotic.

I’m not much liking the trend in these late 80s novels of aggression against the boys and their friends, nor that Chief Collig seems to have changed his attitude towards the boys with the introduction of Con Riley as the sympathetic cop.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
The Shadow Killers

The Shadow Killers

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

When Frank’s karate instructor is attacked, he and Joe start an investigation which puts themselves against one of the world’s biggest criminal operations.

The plot in some respects is unrealistically big for the two brothers, and that made it feel unlikely.

There’s a good set of guest characters though, including a teenage girl who is possibly the most authentic female character to have appeared in the 92 novels so far. But this does feel like it’s at the expense of Chet, who in recent novels seems to have been sidelined and has lost both his place as comic entertainment and as useful hobbyist.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
Shield of Fear

Shield of Fear

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

The Hardy brothers become police cadets in this investigation into why another cadet is being bullied.

It’s an interesting entry in the series. Seems a little more mundane than those immediately preceding it, more like some of the older novels. Nothing special about it though really.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty Star
Danger on the Diamond

Danger on the Diamond

Franklin W Dixon

12th August 2022

The Hardy Boys face their 90th mystery when spending their summer at a baseball camp where things are going wrong. I vaguely remember reading this one, I think from the local library, as a child.

The mystery is a bit dull, but the action has been turned up to eleven with fights and car chases and all sorts of danger all around.

The characterisation of some of the boys friends seems a bit off though. Biff Hooper seems to have turned really aggressive with no real reason, which was a bit of a turn off after so many years of all the kids being perfect.

read more

Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Show more

Reading now

The Apollo Murders

Reading soon

  1. The Weird Accordion to Al