Franklin W Dixon - Shastrix Books

Franklin W Dixon

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The Crimson Flame

The Crimson Flame

Franklin W Dixon

7th May 2022

A pretty standard early 1980s adventure for the Hardy Boys, as they are hired to protect a valuable ruby from potential thieves.

The mystery is pretty straightforward, but the adventure is quite fun.

This falls into the category in which the brothers go travelling a lot, including to another country. As an adult reading, I found it disappointing that more effort wasn’t spent exploring the culture of their destination, and spending some time actually educating the reader about what it’s like there.

Once again, there are almost no appearances by female characters in the entire book. I’m really fascinated to find out when this changes.

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Game Plan For Disaster

Game Plan For Disaster

Franklin W Dixon

5th April 2022

Taking a week off school because of a teachers’ convention, the Hardy brothers go to college to act as private security for a famous local American football player in the lead up to a big match.

It’s action packed and feels a bit more modern than many of the books, though this may be because it is, given I’m reading in chronological order.

The mystery however is overly complex and there are a number of conflicting plot lines that mix around and rather than having just been red herrings, leave it unclear at the conclusion exactly what was really going on in all of them.

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Trapped at Sea

Trapped at Sea

Franklin W Dixon

29th December 2021

This is a badly titled Hardy Boys book in which they spend barely any time trapped at sea. Instead they’re on the trace of some transport hijackers.

I thought after a recent entry in the series that we might have reached peak plot, but no, this one really jumps the shark with villains who actually want to take over the world.

Other than the ludicrous setup and the usual amounts of 80s-style racism, it’s quite a good and fairly typical novel, chasing criminals around.

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The Tic-Tac Terror

The Tic-Tac Terror

Franklin W Dixon

29th December 2021

Disappointingly not about the mint, but the game which we call Noughts and Crosses where I’m from.

The Hardy brothers and family are thrust into yet another adventure when a missing person is reported, and mystery communications are received.

It’s quite explosive, only a touch dated, and filled with a lot of trips to New York, which seems much closer than it was in earlier books in the series.

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The Billion Dollar Ransom

The Billion Dollar Ransom

Franklin W Dixon

19th December 2021

A Hardy Boys book that really kicks things onto a new level, this entry in the series really showcases the difference in scale that’s been achieved by the 1980s, and almost feels like a prototype of the Casefiles spin-off series.

In some respects it’s quite different from what’s come before. For the first time I think we have a scene where neither Hardy brother is present, and nor their friends. And yet the familiar places and people are around too.

A good, complex story, with lots to work out as the plot develops. Probably a little bit too bold in retrospect, and I imagine probably not something that’ll be repeated for a while.

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The Voodoo Plot

The Voodoo Plot

Franklin W Dixon

31st October 2021

Book 72 sees the Hardy brothers take on a case for their black friend, who presumably has never been mentioned until now because the series had a poor record for racism so far.

And indeed that record for being racist continues in this novel, as the brothers visit New Orleans with their friend Chet (who the narrative also treats poorly) and make ill educated comments about the people who live and work there.

Otherwise, an almost entirely forgettable entry in the series.

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Track of the Zombie

Track of the Zombie

Franklin W Dixon

5th October 2021

In one of their least memorable adventures, the Hardy brothers head off on holiday to investigate several mysteries, including the titular zombie, who is a local legend where they are staying.

It’s definitely a book of its time - the early 1980s - with crimes and settings to match, which are likely less common appearances today. However in other ways this book feels more modern - the language, the behaviours of the characters, and the avoidance of the most obviously offensive stereotypes.

As with the novels just before in the series, it makes more references to other novels in the series than previously. This feels like it ties in with the increased publishing frequency of the time, and a rather obvious marketing tactic within the narrative.

As i say, a fairly forgettable story and one that I wouldn’t place near the top of any list.

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Other reviewed books

The Infinity Clue
The Four-Headed Dragon
The Submarine Caper
The Outlaw's Silver
The Vanishing Thieves
The Stone Idol
The Mystery of Smugglers Cove
The Mummy Case
The Apeman's Secret
The Pentagon Spy
The Mystery of the Samurai Sword
Night of the Werewolf
The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook
The Sting of the Scorpion
The Firebird Rocket
The Jungle Pyramid
The Witchmaster's Key
The Mysterious Caravan
The Clue of the Hissing Serpent
The Shattered Helmet
The Masked Monkey
Danger on Vampire Trail
The Bombay Boomerang
The Arctic Patrol Mystery
The Mystery of the Whale Tattoo
The Secret Agent on Flight 101
The Mystery of the Spiral Bridge
The Haunted Fort
The Mystery of the Aztec Warrior
The Viking Symbol Mystery
The Clue of the Screeching Owl
The Mystery of the Desert Giant
The Mystery of the Chinese Junk
The Mystery at Devil's Paw
The Ghost at Skeleton Rock
The Secret of Pirates' Hill
The Clue in the Embers
The Hooded Hawk Mystery
The Yellow Feather Mystery
The Crisscross Shadow
The Secret of Wildcat Swamp
The Wailing Siren Mystery
The Secret of the Lost Tunnel
The Sign of the Crooked Arrow
The Secret of Skull Mountain
The Phantom Freighter
The Secret Panel
The Short-Wave Mystery
The Mystery of the Melted Coins
The Flickering Torch Mystery
The Clue of the Broken Blade
The Mystery of the Flying Express
The Disappearing Floor
The Twisted Claw
The Secret Warning
A Figure in Hiding
The Sinister Signpost
The Hidden Harbour Mystery
The Mark on the Door
Footprints Under the Window
While the Clock Ticked
What Happened At Midnight
The Great Airport Mystery
The Mystery of Cabin Island
The Secret of the Caves
The Shore Road Mystery
Hunting for Hidden Gold
The Missing Chums
The Secret of the Old Mill
The House on the Cliff
The Tower Treasure

Unreviewed books

A Game Called Chaos
A Killing in the Market
A Will to Survive
Acting Up
Against All Odds
Attack of the Video Villains
Bad Chemistry
Bad Rap
Beyond the Law
Blood Money
Blood Relations
Blood Sport
Blown Away
Breakdown in Axeblade
Brother Against Brother
Campaign of Crime
Carnival of Crime
Cast of Criminals
Castle Fear
Cave Trap
Cave-in
Choke Hold
Clean Sweep
Cliffhanger
Cold Sweat
Collision Course
Competitive Edge
Countdown to Terror
Crime in the Cards
Crime in the Kennel
Cross Country Crime
Crusade of the Flaming Sword
Cult of Crime
Danger in the Extreme
Danger in the Fourth Dimension
Danger on the Air
Danger on the Diamond
Danger Unlimited
Danger Zone
Daredevils
Darkness Falls
Day of the Dinosaur
Dead in the Water
Dead Man in Deadwood
Dead of Night
Dead on Target
Deadfall
Deadly Engagement
Deathgame
Deep Trouble
Diplomatic Deceit
Dirty Deeds
Disaster for Hire
Double Exposure
Double Jeopardy
Dungeon of Doom
Edge of Destruction
Endangered Species
Evil Incorporated
Eye on Crime
False Alarm
Farming Fear
Fast Break
Fear on Wheels
Final Cut
Final Gambit
Fire in the Sky
Flesh and Blood
Flight into Danger
Foul Play
Frame Up
Fright Wave
Ghost of a Chance
Grave Danger
Height of Danger
Hidden Mountain
Hide and Sneak
High Wire Act
High-Speed Showdown
Highway Robbery
Hostages of Hate
Illegal Procedure
In Plane Sight
In Self-Defense
Inferno of Fear
Kickoff to Danger
Law of the Jungle
Lethal Cargo
Line of Fire
Lost in Gator Swamp
Martial Law
Maximum Challenge
Mayhem in Motion
Mission: Mayhem
Moment of Truth
Motocross Madness
Murder at the Mall
Murder By Magic
Mystery on Makatunk Island
Mystery With a Dangerous Beat
Nightmare in Angel City
No Mercy
No Way Out
No Way Out
Nowhere To Run
One False Step
Open Season
Panic on Gull Island
Passport to Danger
Past and Present Danger
Peak of Danger
Perfect Getaway
Poisoned Paradise
Power Play
Programme for Destruction
Pure Evil
Racing to Disaster
Radical Moves
Real Horror
Reel Thrills
Revenge of the Desert Phantom
Rigged for Revenge
Road Pirates
Rock 'n' Revenge
Rock 'n' Roll Renegades
Rough Riding
Running on Empty
Sabotage at Sea
Sabotage at Sports City
Scene of the Crime
Screamers
See No Evil
Sheer Terror
Shield of Fear
Sidetracked to Danger
Skin and Bones
Sky High
Sky Sabotage
Slam Dunk Sabotage
Spark of Suspicion
Speed Times Five
Spiked!
Strategic Moves
Street Spies
Stress Point
Survival of the Fittest
Survival Run
Tagged for Terror
Terminal Shock
Terror at High Tide
Terror on Track
The Alaskan Adventure
The Baseball Card Conspiracy
The Blackwing Puzzle
The Borderline Case
The Borgia Dagger
The Caribbean Cruise Caper
The Case of the Cosmic Kidnapping
The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals
The Case of the Psychic's Vision
The Castle Conundrum
The Chase for the Mystery Twister
The Cold Cash Caper
The Crisscross Crime
The Crowning Terror
The Dangerous Transmission
The Dead Season
The Deadliest Dare
The Demolition Mission
The Desert Thieves
The Emperor's Shield
The End of the Trail
The Genius Thieves
The Giant Rat of Sumatra
The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew meet Dracula and other stories
The Hunt for the Four Brothers
The Hypersonic Secret
The Ice Cold Case
The Last Laugh
The Last Leap
The Lazarus Plot
The London Deception
The Lure of the Italian Treasure
The Mark of the Blue Tattoo
The Million-Dollar Nightmare
The Money Hunt
The Mystery in the Old Mine
The Mystery of the Black Rhino
The Mystery of the Silver Star
The Number File
The Pacific Conspiracy
The Phoenix Equation
The Prime Time Crime
The Roaring River Mystery
The Robot's Revenge
The Rocky Road to Revenge
The Search for the Snow Leopard
The Secret of Sigma Seven
The Secret of Skeleton Reef
The Secret of the Island Treasure
The Secret of the Soldier's Gold
The Serpent's Tooth Mystery
The Shadow Killers
The Sky Blue Frame
The Skyfire Puzzle
The Smoke Screen Mystery
The Spy That Never Lies
The Swamp Monster
The Test Case
The Treasure at Dolphin Bay
The Viking's Revenge
Thick as Thieves
Three Ring Terror
Too Many Traitors
Toxic Revenge
Training for Trouble
Trial and Terror
Trick or Trouble
Tricks of the Trade
Tricky Business
Trouble at Coyote Canyon
Trouble in the Pipeline
Trouble in Warp Space
Trouble Times Two
True Thriller
Typhoon Island
Uncivil War
Virtual Villainy
Warehouse Rumble
Web of Horror
Winner Take All
Wipeout
Without a Trace
Witness to Murder
Wreck and Roll
Wrong Side of the Law

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