Franklin W Dixon - Shastrix Books

Franklin W Dixon

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The Demolition Mission

The Demolition Mission

Franklin W Dixon

31st December 2023

The Hardys head to the racetrack to take on a case their father is too busy for, and naturally bring Chet along for the ride.

This is noticeable for the danger in the story, which feels higher than in some, with a lot of ways that the characters could die or sustain serious injury.

However it does manage to provide more female characters than I’m used to from the series, featuring a bigger role for Callie, and a guest character who is a racing driver. Not up to modern levels or passing any sort of test, but a noticeable step forward.

The plot is solid if a bit convoluted, with a lot going on, and the technology feels a lot more modern.

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Three Ring Terror

Three Ring Terror

Franklin W Dixon

31st December 2023

In book 111 the Hardy brothers and Chet are off to join the circus, Chet as his hobby of the week, and the Hardys to investigate a mystery.

It’s a good investigation with a range of characters, but as a mystery story I think fails a bit in that the clues aren’t solvable by the reader until exactly the same moment they are to the characters.

it’s a good character piece though, and plays up the differences between Frank and Joe that sometimes get overlooked, and makes good use of Chet to add to the plot and to add some comedy, without him being made fun of or letting the side down.

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The Secret of Sigma Seven

The Secret of Sigma Seven

Franklin W Dixon

18th November 2023

In their 110th adventure the Hardy Boys head along to the local science fiction convention only to find that the main attraction has been stolen, and they need to investigate.

It feels kind of nice that the authors of the paste eighties and early nineties tried to adopt more of popular culture into the settings of these novels. This feels very relatable.

But the cast of guest characters still feels like a mass of tropes and some more diversity wouldn’t do any harm. There is one female character in the whole book, and while she has a position of authority on paper, she’s shown as fairly powerless in reality.

The mystery is okay as a plot, but not really one with many clues, it’s mostly about accidental coincidence leading to the reveal more than anything cleverer. So pretty average overall.

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The Prime Time Crime

The Prime Time Crime

Franklin W Dixon

9th September 2023

Hardy Boys 109 sees the brothers back at the local TV studio as Frank takes part in a local inter-school quiz show. Until of course the host doesn’t show up, and the brothers enter detective mode.

It’s a nicely different pace, with some guest characters that shake things up, and although they are frustrating in places to read about, they do add a unique comedic edge to proceedings.

A good entry in the series for this era, which I found flowed quite smoothly.

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Fear on Wheels

Fear on Wheels

Franklin W Dixon

5th August 2023

For their 108th mystery, the Hardy Boys find themselves working undercover at the local hot-rod show, as monster trucks fly around them.

As a mystery, it’s a good one with an interesting and dangerous setting, and a wide variety of characters to suspect and investigate. There’s a lot going on.

This one lacks all but one of the clichés of the series in this era, and that one that remains feels unfortunate because it just feels like picking on someone. I’m torn between whether a lack of recurring stuff makes this a better book, or is disappointing.

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Panic on Gull Island

Panic on Gull Island

Franklin W Dixon

6th May 2023

The Hardys and Chet barely break a sweat when their friend/girlfriend/sister Iola is kidnapped in Florida. This is probably the most glaring plot hole in this novel, in which the only people to go looking for a missing teenager are three other teenagers, with all their parents just carrying on with their lives.

Beyond that, it’s the usual tale of near-misses, breaking and entering to look for clues, and eventually finding the coincidences that tie everything together. Pretty standard on that front from this era of Hardy Boys books.

Reasonably well paced though and with a good variety of characters and clues, and although Iola isn’t visible, she clearly has some level of agency throughout which is more than sometimes (although that hardly makes up for the incredibly low amount for any other female character).

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Attack of the Video Villains

Attack of the Video Villains

Franklin W Dixon

31st December 2022

The Hardys and Chet spend book 106 in New York, where Joe is playing in an early esports championship - until someone starts stealing all the game cartridges.

It’s actually a delightfully retro story in retrospect, inspiring nostalgia for the early 90s, but at the time would have been the height of modernity.

The story suffers from reverting to some older tropes though - I don’t think there was a single female character in the entire book.

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Other reviewed books

The Smoke Screen Mystery
Tricks of the Trade
The Million-Dollar Nightmare
Terminal Shock
The Money Hunt
The Secret of the Island Treasure
Dungeon of Doom
Spark of Suspicion
Cast of Criminals
Wipeout
Danger on the Air
Breakdown in Axeblade
The Serpent's Tooth Mystery
The Shadow Killers
Shield of Fear
Danger on the Diamond
The Sky Blue Frame
Tricky Business
Programme for Destruction
The Mystery of the Silver Star
The Skyfire Puzzle
Revenge of the Desert Phantom
The Swamp Monster
The Blackwing Puzzle
The Demon's Den
The Roaring River Mystery
Sky Sabotage
Cave-in
The Crimson Flame
Game Plan For Disaster
Trapped at Sea
The Tic-Tac Terror
The Billion Dollar Ransom
The Voodoo Plot
Track of the Zombie
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
Absolute Zero
Acting Up
Against All Odds
Bad Chemistry
Bad Rap
Beyond the Law
Blood Money
Blood Relations
Blood Sport
Blown Away
Brother Against Brother
Campaign of Crime
Carnival of Crime
Castle Fear
Cave Trap
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 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
Edge of Destruction
Endangered Species
Evil Incorporated
Eye on Crime
False Alarm
Farming Fear
Fast Break
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
Passport to Danger
Past and Present Danger
Peak of Danger
Perfect Getaway
Poisoned Paradise
Power Play
Pure Evil
Racing to Disaster
Radical Moves
Real Horror
Reel Thrills
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
Shock Jock
Sidetracked to Danger
Skin and Bones
Sky High
Slam Dunk Sabotage
Speed Times Five
Spiked!
Strategic Moves
Street Spies
Stress Point
Survival of the Fittest
Survival Run
Tagged for Terror
Terror at High Tide
Terror on Track
The Alaskan Adventure
The Baseball Card Conspiracy
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 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 Mystery in the Old Mine
The Mystery of the Black Rhino
The Number File
The Pacific Conspiracy
The Phoenix Equation
The Robot's Revenge
The Rocky Road to Revenge
The Search for the Snow Leopard
The Secret of Skeleton Reef
The Secret of the Soldier's Gold
The Spy That Never Lies
The Test Case
The Treasure at Dolphin Bay
The Viking's Revenge
Thick as Thieves
Too Many Traitors
Toxic Revenge
Training for Trouble
Trial and Terror
Trick or Trouble
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
Without a Trace
Witness to Murder
Wreck and Roll
Wrong Side of the Law

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