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.