22nd December 2020
The forty-second Hardy Boys novel sees the boys and their ever-present ally Chet Morton visit Canada on the trail of some thieves of an ancient Viking treasure.
This felt like one of those where no real detective work goes on, and every part relies on ineptitude of the baddies or lucky coincidence. Reading as an adult there are elements that are clearly unrealistic and wouldn’t happen. In one case I’m fairly sure the boys breach all sorts of immigration laws.
As I’ve come to expect, the text is quite dated. The French-speaking Canadian character’s terrible English felt unrealistically patronising, and his repeated catchphrase made it feel like the author was taking the mickey. There are effectively zero female characters contributing to the plot, and there are continued references to a proper noun containing the word “slave” that I’m shocked to find is a real place and still hasn’t had its name changed.
I read this as a child and had no memory of the plot, and I agree this time that it’s not one of the best in the series.