Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Review of "Hardy Boys: The Wailing Siren Mystery," by Franklin W. Dixon

Review of

Hardy Boys: The Wailing Siren Mystery, by Franklin W. Dixon

Four out of five stars

 Published in 1951, this Hardy Boys story is of the second generation of the series, using the somewhat arbitrary number of 25 as constituting a generation. This book is number 30 in the series. It features a helicopter and involves a plot to run arms and equipment to Central American nations. It opens with the boys coincidentally observing a drop from a helicopter to a yacht stationed in Barmet Bay.

 The action is typical of the earlier books in the series. There is the mandatory being knocked out via a blow to the head as well as threats being made against the Hardy family. Aunt Gertrude is featured, and she is her usual well-meaning, yet annoying personality. Her dialog is generally the most predictable and uninteresting of all the characters in the series. However, in an amusing twist, she proves her worth by giving a prowler a good whack with a hickory stick in helping to subdue him.

 As a devout reader of the Hardy Boys books when I was young, this book was an interesting look back at what adolescent male fiction was like in the fifties. The good guys always prevailed, no one, not even the villains ever got seriously hurt and girls were rarely given serious roles. The changes in the Hardy Boys books over time are a good way to understand how country changed during those years.

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