The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers series is a modern interpretation of the Hardy Boys series. Frank and Joe take turns narrating the story in first person, and they speak in an informal fashion. Aunt Gertrude is now Aunt Trudy. Fenton Hardy is a retired police officer who founded the organization ATAC, American Teens Against Crime. Laura Hardy is a librarian. Frank and Joe work undercover for ATAC.
Brian Conrad is a bully who does not like Frank and Joe. Brian's sister Belinda likes Frank, but he is nervous around girls. Joe loves girls and knows he is very attractive and irresistible. He can't understand why all the girls like Frank instead. This is a running gag throughout the series.
Each book begins in the middle of an action scene in which Frank and Joe are wrapping up an ATAC case and are nearly killed. While these scenes are typically interesting, they annoy me since they have nothing to do with the rest of the book. I want to get into the story that I am about to read.
I began reading this book in this series immediately after
finishing #190 in the Digest series. As I experienced with the Nancy Drew Girl Detective series, it was hard at
first getting used to the different tone. I had the
same thoughts I had when I began the first Girl Detective book, feeling that the experience was jarring. This book has lots of humor, and I was thoroughly engaged once I read the first few chapters.
On page 23, an ATAC agent throws a brick through the Hardys' window in order to give them their next mission. This method of delivery seems a bit dangerous to me.
Even though this story is typical sabotage, the text is written in such an interesting fashion that I really enjoyed the story.
I found the narration shift between Frank and Joe to be distracting in this book.
This book is weak. The true motive of the wacky environmentalist Stench is surprising, but it is also not logical at all.
In Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers #3, Boardwalk Bust, Frank and Joe investigate a series of jewelry store heists in Ocean Point, New Jersey.
The change in narration doesn't bother me much in this book.
Some plot twists are interesting and funny, like jewelry found on the beach.
This is an excellent book, with the following caveat that I hope readers will keep in mind as my reviews are published. If I report that an Undercover Brothers book is excellent, then it is understood that the book is excellent for those who can appreciate and enjoy the first person narrative and informal tone of the Undercover Brothers series. I can, so this book is excellent to me. Some readers will hate all of these books no matter what.