Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hardy Boys #36 Pirates' Hill and #37 Skeleton Rock

In the original text of Hardy Boys #36, The Secret of Pirates' Hill, Clyde Bowden hires the boys to search for an old Spanish cannon that is located somewhere in the area of Bayport.  Soon, the boys realize that at least three other people are searching for the same cannon and must endure constant threats and attacks from all these different people.

On page 14, Frank tells Bowden that they don't take money for their cases and have never earned anything for solving a case.  Oh, really?  What about all those early books when the boys rake in tons of money for each case?

With four different people trying to find the cannon, the reader has no idea who is telling the truth and who is a villain.  This does make the book more suspenseful, but I also found all the multiple possible villains to be quite annoying.

For the entire book, the villains set out to steal the cutlasses, and the Hardy boys seem not to care why.  It is not until page 172 that Frank and Joe finally consider examining the one cutlass they have in their possession.  Of course, they immediately discover a clue that they should have found much earlier in the story, if they had only been curious about the cutlasses.  If a bunch of people want the cutlasses, they must be important!

I also couldn't understand why the boys thought that the stock Bowden sold had to be legitimate just because he was selling stock in a known company.  It's not until page 194 that the boys finally consider that the stock could be counterfeit!

The Hardy boys are not on top of their game in this story.  I did not find this one to be that compelling.  It's okay but nothing special.

In the original text of Hardy Boys #37, The Ghost at Skeleton Rock, Chet's interest in purchasing a dummy for his ventriloquism act plunges the Hardy boys into their latest mystery.  Several men want Chet's dummy, and the boys must find out why.  The case eventually brings the boys to Puerto Rico, where they face deadly foes.

This story starts out quite well and maintained my interest, despite unbelievable coincidences.  Unfortunately, once the boys reach Puerto Rico, the book began to bore me.

I feel like the final scene at Skeleton Island should have been longer.  While I do appreciate that the ending of this book is not excessively long and boring like some other books, the suspenseful part of the ending is way too short.  A little less chasing around of villains and a little more excitement on Skeleton Island would have been nice.

The cover art depiction of Skeleton Island makes the island not that noticeable.  The plane is the focus and all that a casual observer will notice.  The reason I know that a casual observer will miss the island is because for a long time I didn't realize that Skeleton Island was pictured.  All I saw was the plane.  The revised cover art depicts the plane as smaller which does help.

This book is okay and nothing that great.

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