Friday, February 26, 2016

Hardy Boys #40 Desert Giant and #41 Screeching Owl

In Hardy Boys #40, Mystery of the Desert Giant, Frank and Joe are tasked with finding a missing man, Willard Grafton, who disappeared after flying with another man to Blythe, California.  The boys are followed and threatened by a gang as they journey through Arizona, California, and Mexico in search of Grafton.

On page 170, Fenton Hardy comes to a stunning realization.
"Then there's no doubt about it," Fenton Hardy concluded with a little smile.  "You three boys and I have been working on the same case from different angles!"
This happens in every single book!

I greatly enjoyed this book.

In Hardy Boys #41, The Clue of the Screeching Owl, Frank, Joe, and Chet travel to Black Hollow to search for Captain Maguire, who has disappeared.  Black Hollow is said to be haunted by a witch who died 200 years ago.  Dogs keep disappearing from the area, and a horrible screeching sound is heard at night.  Residents are quite frightened.

On pages 8 and 9, a mother drags a crying boy from the woods.  Chet immediately offers the boy a candy bar.  This struck me funny, kind of like the time when Bess Marvin pulls a box of crackers and a candy bar out of her purse in the Nancy Drew book, The Spider Sapphire Mystery.

When I read early in this book that dogs are disappearing from around Black Hollow, I immediately thought of the Secret Circle book, The Mystery of the Disappearing Dogs, in which dogs are stolen for medical experiments.  I thought it was interesting on page 60 when one of the suspects states that there is "a big illegal market on dogs for medical experimentation" as a possible reason for the missing dogs.  If I had not already read the Secret Circle book, I would not have thought of that possibility before it was mentioned in this book.

This book is written well with vivid imagery.  The description of Black Hollow is outstanding.  Parts of the book are set during storms, and the description of the thunder, lightning, and rain adds to the setting.  It's not necessary for an author to rely on warning notes, phoned threats, and constant attacks to advance the plot.  This author did it right.

This is an excellent book from start to finish.  It's the very best Hardy Boys book I've read in awhile.  I greatly enjoyed it.

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