Monday, March 21, 2016

Hardy Boys #54 Mysterious Caravan and #55 Witchmaster's Key

In Hardy Boys #54, The Mysterious Caravan, Joe finds an ancient death mask while the boys vacation in Jamaica.  Some unscrupulous treasure hunters learn about the death mask and pursue the boys back to Bayport.  Meanwhile, Fenton Hardy works on a case involving stolen airline tickets.

I am pretty forgiving of the racial stereotypes in the old series books from the early part of the 20th century, since authors didn't know better back then and everyone was racist.  I find stereotypes to be much more disturbing when they appear in books written after 1970.

On page 10, William has a "broad white smile," and on page 154, he has a "white-toothed smile."  Wouldn't "broad smile" have sufficed? 

Joe is chased by the treasure hunters as he tries to get to the police station in Jamaica.  Once he gets into a taxi, he goes to the airport with the death mask.  I couldn't understand why Joe didn't take the taxi to the police station, since that is where he was going.  Instead, he leaves Jamaica with the death mask, and I guess he somehow makes it through customs with the contraband. 

I enjoyed this book from the very beginning.  It really makes a difference when the number of characters and different possible scenarios are kept to a lower number.

A decent explanation is given at the end for the convergence of the two mysteries.  Yes, for once, a Hardy Boys book has two mysteries.  They do converge, but at least a reason is given.

I greatly enjoyed most of the book, and it flows a lot better than the previous book.  I still feel that the story has a few too many characters and is a little confusing.  The book lost me some in the last few chapters, but other than that, I found the book to be very good. 

In Hardy Boys #55, The Witchmaster's Key, Frank and Joe arrive in England to investigate the theft of all the contents of a museum about witchcraft. Wow.  I guess the thieves didn't want to miss out on anything.

I like how the dentist's name is Vincent Burelli.  This book was written by Vincent Buranelli.

On page 55, it is mentioned what a "strange coincidence" it is for two men to have the same name.  No, not really.  Those of us with common names are rather used to that. 

Is it bad that I kept reading Griffinmoor as Gryffindor?

On page 137, the boys buy some toothbrushes and some clothes.  I guess they don't need to shave anymore like they did in The Arctic Patrol Mystery.

This is an excellent book.  None of it drags, and the ending was written well.  I enjoyed all of it.  This book is outstanding like The Mystery of the Spiral Bridge and The Clue of the Screeching Owl.

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