Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hardy Boys #71 Track of the Zombie, #72 Voodoo Plot, and #73 Billion Dollar Ransom

In Hardy Boys #71, Track of the Zombie, Frank and Joe look for an arsonist in Vermont.  The trouble is that the arsonist appears to be a zombie!

Part of the story is set at the circus.  The next paragraph contains a spoiler, so don't read the next paragraph if you don't want to know.

Spoiler coming... In series books, the ringmaster is always one of the villains, even when he seems innocent.  I expected the ringmaster to be one of the villains, and I was right!  This is always what happens. However, the ringmaster is not the only villain.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

In Hardy Boys #72, The Voodoo Plot, Peter Walker is worried about his grandfather, who has been threatened by a voodoo gang in New Orleans.  Meanwhile, Fenton Hardy works on a case involving a series of gallery robberies.  The clues lead to a crazy rattlesnake enthusiast in Georgia and later to New Orleans where the two cases converge.  Don't they always?

Frank and Joe are hired to prevent a gallery from being robbed.  The boys check to see that just one alley leads to the back of the store and assume that the thieves will use a vehicle.  Therefore, both boys stay in the front to watch and even spend their time studying.  I was not surprised when someone on foot robs the gallery.  How dumb for both boys to stay in the front!

This book is full of ominous handwritten messages.  One message is fake, and that one causes the boys to be stranded in the swamp all night.  Later, two different people friendly with the boys leave messages that are a bit strange and in my opinion seem fake.  I was shocked that in these cases that the messages are actually real! 

The criminals use strange methods to get information to each other.  One of them sings a song in a club and changes the words to give a specific location.  Why not send a handwritten message?  That's what everyone else does in this story.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

In Hardy Boys #73, The Billion Dollar Ransom, Fenton Hardy has a top-secret case that he keeps from the boys.  Meanwhile, the boys are hired to keep watch over a contest for magicians and over the Bayport Opera House, both of which are being sabotaged.  Naturally, all three cases are connected!

There were parts that I only mildly enjoyed because the story reads like a typical sabotage book set in a theater where one magician is sabotaging the contest.  I have read variations of that same story quite a few times in the Nancy Drew series.

The next paragraph contains a hint to a major spoiler, so skip it if you don't want to guess part of the plot.

Later in the story when the true plot is revealed, I found it hard to believe that the Secret Service would allow the possibility of a kidnapping to occur. 

While hard to believe, this is a very suspenseful book, and I enjoyed it.  I would have enjoyed the story more if I had found it easier to believe.

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