Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hardy Boys #119 Coyote Canyon, #120 Cosmic Kidnapping, and #121 Old Mine

In Hardy Boys #119, Trouble at Coyote Canyon, Mike Preston asks Frank and Joe to find out who is sabotaging his business, Teen Trails West, which takes teens on a horseback ride through the Colorado mountains. 

The beginning of this story mentions Doug Newman of Hardy Boys #96 Wipeout.  Doug recommended the Hardys to Mike Preston.  I've noticed that when a certain past book is mentioned that it usually means that the same author wrote both stories. 

I very quickly noticed that this story has a similar plot to both #96 Wipeout and #168 The Castle Conundrum.  All three stories feature a group of teenagers who are either in a competition or are partaking in an event together.  All three books feature more than one villain, and each villain is working alone for their own purposes with no connection to the other villain or villains.  This book has a hidden tape recorder being used to scare others, which also occurred in The Castle ConundrumAs previously mentioned, Wipeout and The Castle Conundrum share specific plot elements. 

So, all three books have more than one saboteur with different motives.  In all three books, it is hard to keep the young people apart from each other in my mind.  In all three books, the characters are introduced very rapidly, and I had keep flipping back to the beginning so that I could remember them.

Despite that flaw, this is an excellent book.

In Hardy Boys #120, The Case of the Cosmic Kidnapping, Chet works as a cook at a burger joint that is losing money.  One night, the owner, Fred Hawkins, is abducted by a UFO in the parking lot outside of his business.  Frank and Joe witness the event.  The boys don't believe that an actual UFO was involved and wonder if Hawkins disappeared on purpose since he owes a large amount of money.

I tend to find UFO books interesting, since they are always hoaxes, and I am always curious to find out how it was done.  That is, UFO books are almost always hoaxes, since that is not the case in Nancy Drew #58, The Flying Saucer Mystery.

This book is thoroughly engaging from start to finish.  It is excellent.

In  Hardy Boys #121, The Mystery in the Old Mine, the Hardys' friend, Garth Trimmer, has been warned that his sister has been kidnapped.  Frank and Joe travel to Ridge City, Pennsylvania, to search for her.  Ridge City is a dying town due to the dangerous fumes from the mine fires.  The boys soon learn that Garth's sister and the mayor have a difference of opinion about what is best for the town.

It's interesting that just a few days before reading this book I read about Centralia, Pennsylvania, a town that has been condemned because of the mine fires. I recall actually thinking that Centralia would make a great setting for a series book.  I had no idea I was about to read one.

This is a very good book with no boring parts.

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