Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hardy Boys #167 Trouble Times Two, #168 Castle Conundrum, and #169 Ghost of a Chance

In Hardy Boys #167, Trouble Times Two, new student Tom Gilliam is placed in Frank's group in a class at school.  But Tom can't get along with anyone and constantly starts fights.  Later, Frank and Joe suspect that Tom's dad might be involved in Fenton Hardy's latest case.

I was interested in the story at the very beginning.  But then, Joe helps Fenton on a stakeout.  During the stakeout, Joe and Fenton get into a detailed discussion of motives for possible culprits on Fenton's case, and Fenton's case does not sound interesting at all.  I was bored.

Joe acts like a jerk when the teens plan to see a movie.  Callie even calls him out on it.  He smirks.  This part of the book was not enjoyable.

The first half of the book is nothing special and is not very interesting.  Finally, the story goes back to Tom halfway through the book.  At that point, the book gets interesting.   

The first half of the book is mediocre, and the second half is extremely good.

In Hardy Boys #168, The Castle Conundrum, Frank and Joe help Teen Village International rebuild a deserted town in France.  The town will be used to house refugee children.  The boys soon realize that one of the volunteers is trying to sabotage the project, and the saboteur must be stopped before someone gets hurt.

This story introduces too many characters at once, and I had trouble remembering them.

This is an excellent book.  The story flows well and is interesting from start to finish.  The author keeps the reader guessing at who the villain is.  The only drawback is that I struggled to keep the characters straight.

I mentioned this book in my reviews of #96 Wipeout and #119 Trouble at Coyote CanyonAll three books have very similar plot elements and may have been written by the same person.

In Hardy Boys #169, Ghost of a Chance, Frank and Joe are animal handlers on a movie set in Tennessee.  Someone is sabotaging the movie!

This is another "sabotage on a movie set" story.  I was quite bored during the early part of the book.  As with all books that feature a film production, too many characters are introduced too quickly.  I couldn't keep all of them straight. 

I felt like I was reading an alternate version of the Nancy Drew Girl Detective books, Light, Camera... and Action!  Like in the Girl Detective books, there is a hidden treasure in the area, and part of the motive for the sabotage is to keep others from finding the treasure.

This is not a satisfying story.  One culprit of the sabotage is discovered, and that person leaves without speaking to anyone.  Another person is also responsible for some of the sabotage.  Oddly, the treasure is not found nor does anyone search for it. 

I found this book to be just mildly interesting and was left with an empty feeling when I finished it.

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