Title: Mystery of Smugglers CoveMystery of Smugglers Cove
Author: Franklin W. Dixon
Pages: 168
Recommended Ages: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★★

The Hardy Boys return!

The Story.                                                          

The Hardy boys are well known as a detective duo in their hometown of Bayport, so they aren’t surprised when they are called upon to help solve local mysteries. However, they never expected to be pulled into a case in which, not only are they the investigators, but they’re also the chief suspects!

Here’s how it goes – Mr. Raymond Wester, an influential banker, had his secretary,  Mark Morphy, arrange to send an expensive painting to Mr. Wester’s brother in Key Blanco, Florida. However, the brother claims he never received it – the painting must have been stolen by the couriers Morphy hired to travel with the painting. But the photo Morphy supplies of the couriers turns out to be a picture of the Hardy boys!

The Hardy boys know that the only way to restore their good reputation is by finding the painting – a quest that will land them in a cove inhabited by unsavory smugglers, deadly poachers, and jaw-snapping alligators! Will the Hardy Boys make it out alive?

Discussion.

The Hardy boys are young men of strong moral character. Their every instinct is alert to detect and apprehend those who perpetuate criminal activities. They conduct themselves uprightly and are never fazed by the threat of personal danger. That said, their characters are not at all developed, as is typical of children’s detective series.

The story itself was fine – stereotypical, but fine. However, I was a bit disappointed by a few misrepresentations that occurred in the story. The first occurred when the Hardy boys were on a boat just off the coast of Florida, and the weather became fussy. This storm was instantly labeled a “tropical storm”. But the term ‘tropical storm’ is not a term to be applied to any storm that develops in a tropical area – it has to meet certain requirements of wind speed and force. Also, when real tropical storms begin to form, they’re called tropical depressions until they develop into a full blown tropical storm (which may then turn into a hurricane).

The second was the portrayal of alligators as monsters who try to eat anything that move. Now, while it is true that alligators can be ferocious and have attacked people, this rarely occurs unless the person is threatening the gator. The alligators are depicted as coming up out of the water to attack humans in several different scenes, but the truth is that alligators rarely behave this way.

But maybe it’s just my Louisianan heritage that is irritated by these things. : )

One of the Hardy’s friends lies to the bad guys in order to protect himself.

The Hardy boys meet a man who believes he can create gold through alchemy. His illusions are quickly disproved.

Conclusion. Fun, adventurey stuff.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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