Those purveyors of justice, Joe and Frank Hardy are at it again!
Joe and Frank Hardy are all set for their (free!) vacation in Spain. It’s just what they need – a little bit of time to relax, tan, and forget that they were ever interested in solving crimes. Uh huh.
But then their tour guide is found murdered in his hotel room, and Frank and Joe are accused of the crime! With scant trust in the Spanish police, Frank and Joe prefer to lay low from the law while they sort out the circumstantial evidence and discover exactly why their guide was killed.
But staying out of sight won’t be so easy. It seems that without their knowledge, Frank and Joe were being used by The Network, a spy ring they previously worked for, to carry information to a contact in Spain. The Hardys must not only prove their innocence of murder, but also keep from being murdered themselves…
What a to-do!
First off, can I say how ECSTATICALLY DELIGHTED I AM that someone finally outpunched the Hardy Boys? I mean, it only took like thirteen thousand pages for it to happen. XD
Second off, as I said in my review of The Crowning Terror, the Hardy Boys Casefiles have a more postmodern feel to them as opposed to the quaint, old-fashioned charm of the original Hardy Boys. The tone is slightly darker, and the boys themselves feel more disillusioned with life. The stories are still edge-of-your-seat interesting, but they are (in my arrogant opinion) inferior to the original stories.
Joe Hardy, in his girlfriend-less state, finds himself admiring the appearance of sundry females. Also, when on the plane headed to Spain, Joe says,
“Boy, I hope the Spanish beaches live up to their reputation.” He closed his eyes and imagined the girls. [pg. 3]
Such an attractive sentiment. #smellthesarcasm As it turns out, the Hardys are so busy that they only have time to pay attention to one girl, Elena, who helps them solve the case. She, in fact, was a very funny character. I loved these two occasions when Joe compliments her first for her driving skills, and then for starting a car without the keys.
“The little red car screamed across the lanes and smashed into a storefront, scattering fruit and vegetables all over the street. As the Audi pulled to a stop behind it, Joe looked at Elena admiringly. “Where’d you learn to drive like that?” he asked.
“American television,” she replied. [pgs. 72-73]
:) I think you’ll be able to anticipate the answer to Joe’s next question.
In seconds Joe unlocked the doors and they slid in, Elena taking the wheel. She put a key in the ignition and turned it.
The ignition wouldn’t budge.
She tried another key, frantically watching in the mirror as the policeman began a car-by-car search for her. “It will not work,” she said, trying another and another. Finally, she tossed the ring in Joe’s lap, reached under the dashboard, and brought out two wires. She touched them together. The car started.
“Where’d you learn to do that?” Joe asked, as the car pulled onto the street. Ahead, Frank stood in the road, waving at them.
“American television,” she replied. [pg. 133]
If only American television were really that educational! : P
I love this after Frank has just been poisoned.
“He’s not breathing,” Elena said, terrified. “I think he’s dead!”
“Am—not,” Frank mumbled. [pg. 75]
Still a kid at heart, ain’t ya Frank?
Frank and Joe talk about frequenting “discos” and actually visit one late in the novel.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret