Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Wailing Siren Mystery: Review

The Hardy Boys are back for their thirtieth adventure in The Wailing Siren Mystery (1951). This one starts with Frank and Joe out for a run in The Sleuth, their sleek motorboat. A sudden storm whips up and while the boys are fighting to keep the boat going and upright on the waves, a weird wailing siren sounds, another boat nearby flashes its lights, and they hear a plane's motor overhead. Suddenly a large wallet hits the water near the boat and Frank manages to grab it before it sinks beneath the waves. It's chock full of money--two thousand dollars once the boys are safely back on land and have a chance to count it.

They turn the money into the police, but their adventures aren't over yet. The next day their friend Chet Morton has a truck full of camping gear and high-powered rifles (which belong to his uncle) stolen while he stops for a snack. They trace the stolen truck to the North Woods, but lose the trail before it begins to get dark. So the boys hook up with Chet and Biff and Tony for a camping trip in the woods to look for the truck and any other clues they might find.

Fenton Hardy is currently working on a hush-hush assignment involving missing money, missing planes, and the selling of arms. Could all these mysteries be part of a bigger plot? [If you know your Hardy Boys, then you know the answer to that one...]. The boys will face kidnappers and ravenous wolves; be knocked out and tied up and nearly drowned; trace stolen money and airplane parts; and search out the source of the wailing siren--all before the mystery is finally wrapped up.

Another fun adventure with Frank and Joe. Not the strongest of the series--it relies even more heavily than usual on coincidence, but the boys do some real detective work (tracking cars by their tire marks and following faint signs and trails through the wood). It's a fast-paced, easy read and just the kind of mystery adventure that kids should enjoy. ★★

This fulfills the "Boat" category on the Golden Vintage Scavenger Hunt card.

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