It’s a little hard to believe, but at one time I was a reluctant reader. In my younger years I really didn’t care to read and while my parents brought me a barrage of books from the local library, nothing seemed interesting to me. This is likely why I have never read a Hardy Boys novel until now.
Dover Publications has reissued this first book in the Hardy Boys series, The Tower Treasure, and because it’s Dover, we know that they won’t re-edit or cut anything to try to be more P.C. This is the book just as it was in the 1927 original edition (in part this is because the 1927 edition has just entered the public domain [in the U.S.] in 1923).
The home of one of the town’s wealthier citizen’s is robbed and their caretaker, Henry Robinson, is accused of committing the crime – all circumstantial evidence points to him. But brothers Frank and Joe Hardy, sons of the well-known detective Fenton Hardy, don’t believe Henry would do such a thing. They are friends with Henry’s son, Perry, and they feel they have a pretty good knowledge of the family.
The local police don’t seem to need much evidence and won’t even bother to look beyond Henry, given all the circumstantial evidence, so Frank, Joe, and Fenton look to prove Henry’s innocence (and that the local police are wrong). They’re given a boost when John “Red” Jackley, a known criminal now on his death-bed due to an accident, admits to the crime and where he’s stashed the loot (in the old tower, hence the title).
A death-bed confession isn’t enough for the police to let Henry off the hook, so the boys go to seek the treasure to prove that Jackley was telling the truth. Except … they can’t find it! It will take a little more work for the Hardy boys to prove Robinson’s innocence!
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I was definitely expecting it to be much more dated feeling than it was. There are some “gosh, gee, swell” moments that remind us that these boys are from a different era, and the willingness to have a 180 degree turn in attitude on the part of some of the characters is not something you’d see today. Still, I can see why these books are still published and marketed to young readers. The mystery is solid enough to be believable and the young protagonists rely on their brains to solve the problems – good attributes to encourage in young readers.
Looking for a good book? There’s a reason the Hardy Boys books are still being printed and marketed … because they stand the test of time as a reading of The Tower Treasure, by Franklin W. Dixon shows.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Tower Treasure
author: Franklin W. Dixon
series: The Hardy Boys #1
publisher: Dover Publications
paperback, 160 pages