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The Hardy Boys: The Twisted Claw - Franklin W. Dixon

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Franklin W. Dixon / Edition: n.e. / Hardcover / Reading Level: Young Adult / 192 Pages / Book is published 2002-04-01 by Grosset & Dunlap

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    2 Reviews
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      22.06.2009 15:48
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      One of the better books in the series

      Frank & Joe Hardy are the teenage sons of famous private detective Fenton Hardy & his wife Laura. Together, (& sometimes from help with family & friends) they investigate all sorts of crimes & strange occurences....

      The Twisted Claw was published in the US in 1939 & was the eighteenth in the series. It was revised in 1968 with an almost completely new story. The book first appeared in the UK in 1972 & was numbered 11 when it was published by Armada. This review is for the Armada edition.

      The story opens with Frank & Joe being summoned home after a track athletics meeting. Someone is watching the Hardy house & the boys father, Fenton, needs to get to the airport. He tells his sons about a ship called the Black Parrot that may be connected to a number of museum robberies that he's currently working on. Frank & Joe decide to investigate the ship but their initial attempt proves unsuccessful, although Frank notices one of the crew members wearing a ring with a twisted claw design.

      On a trip to New York Frank & Joe discover an old book which gives details about the Empire of the Twisted Claw, established by a pirate called Cartoll. The same twisted claw design appears on the exhibits that have been stolen from the museums. Who is behind the museum thefts? How is the Black Parrot & her sister ship, the Yellow Parrot connected to the thefts & how is the museum treasure disappearing without trace?

      The usual supporting characters who appear in the story are:-

      + Fenton Hardy
      + Laura Hardy
      + Aunt Gertrude
      + Chet Morton
      + Iola Morton
      + Jack Wayne
      + Chief Ezra Collig


      This was one of my favourite Hardy Boys books when I was growing up. The pace is fast & frenetic & it makes a nice change that Frank & Joe don't get hit over the head this time. The pirate angle is an interesting one & will no doubt engage the interest of children who have studied pirates at school or who may have seen Pirates Of The Caribbean. As always, there are a few elements that date the story but that a minor quibble.


      At the time of writing the book is available in hardcover for £7.19 from Amazon Prime. New & used paperback versions can be otained from 1p upwards.


      # Hardcover: 192 pages
      # Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap; n.e. edition (1 April 2002)
      # ISBN-10: 0448089181
      # ISBN-13: 978-0448089188

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      06.12.2008 09:17
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      The 18 Hardy Boys book

      In one of the scariest Hardy Boys books as I found them, Frank and Joe find themselves investigating pirates and missing artefacts in another mysterious adventure. Smuggling is often at the heart of their adventures and the same is of this one, as they must find out who is stealing pirate treasure and smuggling it away. I found this book surprisingly scary in places, which is rare for a book aimed at such a young audience.

      The Twisted Claw is the 18th Hardy Boys book. The books follow the adventures of Frank and Joe Hardy, sons of fictional supersleuth Fenton Hardy, and are written by Franklin W Dixon. This is the second Hardy Boys book to be penned by a random ghost writer as opposed to main Hardy Boys writer Leslie McFarlane. The writing doesn't suffer because of this, but I felt that the story was a bit eerier than other Hardys books. I felt the story was well worked out, but in places it didn't quite have the appeal of some of the other books. It is still a good book, however, and I would still recommend it to young adults.

      The books will to many seem a little outdated as they are set in the 1920s and 1930s, the first one having been first published in the mid-1920s and a quick succession of volumes following it. They are aimed at young adults and as such don't make for heavy reading. Dixon's flowing writing style keeps the action coming throughout the books.

      The Twisted Claw is available from amazon.co.uk for £7.19 at the moment. You will find that Hardy Boys books vary quite a bit in price as there are so many versions that have been printed, with amendments and rewriting having happened in the 1950s to bring them more up to date. This book is also available as part of a 3 books in 1 publication and as a hardback.

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