Dixon, Franklin W. Secret of the Red Arrow (Hardy Boys Adventures #1)
February 5th 2013
Frank and Joe have sworn that they will give up investigating or be sent to a disciplinary school, but when Joe is forced into holding up a bank while Frank is waiting in line there, the two know that they have to get involved. A classmate, Sharelle Bunyan, asks for their help in a related matter-- someone has been videotaping her brother Neal (aka Neanderthal) while he is sleeping and posting the pictures online. All fingers point to a boy who likes to make films until Frank and Joe see the sign of the red arrow above Neal's door. Everyone they ask about the red arrow, including their father, tells them to stay away from anything having to do with the symbol... so of course they press on. They run afoul of their principal, Officer Olaf, and just about everyone else in their search for the truth, but do finally figure things out.
Strengths: Nice, short, decent mystery with updated technology that boys will like to read about. There's just enough adventure, suspense, and mystery to keep this moving along quickly. The age of the characters and the reading level of the book are more in tune than the new Nancy Drew series.
Weaknesses: Got a bit weary hearing about how the boys were supposed to be retired.
Dixon, Franklin W. Mystery of the Phantom Heist (Hardy Boys Adventures #2)
February 5th 2013
Frank and Joe decide not to work as waiters at the event of the year-- the sweet 16 party of local spoiled rich girl Lindsay. They don't, however, key her expensive car as they are accused, and they soon realize that this is just one of many pranks being played around town. The perpetrator e mails them links to pictures, taunting them since they are supposed to be retired. Frank takes a shine to Sierra, who is helping set up Lindsay's party, but the Scaredevils are so active around town, throwing slushies at people and damaging property, that he doesn't have much time to date her. The boys are sure that Colin has something to do with all of the activity but need to figure out a motive before going to CHIEF Olaf, who still has it in for them.
Strengths: I like how these are a series but can also stand alone well enough. The pranks and videos will go over well with middle school boys, and the touch of romance is nice.
Weaknesses: It's a bit confusing that the chapters alternate between Joe and Frank narrating, since I always have trouble telling them apart, unless...
Nope. Still don't know who's Frank and who's Joe, only that Shaun Cassidy is on the left and Parker Stevenson is on the right. (Photograph from Pinterest.) (Although according to IMDB.Com, Shaun was Joe.)
*Sigh* Guys just do NOT have good hair like this any more!