The Hardy Boys' series of books was my choice of reading material. The

books chosen were Rigged for Revenge (Hardy Boys Casefiles) and Hunting for

Hidden Gold (Hardy Boys revised a hardback book). These books are very similar

because they are both mysteries, have a lot of the same characters, and plot

Developments of investigative work by the Hardy brothers.

The author (Franklin W. Dixon [Leslie McFarlane]) and the series of books,

on the other hand, has an interesting story behind them. The stories were created in

1927 by Edward Stratemeyer, who also created Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, the Rover

Boys, and dozens of other memorable characters. The Hardy Boys remain popular

today with well over 250 titles published. Their adventure continues in three series

of paperback books (The Hardy Boys, The Hardy Boys Casefiles, Frank & Joe

Hardy: The Clues Brothers) as well as the revised hardcover books published by

Grosset & Dunlap and the original unrevised stories reprinted by Applewood.

Starting in 1959, the first 38 stories were revised. The series has been published the

world over in many languages. The Hardy Boys is the all-time best-selling series of

books for boys.

In 1927, the first three "breeder" volumes of the Hardy Boys were released.

The stories were written by Canadian newspaper writer, Leslie McFarlane, who

was hired by Edward Stratemeyer to ghostwrite the stories from Stratemeyer's outlines. McFarlane continued to write the stories, with brief interruption, for 20

years. Leslie McFarlane eventually wrote the original texts for most of the first 26

volumes in the series.

After the late 1940's, the Stratemeyer Syndicate (then run by Harriet S.

Adams) hired a variety of other writers to work on The Hardy Boys. Few of them

had McFarlane's gift for detail and humor, and the later volumes are less fun to

read. The fun was further squeezed out of the books in 1959, when Adams decided

her series needed updating and recruiting. She was correct in some ways; the early

Hardy Boys, Nancy Drews, etc. had not been written with the knowledge that they

would still be in print thirty years later. By then, times had changed so much that

many details in the original stories were too old-fashioned, and risked alienating

young readers. The obvious racism of the earlier books was insulting to adults, who

sent angry letters to Adams, protesting her books' chilling portrayals of Blacks,

Asians, and Latinos.

Wanting her books to remain welcome , Adams set about a massive revision

project which lasted for several years. Each Hardy Boys book (and Nancy Drew,

and Bobbsey Twins) was re-written. Some received entirely new plots. The Hardys

and Drews continued for another 20 years to be Gosset & Dunlap's best-selling


The Stratemeyer Syndicate took full credit for the name (Franklin W. Dixon) .

However, the origin of Franklin W. Dixon, came from Leslie McFarlane naming

himself after two of his brothers (Frank- [Franklin], and Wilmot [also known as

Dick] [both the W. and the Dixon]). He also wrote some of Ted Scott's books, and

other series work (Dana's, etc.). He once mentioned that he penned a couple of

Nancy Drew's books. This caused quite a furor in the NewsGroup, as the identities

of the various Carolyn Keene's over the years have had a certain cloud of mystery

around them. There is really no proof that he did so, just a comment he made back

in 1974, saying he did. It has been said that he ghosted for another ghost, and never

received credit The details of the author and book series was as much of a mystery

as were the books.

The protagonist of Rigged For Revenge was Dudley Baker. Baker is the

President of Lone Star Oil Company, Headquarters based out in Texas. The

company has oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that are threatened to close down

because of sabotaged efforts of an unknown enemy. Several attempts of planned

incidents almost puts the multi-million dollar company out of business. Dudley

hires the Hardy brothers and their father to investigate, and find the saboteur.

The antagonist of the story was Clem Maxwell, the Chief Operating Officer

of the oil rig. Although he is employed by the oil company, he was out for revenge

for the death of his