The Hardy Boys:
THE ABANDONED FISHING LODGE MYSTERY
This is another of the three 'ABANDONED' fanfiction Hardy Boys books self-published for fans by a Canadian fan and author. Like the other two books, this one is written in the tone and style of, and with the atmosphere of, the first nine original-text Hardy Boys books by Leslie McFarlane.
The volume is filled with references to the first nine Hardys, takes place at locations from them, and stars supporting characters we all met and first got to know in those books. In this book readers revisit the Shore Road caves, the Raven Roadhouse, Tower Mansion, boating on the Willow River, and also meet again Hurd Applegate, the boy Lester from the Old Mill, the thug Rex Raven, and the comic Jadbury Wilson from Hunting for Hidden Gold.
These books are full-length novels, well-written, and they bring you right back to the Bayport of the late 1920s when the original Hardys were first published. In this story, Frank and Joe are researching an abandoned fishing lodge in old newspapers at the Bayport Library and they look for clues from 15 years earlier in 1914 newspapers. This author knows his Hardy Boys! All the cast of regular characters are present too, including Chief Collig and Detective Smuff, good old nutcase Aunt Gertrude, and Chet, Biff, and all the other chums, including the girls Callie Shaw and Iola Morton.
The boys plan a fishing trip to nearby Neebing Lake with several of their chums. While there, strange things happen such as eerie noises in the night and ghostly intruders into their camp. Someone sets their boats loose on the waters one night and they have to scour the lake in the morning in search of them. An old hermitage-like cabin is found in the thick bush of the woods, and the boarded-up abandoned fishing lodge is discovered nearby on a choked-up overgrown creek. What is the strange connection to all these happenings and places? You betcha the boys want to find out!
There is a passage in one of the woodland adventure scenarios that states that the boys felt so far away from Bayport that they could have been in the wilds of the Canadian north country. There is a similar passage in one of the McFarlane Hardys. It amused me that a second Canadian writer, one from the same area in which McFarlane lived, got a chance to tease readers that the American Hardy boys could have been far away in the Canadian wilds, or so it seemed.
This book has a secondary plot of the kidnapping of wealthy men. Hurd Applegate is one of the victims. Ransom is demanded and once it is paid the men are dropped off in a neutral area such as an alley downtown. The Hardy boys help their dad, detective Fenton Hardy, on this case and at one point search the Shore Road caves for a kidnap victim, the same caves the stolen cars were hidden inside in The Shore Road Mystery.
This is a clever and intriguing book filled with early Hardy references and memorabilia. The tie-in of the kidnappings to the mysteries up at Neebing Lake and another at the Hardys' old elementary school are excellent examples of good plotting.
Fanfiction at its absolute best!
This is a perfect example of how a fan takes existing characters and their universe and writes a tale every bit as enticing and exciting as the originals!
|Hand-drawn endpapers depicting Barmet Bay and Bayport with sites used in the three 'Abandoned' Hardy Boys books.|