The Great Airport Mystery

I was getting rid of a beat-up version of The Great Airport Mystery and decided to read through it first. It’s been a long time since I’ve read one of the classic Hardy Boys books. This is one of the revised texts from the 60s, but it’s still a very different feel from the Casefiles or Undercover Brothers series.

The book starts when Frank and Joe’s car is hit by a low-flying small plane. When they regain consciousness and look for a landing site, however, it seems to have disappeared. That night, Mr. Hardy asks them to take undercover summer jobs at the factory for Stanwide Mining Equipment Company. Small electronic parts containing platinum have gone missing from several recent shipments. The company has also gotten a ghostly message from the pilot of a mining expedition in the Caribbean that crashed. Of course everything turns out to be connected, but before the culprits are caught the Hardys will get their camera stolen, survive a hand grenade, and fly to the Caribbean and Montana. And Chet will impersonate a ghost.

I loved the passage below for the fact that Frank carries an emergency detective kit (and uses it later on when he needs an envelope to hold a clue). Would this trick actually work in real life, though? I guess Bayport must not get much traffic.

‘When Zimm comes out,’ he told Biff, ‘you take the car and follow him. I want to question the shop owner.’

‘But when will we join up?’ his friend asked.

Frank reached into his pocket and took out an emergency detective kit. From it he extracted a packet containing small pieces of vivid red paper, and handed it to Biff.

‘As you drive,’ he told him, ‘drop some of this paper every few seconds. That will leave a trail I can follow later.’

‘But what if I run out of paper?’ Biff asked.

‘If you have to follow Zimm that far,’ said Frank, ‘stay with him and find out where he goes. Then retrace your route. I’ll be following the trail on foot as far as it takes me.’

Luckily, he doesn’t run out. The trail leads to a residential street about a mile away, and Frank is able to follow on foot before a breeze threatens to blow the papers away. He then sends Biff to buy sandwiches, milk, and ice cream for their stakeout. Life is never dull when you’re a lackey for the Hardy Boys!

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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