FORGOTTEN BOOKS #200: THE ORIGINAL HARDY BOYS SERIES by Franklin W. Dixon (aka, Leslie McFarlane)

I know it’s hard to believe, but when I was a youngster I was not a reader. My Mom worried about this and then for Christmas, she gave me a copy of Tom Swift and the Caves of Nuclear Fire. I read the book the same day and asked for more. The next day she took to a department store that had children’s books and bought me three more Tom Swift books. Those books ignited a passion for reading that burns in me today. After I had read all the Tom Swift books, I moved on to the Hardy Boys. This started a love of mysteries that I still enjoy today. Later, I found out my favorite Hardy Boy mysteries (the original 22) were written by Leslie McFarlane. The later books in the Hardy Boy series didn’t have the impact of those early volumes. I moved on to the Rick Brant series (but that’s another story). Did the Hardy Boys influence your reading? Check out the original book covers above).
Hardy Boy books attributed to Leslie McFarlane:
The Tower Treasure (1927)
The House on the Cliff (1927)
The Secret of the Old Mill (1927)
The Missing Chums (1928)
Hunting for Hidden Gold (1928)
The Shore Road Mystery (1928)
The Secret of the Caves (1929)
The Mystery of Cabin Island (1929)
The Great Airport Mystery (1930)
What Happened at Midnight (1931)
While the Clock Ticked (1932)
Footprints under the Window (1933)
The Mark on the Door (1934)
The Hidden Harbor Mystery (1935)
The Sinister Signpost (1936)
A Figure in Hiding (1937)
The Secret Warning (1938) (unintentional collaboration with John Button)
The Flickering Torch Mystery (1943)
The Melted Coins (1944)
The Short-Wave Mystery (1945)
The Secret Panel (1946)
The Phantom Freighter (1947)
It seems like yesterday when I began contributing to Patti Abbott’s Friday Forgotten Books. But this is my 200th posting and I want to thank you all for reading these missives about great books of the past.

25 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #200: THE ORIGINAL HARDY BOYS SERIES by Franklin W. Dixon (aka, Leslie McFarlane)

  1. Art Scott

    I read maybe a half dozen of these, but quickly graduated to Sherlock Holmes. Are these titles currently available in reprints of the originals (sans later revisions to conform to various notions of PC & with-it-ness)? The gold stickers on some of the covers suggest that at least some are.

    1. george Post author

      Yes, Art, the original Hardy Boys series has been reprinted. The books are available online at reasonable prices in several editions. I eventually graduated to Agatha Christie in Junior High School.

  2. Scott Cupp

    Great choice, George. I ran through many Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and Nanc Drew books as a child. Still like them. Have a Merry Christmas!

  3. James Reasoner

    I read them all and loved ’em. My second favorite boys’ series behind Rick Brant. And even then I much preferred the original editions to the rewritten later versions. They had so much more charm.

  4. Richard R.

    Exactly the same story here, George. Not a reader until Swift Jr. and Hardy Boys. Found Brandt and Chip Hilton later. Our library have a smattering of HB books, the rest I got from a department store up to the first 20 or so.

    I bought the newer complete set revised series on eBay about ten years ago. I also have the first 6 in the reprinted editions, which are now harder to find. I reread at least one per year, just for the fun of it. I haven’t reread a Rick Brandt in a long, long time, I’ll have to try to find a couple.

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    200! Wow, time flies. You’ve certainly given me many books to look out for over the years.

    These covers bring back a lot of memories. The first Hardy Boys books I got were after I broke my nose as a kid. I didn’t read the whole series but did read a bunch of them.

  6. Sergio (Tipping My Fedora)

    Congrats on the second century George – amazing! I’m afraid the 70s TV show kind of ruined the HARDY BOYS for me but if I come across any of the early ones I’ll try at all again – lovely, lovely covers, thanks for sharing them,

    1. george Post author

      The covers on the Hardy Boys books attracted me to them, Sergio. Thanks for you kind words on my 200th FFB posting. It seems like almost yesterday…

  7. Randy Johnson

    Frank and Joe certainly influenced my reading way back then. I entered the first grade with no idea how to read and won a prize at the end of the year for reading the most books in the class. The Hardy Boys came a few years later, then Tom Swift(Rick Brant came only a few years ago with a James Reasoner forgotten books post; I’ve read the first three).

    I was completely ruined, though, when I discovered TUNNEL IN THE SKY in the school library.

    1. george Post author

      Like you, Randy, I branched out from the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift to Heinlein’s juveniles. TUNNEL IN THE SKY was a favorite of my mine, too!

  8. Richard R.

    George, forgot to say congratulations on 200 FFB posts. Today is my 100th one, so your double in posts to me. Good for you! This is the last one before Christmas, so I’ll wish you a Very Merry.

    We’ll have Christmas Dinner on Christmas eve: prime rib, green beans, roasted potatoes (or maybe mashed) and cheesecake for dessert. Then it’s back on the diet!

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I think there’s synchronicity happening when you celebrate your 100th FFB posting and I celebrate my 200th FFB posting on the same day! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Christmas dinner is at my brother’s house so the menu is a mystery to me. We usually have ham and plenty of sides. And a table full of desserts. Like you, I’ll be back counting carbs after that.

  9. Jeff Meyerson

    We’ll probably be doing the traditional Jewish meal – does this ring a bell ?

    “Deck the halls with boughs of horry …”

  10. Cap'n Bob

    Behind the eight ball again. I didn’t read many books as a kid (other than Little Golden Books when I was very young). My main source of Hardy Boys adventures is the Disney shows with Tim Considine and Tommy Kirk. I thought they were swell.

    Congrats on 200 FFBs.

  11. Lisa White

    I have the hardback copys of ,,,,,,THE HARDY BOYS (THE TOWER TREASURE) year 1927 blue back, THE HARDY BOYS (THE SECRET OF THE CAVES) 1929 Green Hard copy, and 10-THE HARDY BOYS (WHAT HAPPENED AT MIDNIGHT) 1931 blue back, and THE HARDY BOYS (A FIGURE IN HIDING) 1937 blue all sides of blue book and pictures on front. u can text me at 318-787-9353. For Sale in very good shape almost like new for the age of them.


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