The Secret of the Caves, Hardy Boys #7

The Secret of the Caves (Hardy Boys, #7) - Walter S. Rogers, Franklin W. Dixon

OK, so...nothing really happens?


That's not entirely true, but that was my feeling by the end of the book. However, the energetic writing and the very real, stupid danger the boys are allowed to get themselves into gives the rating a boost.


The boys are out having a lark in the bay when a casual boat race is interrupted by a fire on an incoming steamer. It isn't serious, but an excited passenger jumps overboard and must be saved from drowning by the Hardys. Even stranger the elderly woman, when coming out of her swoon, gasps that she must see Fenton Hardy!


The lady is looking for her brother, a professor with a penchant for saying "By jing!" and not tying his shoelaces - this is very important information say the boys AND their father. Hardy, Sr. takes off on the case and the boys plan a camping trip with Chet and Biff to take their minds off the lack of mystery in their lives.


Of course, there are rumors of an escaped convict - member of the gang that terrorized motorists in the last volume no less - and the caves they set out to explore have been the site of strange noises and gunshots and even a hermit named Captain Royal.


There is a resolution to all things, but as I've said, the real winner here is the pleasure the boys take in planning their excursion, camping, exploring the cave, cooking over fires and the like. The boys bring their trusty guns and shoot them off a few times and the cave exploring I mentioned? They immediately split up and Frank gets lost in the dark. Amazing.


'Secret of the Caves' got a serious re-write in 1965 in which the thin plot was scrapped and the hermit gets himself some serious hardware. The girls have more to do in the revision than wistfully regret having to stay home and clean house, so that's something.


Hardy Boys


Next: 'The Mystery of Cabin Island'


Previous: 'The Shore Road Mystery'