Frank and Joe Hardy receive an unusual assignment from their detective father. They are to "break into" the house of a Bayport neighbor, Malcolm Wright, and retrieve a top-secret invention that the scientist had hidden in his study before leaving for California. The invention is in danger of being stolen and the boys race against time to beat the thieves at their own game. The young detectives soon discover that they are involved in a mystery far greater in scope than just retrieving the invention.
Their investigations put them on the trail of a dangerous gang of jewel thieves and smugglers. When Joe is kidnapped, this incident starts Frank off on a chase that almost ends disastrously for him and his pals.
The exciting capture of several members of the gang during a stormy night on Barmet bay and a perilous encounter with the insidious Anchor Pete concludes one of the most complicated cases of the Hardy's career.
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©1931 Franklin W. Dixon (P)2010 Phoenix
I'm not even five minutes into this audio book and I cannot stop laughing at the narrators voices. The boys sound like young children, and the overall tone sounds like he's narrating a Hardy Boys Secret Files book. Bill Irwin was much better.
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
Sometimes, a narrator should just stick to a straight-read. Chris Mannal's intonation and rhythm seems a little off, but I think it might've been manageable if he'd chosen not to do character voices. His voices for the cast are all wrong -- Frank and Joe Hardy sound like little children, Fenton Hardy sounds like the guy who reads movie trailers, and the toughs all sound like extras from Bugs Bunny cartoons. You'd think this was a parody of the Hardy Boys, except the story isn't actually a spoof (the plot is pretty good).
It's kind of a shame, especially since this happened with the Nancy Drew books too. Apparently, with both series, the audio publisher switched from Listening Library to Phoenix Books, and so we lost Bill Irwin and Laura Linney (who did the first batch of Nancy Drew books). Irwin did a fantastic job with the first seven books...he was able to make the books entertaining, while anchoring the overall tone of the mystery. Unfortunately, Mannal isn't up to the task, and made listening to this no fun at all.
I don't have much good to say about the reader of these titles....he reads like a 5 yr old reading to a 5 yr old. The previous narrator of the hardy boys series was great..Bill Irwin....don't like this narrator....there is no need to sound like a clown....there's nothing wrong just reading in your natural voice like the previous narrator...that's all....dissapointing
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