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What Happened at Midnight

 What Happened at Midnight is the 10th in the series of Hardy Boys adventure story books.

The brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, become detectives, just like their father.

But, he has let them in on the family business while they were still in high school.

By the tenth book in the series, What Happened at Midnight, they are adults, already experienced and well-known in their community for their detective work.

The Hardy Boys books are fast-paced, wasting no time introducing the reader to the characters, plot and action.

In What Happened at Midnight, they are on the hunt for jewelry and electronics smugglers.

Like the Tom Swift books, the author teases the reader with hints about future technologies.

On the last page of this book, the Hardy Boys’ father, Fenton Hardy, asks them,

“Someday how would you boys like to own pocket radios that can pick up signals from outer space?”

For a book written in 1931, this sounds a lot like the cell phones with downloaded podcasts and satellite car radios of today.


The Hardy Boys Mystery Series began in 1927 and has gone through many printings since then and an extensive revision of the stories in 1959 to reduce or remove racial stereotypes.

The six I have for my sons were printed between 1968 and 1985.

They are authored under the pen name, Franklin W. Dixon, but all, as with the other Edward Stratemeyer series books, were ghost-written, based on detailed outlines provided by the Stratemyer Syndicate.

Nineteen of the first 25 Hardy Boys books were written by Leslie McFarlane.

The series, going until 2005, eventually ran to 190 volumes, at which point it was revised to The Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers.

They still sell a million copies a year.

Suggested Reading Age

The Hardy Boys books are aimed at 9-12 year-olds.

Although children differ, my grandson has just turned seven and, though a good reader, is not yet interested in books that have almost no pictures, so this seems like the right range.


What was your favorite Hardy Boys book?

Did you know they were written by different authors?

Did you know they were ghost-written?

To you and sharing adventures with your grandchildren.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


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