koala painting by artist dj geribo

Since I’ve never read any of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys series of books when I was growing up, I thought it was a good idea to read at least one of them and give my personal review of it. In my forever search for new (and hopefully free) books, I happened to find a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys book called, “Process of Elimination.” But first, a little background on the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys.

The Nancy Drew character first appeared in 1930, ghostwritten by a number of authors all under the pseydonym Carolyn Keene (but created by Edward Stratemeyer, the creator of the Hardy Boys, also). It is interesting to note how, over the years, the Nancy Drew character changed, in the 1950‘s, to a less assertive, more feminine character. In th 1980‘s, the Nancy Drew Files appeared with an older, more mature Nancy along with romantic plots. Then in 2004, the original Nancy Drew series was ended and a new series, Girl Detective, was launched and she was given a hybrid electric vehicle and a cell phone. A worldwide popular series, at least 80 million copies have been sold and the books have been translated into over 45 languages.

The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, like Nancy Drew, are written by ghostwriters under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. They first appeared in 1927, a few years before Nancy Drew (when Stratemeyer found out girls were reading his Hardy Boys books, he decided to create a charcter for girls.) Similar to Nancy Drew, the books have changed over the years, incorporating more modern inventions as well as sophisticated ideas. A new Hardy Boys series, Hardy Boys Casefiles, was created in 1987 and the original series, Hardy Boys Mystery Stories, ended in 2005 when a new series, Undercover Brothers, was launched the same year. That series ended in 2012 and was replaced in 2013 by The Hardy Boys Adventures.

And of course, both Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have been made into television series as well as video games and other media.

The book that I read, Process of Elimination, was a mystery with twists and turns, as you would expect to find in a mystery. It was a quick read and each chapter ended with a hook that kept you reading to find out what would happen next. I certainly wouldn’t look to the book to broaden my vocabulary. It was a story, for YA, that would most likely get your teens reading. I can see how it would appeal to them: two exciting young men who encounter life-threatening situations and aren’t afraid to stand up to the bad guys. And Nancy is a caring, smart young woman who will put herself in any situation, however dangerous, to figure out the answers. This particular story had it all: murder, CIA agents, international intrigue, animal protection, bombs, fires, guns, lies and deceptions.

I rate Process of Elimination 3 out of 5 stars ***

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