The House on the Cliff by Franklin W. Dixon is the second Hardy Boys adventure/mystery. This book is way more adventure while the first Hardy Boys The Tower Treasure was more mystery. I have been enjoying the Hulu’s The Hardy Boys and Only Murders in the Building which rely on the old Hardy Boys stories and I thought I would start reading the series that was published in 1927 and updated in 1959. The story’s adventure still holds up nicely, the bad guys have that dated Scooby Doo, “I’ll get you meddling kids quality.” One bad guy laments about if he had a father like that when he was a kid that he wouldn’t have turned out so bad then wants to turn his smuggler’s house into a Boy’s home, after he had threatened to kill the Hardy’s the whole time. The House on the Cliff features their Dad, Detective Fenton Hardy more, you understand a lot about the Hardy Boys and why they are so enamored by their dad and want to be just like him. The Hardy’s friend’s Chet and Biff really help them out and have their own chapter, after getting briefly introduced in the first book. This book is filled with danger, kidnapping and drug smuggling.

Fun Fact the author of the Hardy Boys Franklin W. Dixon is a pen name the story was created by Edward Stratemeyer and written by Leslie McFarlane, thinking that the books wouldn’t sell if written by a woman. The through the years it has had a mix of men and women but the pen name has stuck with it form 1927 to present day.

Plot Summary: The Hardy Boys ask for anyway they can help their dad, Detective Fenton Hardy and his next case. He gives the boy’s a task to take his telescope to the house on the cliff that looks out over the bay and look for the boats of smugglers, and report the name of boats back to him. They see suspicious boats but have the wrong angle, they wait and watch waiting for them to turn around, but the boys are distracted my calls from help coming from the house on the cliff. The previous owner of the house died in there, and there is a spooky quality. They investigate and find hidden stairs but no people yet can still hear the calls from help. The calls for help stop as the boys get trapped and have to break out, when they return to the telescope the eye pieces are gone and tools from their tool kit are missing. The boys see distress in the Bay with a boat on fire, they race down the cliff to save the man that was blasted out. They save him but can tell there is something off about the man. When they tell their father about the man, and he’s curious but when they return they find the house a mess and find the people that took the man in tied to chairs and gagged. There father senses the danger of the case and tells his boys to lay low they do until there father is missing.

What I Liked: The adventure is top notch and still thrilling to this day. The trick for getting out of ropes is so smart, if I’m ever tied up I will have to remember that. I like the myth the criminal’s have for Fenton Hardy, he never misses when he targets you and he’ll break out but we will be gone when he does. The like the Hardy Boys friends and how will they are to risk danger to help. I like how I was able to picture everything with really simple descriptions. I loved all the hidden place with in the house on the cliff. I liked that the Hardy Boys don’t win all the time, they lose pretty spectacularly. I like that we kind of get two stories the stopping of the smugglers and the mystery of the ghost on the House on the Cliff. I liked how much sense the ghost made and the resoning behind it.

What I Disliked: The ending was too sappy, the villain when caught totally turns personalities. I rolled my eyes hard at this, he just keeps admitting to everything, I’m like dude you have a trial, shut up.

Recommendation: I liked The House on the Cliff more than The Tower Treasure. The mystery and adventure blended together a lot better. This story is fun. I rated The House on the Cliff by Franklin W. Dixon 4 out of 5 stars.

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