Hardy Boys Adventures #15 A Con Artist in Paris ~ My Review

This fifteenth volume of the Hardy Boys Adventures series, A Con Artist in Paris, is a unique adventure, without a doubt. I enjoy reading and discussing books with my Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew reading buddy sibling. 😎 That’s always my favorite part, whether I love a book, like it, find it just okay, or if I don’t like a book. Warning: some spoilers ahead in this review, so if you want to wait until after you read the book, I understand. 🙂 There were some interesting aspects to the book at times. A flying car, a submersible scooter, and a drone appealed to me in the mystery since I’m a tech nerd girl. 😀 As always, I love the brother teamwork, and also the good humor. 🙂

Frank and Joe are in Paris, France, going to meet up with their dad, who’s attending the IPAD (International Professional Association of Detectives) conference being held at a hotel there. They are waiting for Fenton’s flight to arrive. One section was supposed to be from Frank about the conference. It sounded very braggy. Frank and Joe aren’t braggarts. Hopefully, but kinda doubt it, that was tongue-in-cheek, cause they don’t have any need to brag – they are too cool and too smart.

Chief Olaf was very annoying. He had no right to answer for the brothers when Inspector Devereux asked who they were. And Fenton didn’t and wouldn’t leave them in his care. He wouldn’t place his sons in such a situation because he met Chief Olaf before, knows what he’s like and would recognize him as a bit of a pompous ass and a liability. Frank and Joe Hardy are very capable and don’t need a babysitter! I’m indignant for them – I would be so very annoyed at Chief Olaf’s self-appointed, self-important bossing them around. France is out of his jurisdiction. 

“I figure it’s my job to keep an eye on you boys until he gets here,” the chief said pointedly.

Later, he claimed ~

“…and your father left you in my care, so unless you want to spend the rest of your vacation in your rooms…”

That isn’t true. He presumptuously appointed himself. He had no authority. Grrrrr. 😡 Also, there would be absolutely no need to install a GPS app as he was demanding to install on their phones, because there already would be that capability. 

“We both groaned. Then we gave him our phones.”

No way. They would have said, politely and respectfully, but firmly, no, that isn’t okay, not going to happen. 🙄

Activists can be good or bad – it totally depends on what they are about. They can also just be jerks and loud mouths who want all the money and power for themselves. They could be cowards and bullies – it depends on the person and what they want. Le Stylo, under the pretense of activism, does outlaw art which is actually promoting his artwork, resulting in personal gain in some ways, not monetary since he gives the money from the original art to charity (although the charities should be investigated), but infamy and notoriety. To pull off his outlaw art, he resorts to trespassing, vandalism, littering, and more. 

*sigh* Yeah, some of it just doesn’t sound right. Example: “talk smack” – Frank wouldn’t say that. Not sure who would, but definitely not Frank, or Joe for that matter.

The message wasn’t very clear what Le Stylo was trying to say about Big Ben in London. In the book it said he was trying to say he is for historical preservation, which is good, and speak out against too much tech. It just also could be taken that he thought he was improving it, which he definitely wasn’t. I love helpful technology and good historical things and I’m also for not being overly dependent on technology cos that’s too confining and also not smart. I think Big Ben is really cool and I would love to visit it someday. 😎 🙂

Le Stylo is antiwar and wants the good guys who are fighting (and endangering their own lives for everyone else’s safety) to protect innocent citizens from bad guys who don’t care about laws and break them all over the place, to use a feather fountain pen instead of guns. 🙄 That makes “Le Stylo” sound like he’d be well-loved by those such as the Vichy government in France and their puppetmeisters, the nazis, in World War II – they would appreciate and benefit from his stance. Joe and Frank are not wimpy. Joe and Frank would NOT be impressed and thankfully the book didn’t act like they did approve or like that.. You can like and admire someone for the good things they do, doesn’t mean you have to agree or approve of everything they do. They know that Le Stylo’s illegal actions would be taking time and effort away from the police solving real crimes and away from working to keep people from being hurt. What does Le Stylo want in a situation such as: a bank being held up and the bad guys have an explosive device holding people hostage. Does he want the police to go in there with a le plume stylo to free the hostages? 🙄 I don’t think Le Stylo is evil, he is just somewhat gullible and not too good at thinking through things. Whose side is Le Stylo on when he puts his protest art on police stations? The good police officers are working hard, risking their lives to make sure some murderer doesn’t continue to murder, trying to stop a thief who shoots at another criminal, both who don’t follow the law and trying to make sure a little child isn’t caught in the crooks crossfire. What does Le Stylo want the police to do? Ignoring it doesn’t stop it, sternly telling them to stop doesn’t work. Why doesn’t Le Stylo go to the murderers and thieves and protest them? Of course, it would be better for all bad guys to play nice and not want to do things like murder, hurt, and terrorize people….
but since they do…
…and asking politely for them to stop doesn’t have a high success rate with whackos….
….therefore, thusly, sadly, there’s a need for the good guys to have guns. It would be wonderful for that not to be the case – it’s just not realistic for our present, modern world. I would love for there not to be any evil anywhere. One day there will be no more wars, but it won’t be a result of everyone just giving in to evil people. The Creator of us all is the One to give peace in a person’s soul. Good will win.

A number of things were funny in the mystery, for example: Ratatouille’s (another street artist) Mona Lisa art mash-up made me laugh. 😛 Also, Joe calling Frank Snooty McArtFace when they were discussing “art”. 😛 Frank kidding Chief Olaf:

“Don’t worry, we won’t tell the rest of the department you’re taking a vacation on taxpayers money.”

I didn’t like whenever there was lying – totally unnecessary and not creative. 🙄

I really liked it when the Hardys were in the lobby of their hotel, and an expensive Rolls Royce limo pulled up then the chauffeur got out and walked in, with the snooty Inspector Devereux, who’d been an obnoxious jerk to the Hardy brothers, assumed it was for him, but it was for the Hardys to drive them to a fancy party. 😎 Poetic justice. 😎

Exploring some of a castle while the Hardy brothers were at the party there was fun and seeing the cars, gliders, and such. 😎

The flying car/dune buggy was pretty cool. And in real life you can get one for only 399,900 – such a deal! 😛 That wasn’t in the book that’s just some free info. 😀 It does take a very comedic turn by having the presence of the “big red button” and the older brother pushing said button while they’re in the borrowed car. It could have had disastrous results, that’s why Frank wouldn’t have done that. It was funny and you just have to think of them as two brothers not named Joe and Frank Hardy.

More quotes we enjoyed ~
Joe about the big red button 😛 ~

“I’m usually the one doing the boneheaded things like pressing the red button,” I yelled, frantically trying to figure out the controls as the car soared into the sky over the Seine.

Great line of Joe’s when he landed the flying car 😎 ~

“It may not have been an expert landing, but I think I did pretty well, considering I had no idea what I was doing.”

Frank’s comment about Inspector Devereux’s vehicle 😆 ~

“A funny-looking tiny European car” 

Loved this that Frank said after being woke up by fireworks: “Sumpnwerdsgonon” which is to say “Something weird’s going on.” I translated it without an app. 😀

Joe quote after people were talking about the unidentified flying object that was the flying car 😆 :

“We’ve had secret sources on cases before, but as far as I know, they’ve all been from this galaxy.”

Great advice from detective dad Fenton to detective sons, Joe and Frank 😎 :

“Never trust a suspect. Trust your instincts.”

A character in the book, the art patron, Cyril, kept being referred to as being like Bruce Wayne. Just because he’s a rich dude doesn’t make him cool like Bruce. Batman is cool because he goes after bad people. 😎  One of the detectives asks about Le Stylo: “But how did he climb the blasted thing in the first place? Is he Spider-Man?” No. Spidey actually does something for real to help people. 😎 Not go around making statements through vandalism, littering, trespassing, destruction of public property, disturbing the peace, etc.. It’s just that Le Stylo climbed up the side of a building, using suction cups.

<SPOILER WARNING>I don’t understand why they were such ninnies in the Catacombs. They go into the sewer, and they know the Catacombs are around there then they go through a tunnel and they almost comedically start freaking out. I have no interest in going in or near the Catacombs, and I don’t much like seeing skulls and skeletons. All the studying up on France and stuff that Frank did before the trip would have clued him in.

The one culprit was a thief, but Le Stylo was unethical driving up the price of his paintings. They (the brothers and Le Stylo) seemed somewhat unfair since several of the things they were going on about concerning the culprit was true about Le Stylo. 🙄 Plus, Simone didn’t have to agree to give up her commission, which at first was nothing since he wasn’t very good as well as unknown, as admitted by Le Stylo. Simone could have just said non, merci beaucoup.<END SPOILER>

After pushing aside some cardboard stuff, Frank falls down a chute and somehow the cardboard he’d pushed aside at the top of the chute jumped down the chute, got ahead of Frank and softened his landing. Neat trick.

A little confusing sometimes – in the quiet catacombs a switchblade opening was heard, but yet not the tossing of cardboard?

You could say it was a little cheesy sometimes (like the big red button), if you’ll pardon the expression – a quick Ratatouille joke there. 😆

We liked some parts in the book and to sum up parts of the book we didn’t ~ le oy vey. 🙄 😛 C’est le vie. 

In defense of Joe’s language skills that are often forgotten about – Joe does know more French than indicated in the book.

Entertaining read. Like a fun comedy movie at times. 🙂

Great chapter title (18) that I echo wholeheartedly ~ Vive Les Hardys 😎

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Hardy Boys Graphic Novel #10 A Hardy’s Day Night ~ My Review

Another exciting Hardy Boys graphic novel! 😎 I’ve read this one, like a number of volumes in the series, several times so far. It has action, brother teamwork, humor and plenty of heartwarming moments. All important qualities to look for. 🙂

I enjoyed the exciting action scene at the beginning of A Hardy’s Day Night – it is cool! 😎 It’s a nominee for Favorite Scene Award for this mystery. 😀

The next scene’s endearing and fun. 😎 Frank being shy about a girl he liked and Joe, being not as shy with the girls, helping him – love that. 😎 Another Favorite Scene Award nominee, without a doubt. 😀 Choosing the winner of this category will be next to impossible! 😎

The next case hits fast and sudden, and you will want to read what happens next all at once, if possible. I don’t think there’s a place in it where you can easily put it down. The Hardys are in trouble when a deadly foe seeks their demise. They need to use their cunning and skills not only to escape that, but also to find and stop their enemy – and to rescue a kidnapped toddler at the same time. They’ve got plenty to keep them busy in this one, as well as in other volumes of the series. 😎

It is difficult to write a spoiler-free review…..but I’m trying, I’m trying!

The brothers get the drop on the bad guys several times much to the pleasure of all of us cheering for them! 🙂 I also love the plans each of the brothers come up with in different deadly situations in the book. 😎 More nominees for Favorite Scene Award!!!!

Unbelievable Scene aka Slap-Your-Forehead-With-The-Palm-Of-Your-Hand Award goes to when the brothers have disarmed a bad dude and Joe takes out the clip then tosses the gun aside. No…..just no. There were other bad dudes, kidnappers yet, who could come along, get it, reload and – you get the picture. Plus, smart detectives (such as Joe and Frank) utilize resources. They could have even used the empty gun for a bluff. They were trying to rescue a kidnapped toddler and with their resourcefulness and intelligence, they wouldn’t have tossed aside the gun like that which could help the bad guys! Frustrating! :/

Thankfully, the writing comes back after that error.

Favorite Samuel Clemens Quote Award from the book (it doesn’t matter it’s the only one, I’ve read this clever quote before): “As Mark Twain might have said, “The reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated.””

The Awwwww aka Heartwarming Award goes to when….hmmm, can’t really explain without spoilers…Let’s just say there are a few scenes that are nominated for the Awwww award. 🙂 One is during the actual rescue of the kidnapped toddler, Mickey. 🙂

The rescues at the finale of the case – excellent. 😎 More nominees! 😀

Beautiful Father and Sons Moment in the book goes to…..Chapter Eight with Hardy and Sons! 🙂

Best Brother Detective Team for this year again goes to…..Joe and Frank Hardy! 😀 😎

Now for the Favorite Scene Award, which was difficult to decide on, because there are a few! The award goes to the scene where they are all alive and well after the culprit(s) have tried and thankfully failed to kill them! 😎

You hopefully can find this volume of the Hardy Boys graphic novels at ebooksellers, used bookstores, and libraries. 🙂

 

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Hardy Boys Adventures #14 Attack of the Bayport Beast ~ My Review

An entertaining read for this new Hardy Boys book, the 14th volume of the ongoing Hardy Boys Adventures series! 🙂 As Joe says in the book “Sounds like a mystery.” 😎 Yep! 🙂 Plenty of cool things to enjoy about this one! : the Hardy brothers – of course!, mysterious real and faux clues to discern, humor, bravery, along with a range of fun to intense sleuthing. The first chapter sets a good tone for the rest of the book by starting things off in a humorous and fun way. Already there are some great quotes as Frank, Joe, and their friend Hector are checking out the sci-fi convention in Bayport ~

I felt like I was babysitting two toddlers who were distracted by every toy they came across. ~ Frank Hardy

 😆 Haha! 😆 And then Frank talking about reality shows ~

Just because it’s called reality doesn’t mean it’s real

So very, very true, Mr. Hardy!!!! 😎

The cover art is really cool showing an excellent action scene. 😎

The brother team of Frank and Joe are ready for this challenge – an unusual mystery that needs to be investigated. It starts to become more dangerous and ominous as the book goes on. They have to be ready and observant as well as brave while they sleuth for clues. I really enjoyed catching the clues as they were woven into the mystery. 😎

Camping was cool with the descriptions of the national forest being really good – you could feel like you were there. There’re definitely some scary intense scenes. Of course camping is usually in tents, but also intense in this adventure!! 😉 Truly. Like Joe said about dealing with each serious thing “One catastrophe at a time.”

I love that the writer notes that Frank and Joe can see clues as if they were written out. An accurate description of the well-honed detective skills. I like it and really appreciate it when the writing reflects their great ability as detectives. Like it was in this book and others; that can be done without them knowing everything or knowing nothing. I always appreciate when the writer remembers, as this one did, that they are observant detectives, as opposed to some books where the characters are written like they don’t even have the basic concepts of Basic Detective Skills 101 down.

I’m glad the writer has them intrigued about the mystery of why there were claims of sightings while not believing it.

I have to say that “cool” and “zombie movie” are contrary, disconnected concepts and words. And millions of years is an archaic theory that remains unproven.

Some intriguing twists to the mystery. As I mentioned already, I enjoyed figuring out clues and potential reasons for what was going on. I was pretty sure that some things that had happened were important factors to what was going on. Good pace to the book, too.

Absolutely thought the poetic justice was very appropriate during the finale scene of the book.

The brother team, the sleuthing, the humor were great and I really enjoyed the book. 🙂 This I will want to read again – I’m glad I have this Hardys Boys Adventures in paperback. 😎

You can check out the paperback, hardcover, or ebook at bookstores, physical and online, and at your local library. 😎

 

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Hardy Boys Adventures #11 Showdown at Widow Creek ~ My Review

Showdown at Widow Creek is a super fun Hardy Boys Adventure! It’s volume 11 in the series. I really enjoyed reading it! It has suspense, humor, and good brotherly love. I read it as soon as I got it which was the day it came out. I’m already ready to read it again. Look at that previous sentence and find 3 “reads”. 😀

This mystery adventure has a great flow to it and I could really picture the fun and exciting scenes. One of the things I loved and really enjoyed was Joe and the western movie themes playing in his head. 😀 A great mix of action and fun.

Hardy Boys Adventures 11 Showdown at Widow Creek CoverThe whole feels-real-thing dialogue is very good. I think Showdown at Widow Creek is the best one so far in the Hardy Boys Adventures series, although there are parts I love in #1 Secret of the Red Arrow and #2 Mystery of the Phantom Heist.

The danger was palpable. That’s a fun word to work into a sentence. 😛 The book even has some twists so that it isn’t totally obvious about what’s going on. Good detective work by the brothers, which I always appreciate reading. It was pretty intense at times and the writer captured the enjoyment of the adventure as well as the edge-of-your-seat aspect of the drama.

I definitely recommend this one to all Hardy Boys fans to enjoy the mystery and the good brother team working to help people. I’d hoped it was going to be good and it turned out to be even better than I expected it to be! I’m not into rodeos, so this is a good example that it can be a great read as long as the writing is good. And it is in HBA #11. I truly hope there are more adventures such as this one! 😎

Showdown at Widow Creek is available in paper, hardcover, and ebook. There are plenty of places to buy it or if your library has it, you can check it out. 🙂 Also, if you like this one, you’ll also like the Hardy Boys graphic novel #12 Dude Ranch O’Death! from Papercutz – one of my favorites. 😎 I love great adventure, fun, humor, and the Hardy bros! 🙂Hardy Boys Adventures #12 The Madman of Black Bear Mountain Anyone who wants to read either of those at the same time – let me know, I’d love to! 🙂 😎

Hardy Boys Adventure #12 will be available soon and I hope it’s as great as this one! 🙂 It should be exciting if the cover is any indication! We’ll find out! Queston: do you tend to buy or borrow these books? Do you pre-order? 

 

 

 

 

 

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