Jun 11

A Figure in Hiding

Posted by Soliloquy in Braille

This is the 16th volume of Applewood Books reproductions of the Original Hardy Boys-Just as You Remember Them. Originally published in 1937, A Figure in Hiding was was ghostwritten by Leslie McFarlane. Its dustjacket art and frontispiece were illustrated by Paul Laune. In A Figure in Hiding, Frank and Joe help their father round up a dark and sinister man posing as an eye surgeon, who promises shady cures to his unsuspecting victims…. More >>

A Figure in Hiding

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5 Responses

  • This review concerns the original 1937 edition. Frank and Joe aid their father in rounding up an unscrupulous, phony surgeon, who dupes his victims by promising miracle cures for their eyesight problems. The book is well-written and the action level isn’t bad, but there is no real mystery to solve. Frank and Joe aren’t trying to find out who did what, or where something is hidden or what this gang is up to; they are just trying to get evidence that this surgeon is a crook. For this reason, I found that the book never really made me curious to find out what was coming next. The book is really good from pages 192-204, but unfortunately that isn’t enough to make this a great book. I’d only recoomend this one to true Hardy Boys fans.

  • As Hardy boys mysteries go, this one is less thrilling than the others. The mystery revolves around eye symbols, and a gang called the Goggler Gang, also known as the Evil Eyes. The gang used simple hand symbols to alert fellow gang members when to stay away or when everything was okay. Then there was the mysterious eye the Hardy boys found on a hydrofoil, the Sea Spook.

    This mystery begins with a blind peddler passing a mysterious note to the boys after a baseball game. The cryptic note read, “WATCH OUT FOR THE FIRST SIGNS OF BAD EYESIGHT!” Scribbled in pencil on the opposite side of the card was “Tell FH!” The boys rightly assume that they should tell their father, Fenton Hardy.

    Soon the boys are encountering eye signs everywhere. Since the boys persist in investigating a group that they learn is called the Goggler Gang, someone arranges for an accident that was to murder the boys and the blind peddler. The gang tries several times to warn the boys, without (of course) success. As the boys persist in their investigations they encounter a gang of suspicious characters, and Malcolm Izmir, who is apparently an ordinary businessman. Yet, Izmir seems to turn up far too often during the boys’ investigation. The boys also find a mysterious fake eye while on the hydrofoil Sea Spook. The boys realize that the eye is probably part of their mystery, but they do not understand how it is related.

    As with most Hardy boys’ mysteries, the excitement builds to the end. Even Fenton Hardy is in danger when the Goggler Gang discovers that he has been spying on them. Fortunately ever-faithful friend Chet Morton helps save the day, along with the always timely Chief Collig.

    The level of excitement in Hardy Boys books varies a lot. There have been several of the first sixteen books where the pacing was quick, and I was anxious to get to the end. However, this book moved along too slowly, and the action portions seemed to either develop too slowly, or so quickly that they were over before I had a time to register that action was upon me. While a person interested in the Hardy boys will likely want to read all the books, a casual reader may want to pass this one as this story is the weakest of the first sixteen books in the series.

    Though the Hardy Boys series is written in a relatively archaic fashion, as reading material for an increasingly younger audience they are excellent. The stories were once recommended for children ages 10 to 14. As children are exposed to more violence and seem to require greater levels of stimulation, the recommended age range has move to 9 to 12. I think any child capable of reading some of the challenging words in these books will enjoy them, regardless of how tame most of the action may be. Once a child has reached age 12 or so the stories may be of less interest, but given the combination of mystery and action, these books remain good safe choices for parents who want to know what their children are reading.

  • This review concerns the original text edition by Applewood Books.

    The Boys smash the fake eye surgery scam of quack Dr. Grafton and help Virginia Sinder and her grandma. This is a really good story! Another winner by Leslie McFarlane! The action never lets up from beginning to end. The sub-plots tie together nicely (except for Chet being sent to Boston, which is never adequately explained) and nobody does anything particularly stupid (except the inexplicable behavior of Virginia Sinder and her grandmother which borders on idiocy, proving the old adage of the apple not falling far from the tree!) The Boys show plenty of guts, quick thinking and some decent detecting. Grafton is one of the meanest, slimiest villians ever! Aunt Gertrude is annoying, ill-mannered and ill-tempered as usual. Definitely in the top 10 of all the stories in the original canon.

  • I bought this book back in 2005. I had read many Hardy Boys novels before and I bought it because I didn’t have a copy. Originally, I was trying to find the blue spined one, but I found an “A FIGURE IN HIDING”, but it had a different cover that interested me. So, I ordered it and just looking at it told me: DIFFERENT STORY.

    HOWEVER,

    WHAT HAPPENED! THE BOOK IS DEFINITELY # 99 IN THE TOP 100 WORST BOOKS KNOWN TO MANKIND! IT’S BASICALLY the final few chapters of a Hardy Boys book expanded about 12 times!

    BUT,

    I gave it *** . 1.5* for being a Hardy Boys book and another 1.5* for being somewhat interesting until you get so annoyed you get a headache from the plot ( it gets more & more boring the more times you read it).

    ALL IN ALL…

    IT’S OK! Not the worst one in the series.

    note: i meant to give it 3 * but I accidentally put 2*.

  • I bought this book back in 2005. I had read many Hardy Boys novels before and I bought it because I didn’t have a copy. Originally, I was trying to find the blue spined one, but I found an “A FIGURE IN HIDING”, but it had a different cover that interested me. So, I ordered it and just looking at it told me: DIFFERENT STORY.

    HOWEVER,

    WHAT HAPPENED! THE BOOK IS DEFINITELY # 99 IN THE TOP 100 WORST BOOKS KNOWN TO MANKIND! IT’S BASICALLY the final few chapters of a Hardy Boys book expanded about 12 times!

    BUT,

    I gave it *** . 1.5* for being a Hardy Boys book and another 1.5* for being somewhat interesting until you get so annoyed you get a headache from the plot ( it gets more & more boring the more times you read it).

    ALL IN ALL…

    IT’S OK! Not the worst one in the series.



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