Most of us love reading books, and a lot of us grew up reading books as a pass time, rather than reading on iPads. I read many books, from Secret Seven to Naughtiest Girl in School, Famous Five to The Olsen Twins, but one particular series that always held a special place in my heart is the famous “The Hardy Boys” series, starring Frank and Joe Hardy.

This series first appeared in 1927 and astonishingly still continues to be published to this very day under the collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. Every year, over a million copies of the Hardy Boys are sold. There are various series featuring the Hardy Brothers, the latest being The Hardy Boys Adventures launched in February 2013. Personally, I really enjoyed the Undercover Series a lot. The first person storytelling, the jokes between the brothers, their sibling rivalry and quarrel, the real world issues, everything just seemed so realistic and relatable. Another admirable part is the subtle jokes and the comedy thrown in the book at random. The witty squabble between the brothers and their sarcastic come backs at their villains is too hilarious at times and I always end up laughing my head off while reading the books.

Undercover Brothers started in April 2005 as a reboot to the original series, and finished in 2013 spanning a total of 39 books plus 3 super mysteries and 6 Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mysteries. From book 22 onwards, i.e. from the Deprivation House, the books started following a trilogy series, with one story spanning over three books. Six trilogies were released in all.

The following is the list of the entire series.

The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers

  1. Extreme Danger

  2. Running on Fumes

  3. Boardwalk Bust

  4. Thrill Ride

  5. Rocky Road

  6. Burned

  7. Operation: Survival

  8. Top Ten Ways to Die

  9. Martial Law

  10. Blown Away

  11. Hurricane Joe

  12. Trouble in Paradise

  13. The Mummy’s Curse

  14. Hazed

  15. Death And Diamonds

  16. Bayport Buccaneers

  17. Murder At The Mall

  18. Pushed

  19. Foul Play

  20. Feeding Frenzy

  21. Comic Con Artist

  22. Deprivation House

  23. House Arrest

  24. Murder House

  25. Double Trouble

  26. Double Down

  27. Double Deception

  28. Galaxy X

  29. X-Plosion

  30. The X Factor

  31. Killer Mission

  32. Private Killer

  33. Killer Connections

  34. Children of the Lost

  35. Lost Brother

  36. Forever Lost

  37. Movie Menace

  38. Movie Mission

  39. Movie Mayhem

Super Mysteries

  1. Wanted (2006)

  2. Kidnapped at the Casino (2007)

  3. Haunted (2008)

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mysteries

  1. Terror on Tour

  2. Danger Overseas

  3. Club Dread

  4. Gold Medal Murder

  5. Bonfire Masquerade

  6. Stage Fright

Later on, Graphic Novels were also released as The Hardy Boys Graphic Novel.

There are a total of 48 books, and all are exceptionally a good read, so choosing five best ones is quite difficult. Here’s an attempt to place the books in a top five list. Let’s take a look.

5. Running on Fumes:

This book has a mix of all the qualities that make this series so loveable –  the modern world issues, the jokes, the quarrel, the suspense, the action, the thrill, the romance; what else could you ask for? Words could do this book little justice, so just grab a copy and read it.

4. The Mummy’s Curse

This one’s set in the alluring city of the ancient pharaohs, and if the setting is any indication, than the book is supposed to be totally extraordinary. Frank’s inability to communicate with cute and smart girls continues to improve (i.e. he can’ talk to them even if his life depended on it) and Joe still continues to be the lady charmer. The story is enticing and elusive and a definite read!

3. Deprivation House (Murder House Trilogy)

Although this book’s a part of a trilogy, it’s got an amazing and intriguing plot line bound to keep everyone glued till the end of the third book. Best part is, the fun between the brothers got even better cuz now Joe’s pretending to be the rich brother, and Frank’s the poor, secluded brother. Read on as murders happen and the brothers try to find the killer while pretending to hate each other.

2. Top Ten Was To Die:

Another book with a killer plot and rib-cracking humor. The famous fictional star Vee Sharp is threatened and in comes the brothers to protect her and obviously insanity ensues, including near death stunts and amusing flirting. And do read the last 5 lines, it makes reading the entire book once again totally worth it; it’s that hilarious. Joe’s too cute.

1. Operation Survival:

This was the first book I ever read, and the best book I ever read. The story line, the character sketch, the suspense, the mystery, the detective work, everything is so mind blowing that I ended up reading the book 3 times back to back, and then a dozen times again over the years. Just the first page is enough to throw you off; how the model citizens Joe & Frank describe the people around them as stupid people with stupid smiles. And then how the ending is so full of twists and how each chapter ends with a nice cliff hanger. The best book in the series. Frank’s character in this book so damn cool.

Actually, just go read each and every Hardy Boys book you can get your hands on; I guarantee you will love it. Case Files also was a great series, with action and adventure on a totally different level. But Undercover Bothers is a sweet, action packed series with its own allure. I just wish this series hadn’t been cancelled; 48 books do no justice to this mastermind of a series.

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