Names: Frank and Joe Hardy
Type: Amateur Detectives
First Appeared: 1927
Memorable Phrase: “Of course, Chief”
The Hardy Boys is a wildly popular amateur detective book series created by Edward Stratemeyer that chronicles the investigative escapades of brothers Frank and Joe Hardy in the small, fictional American town of Bayport. The series ran in print from 1927 all the way to 2005, with 190 volumes total and a plethora of ghostwriters, although all books have been published under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. The books have inspired five different television adaptations as well as computer games and various other media and paraphenalia.
The Hardy Boys were always involved in some sort of adventure. For small-time teenage detectives, they dealt with some big cases. Their work often took them away from Bayport and across the US and the world. Special editions were penned about their visits to other countries, including Egypt, Mexico and Scotland. The brothers often dealt with current issues and the series maintained a somewhat educational tone throughout its lifetime.
The differences between the Hardy Boys were limited: Frank was older with dark hair and Joe was two years younger and blonde. They worked well together and some say that the long-lasting success of the series is due to their charisma as a duo. Others say it was the simple idea and theme of the fulfillment of wishes and the ability to live vicariously through the exciting escapades of the brothers. Whatever the cause of its success, the popularity of The Hardy Boys prompted Stratemeyer to create a female counterpart for the boys – Nancy Drew.
Guess who you’ll be hearing about next week?