Book name: The Mystery at Devil’s Paw
Author: Franklin W Dixon
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap
Format: Print, ebook
Genre: Detective fiction, Vintage children’s fiction
Publication Date: 1959
The Mystery at Devil’s Paw is the 38th of the original ‘Hardy Boys Mystery Stories’ series.
When The Mystery at Devil’s Paw begins, Frank and Joe Hardy have just received a telegram from their friend Tony.
He is up in Alaska working, and the telegram asks the boys to come immediately.
The flights to Chicago for the boys to connect with one to Juneau are all booked up, and they quickly suspect that someone is trying to stop them from going to help Tony.
Tony has also asked the Hardy boys to bring their old friend Chet Morton with them.
By turning up and waiting for a last-minute no-show at the airport, the boys finally get on a plane.
However, their suspicions are confirmed and they get a glimpse of the man trying to stand in their way.
Frank and Joe are determined to find out more and they manage to identify his footprint and get his name: Stransky.
Once in Alaska, they are met by a young man called Ted Sewell. He brings a handwritten note from Tony vouching for him.
Ted’s father is missing, and the lad asks the Hardy boys to try to find him at the same time as they are solving Tony’s mystery.
The trio cruise out to where Tony and Ted are camping. Tony works for the Fish and Wildlife Service and soon after his arrival some men tried to bribe him to leave his post.
When Tony refused the men went ahead and used nets to catch all the salmon without having the right to do so.
The thieves shot at Tony’s boat, and the boys all agree that something more than poaching must be going on.
The Hardy boys are concerned when they spot the same footprint on the island. It appears that Stransky has followed them here from Bayport.
They also find a knapsack and discover a map inside and a jade carving.
None of this adds up, so Tony calls for backup from Kuniak, who agree to send a helicopter.
The boys also get to know Fleetfoot, a young native American Indian, who has also seen strange men around.
Fleetfoot’s analysis of the men’s language suggests that they may be foreigners, and Frank is concerned about the apparent presence of foreign agents smuggling on American territory.
The Mystery at Devil’s Paw had a great location and plenty of action. The wilds of Alaska supplied Frank and Joe with lots of danger, some natural and some from the men they are trying to track down.
I really enjoyed the story, and the different strands came together nicely in the form of a satisfying conclusion.
Thank you for reading my review.
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