Brush up on the history of The Hardy Boys

Before the likes of Harriet the Spy or Dipper and Mabel Pines, the Hardy Boys pioneered the path for teen sleuths. Frank and Joe Hardy took it upon themselves to uncover the strange happenings in their town of Bayport – and boy! did a lot of strange things happen in one place. From murder to diamond smuggling to medical malpractice, the Hardy Boys sniffed out the villains and uncovered conspiracies. Despite the danger the cases posed, the Hardy Boys never backed down. They were always ready to jump in and save the day. The Hardy Boys series became immensely popular when released in 1927. The series allowed any young person to place themselves in the mystery novels, solving crime alongside the stalwart brothers.


Edward Stratemeyer dreamed up the idea for a pair of detective brothers in 1926. Stratemeyer wasn’t a writer; rather, he was the founder of a book packaging firm known as Stratemeyer Syndicate. Instead of one person writing the Hardy Boys’ stories, the series has been penned by a series of ghostwriters. All operating under the constant pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon. If the idea of anonymous writers working under on pen name seems familiar, you might remember it’s a plot device used in season 4 of Riverdale. The teen drama pays homage to The Hardy Boys when Jughead competes to be the next ghostwriter for The Baxter Brothers series under the pseudonym Franklin P. Paxton.

The Hardy Boys have never had a consistent author. Since they were created almost one hundred years ago, the boys have had many evolutions. At the birth of the series, the Hardy Boys were more like scrappy sleuths, intent on helping those in need. They were the underdogs who got by on their wits and keen observation skills. The series morphed, and the boys became wealthier and more upper class, making the brothers lose their kid-next-door edge. The older versions of the Hardy Boys were also revised to cut out the racially insensitive content that resulted from outdated ideas of the past century.

The characters continued through several different series, including Hardy Boys Casefiles and Clues Brothers. The latest resurgence of the books was in February 2013. That was the launch of The Hardy Boys Adventures series. Now the new generation will explore the mysterious world of the sleuthing brothers. Because Hulu’s The Hardy Boys is the newest installment. This time Frank and Joe Hardy will take a darker approach. The boys must face some disturbing secrets about their mother’s disappearance.

The new gritty storyline follows the dark reimaginings of other classic content like the Archie Comics in Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And the newly resurrected Nancy Drew. It’s only fair the Hardy Boys have their own modern adaptation. Especially as Nancy Drew was a series created by Edward Stratemeyer due to the immense popularity of The Hardy Boys.

Now the boys have a new platform for their adventures. Hopefully, they’ll return to the earlier versions of the brothers that saw them using their skills to stand up for others and thwart evil. The darker tone of the Hulu series trailer hints the brothers might be back to the cheeky, somewhat cynical portrayal they once had in the beginning. One thing’s for sure: if The Hardy Boys turn out to be anything like Riverdale or The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we’re in for a wild ride.

Be sure to check out the series premiere of The Hardy Boys on Hulu now!