Leslie McFarlane, who wrote under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon, explains how the Hardy Boys started solving mysteries

Leslie McFarlane in Crime Reads:

This example of calmness in the face of disaster didn’t really help. It was all very well for Dave Fearless to meet catastrophe with aplomb. He could count on Bob Vilett and Captain Broadbeam to haul him to the surface, while Pat Stoodles lent encouragement by bellowing “Heave-ho, bejabers!” I couldn’t count on anyone—except, perhaps, Edward Stratemeyer.

It turned out that I could count on Edward Stratemeyer. Before the week was out a long envelope brought another outline, accompanied by a letter explaining his “other plans.” He had observed, Stratemeyer wrote, that detective stories had become very popular in the world of adult fiction. He instanced the works of S.S. Van Dine, which were selling in prodigious numbers as I was well aware. S.S. Van Dine was neither an ocean liner nor a living man but the pseudonym of Willard Hungtington Wright, a literary craftsman who wrote sophisticated stories for Mencken’s Smart Set.

It had recently occurred to him, Stratemeyer continued, that the growing boys of America might welcome similar fare.

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