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For the revised version of this book, see The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook (revised text).

The Hardy Boys' Detective Handbook is a guide book to methods for solving mysteries, and was the first ever Hardy Boys spin-off published. It was first published in 1959 by Grosset & Dunlap, and the revised edition was published 12 years later, in 1972.

Plot summary

The book is split into nine sections or chapters, each of which illustrates a different detective methods. The first part of each section (excluding the Foreword) show how Frank and Joe use various facets of police technology to track down criminals in fictional stories based upon non-fictional events. The techniques used in the chapter are then explaind in greater detail, at the end of the chapter. This part of the chapter is called "Further Explanation by Frank and Joe".

The nine sections are as follows:

I. Foreword
II. Fingerprint Clues
III. Identification and Apprehension of the Fugitive
IV. Criminal Slang and Legal Terminology
V. Undercover Work
VI. The Value of Shoe Prints, Tire Marks and Tool Marks: Plaster Casts and Moulage
VII. Development of Powers of Observation and Memory
VIII. The Crime Scene Search and Search of the Person
IX. Surveillance
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