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The Hardy Boys Casefiles is a young adult novel series, produced, for Simon & Schuster, by Mega-Books of New York, Inc. (later just Mega-Books) and published by Archway Paperbacks (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), between 1987 and 1998. The series lasted 127 novels, including two trilogies, making it the second longest Hardy Boys novel series, behind only the 190 volume Original series.

Unlike other Hardy Boys series, which are, for the most part, aimed at children ages 8-12, the Casefiles were aimed at the early to mid-teen audience. The tone and style of the series reflected this, with much more action and violence than the Original (1927-1979) or Digest series (1979-2005). The new tone of the series was never more apparent than in the very first chapter of the very first title, Dead on Target, in which Joe Hardy's long-time girlfriend Iola Morton is killed by a terrorist car bomb, planted in the Hardys' car.

Publication history[]

Original run (1987-1997)[]

After publishing no new Hardy Boys titles in 1986 - to consider the future of the series - Simon & Schuster rebooted the franchise in April 1987, with The Hardy Boys Casefiles series. Simon & Schuster targeted an older audience with their new series, using a writing style they had experimented with in two Digest titles, Revenge of the Desert Phantom and The Skyfire Puzzle in 1985. S&S had done the same with their Nancy Drew franchise the previous year, in The Nancy Drew Files.

After a few months Simon & Schuster decided there was a market for two different Hardy Boys series, and resumed publication of The Hardy Boys Digest series, once again with the more conventional writing style, that had been used since Grosset & Dunlap published the series.

In 1992, Simon & Schuster published a three part mini-series within the Casefiles series. The story-arc, entitled the Operation Phoenix Trilogy, ran from June until August, and took place in Casefiles 64-66. A second trilogy, called Ring of Evil, was published a year later between June and August 1993, starting with #76 Tagged for Terror.

After the series; cancelled titles and reprints[]

Presumably due to poor sales, the Casefiles was discontinued in early 1998, after #127 Dead in the Water was published, but at least five more titles were in the planning stages. The title of #128 is not known, but #129 was to be entitled Explosive Force, and the manuscript was already written. What would have been #130, The Crisscross Crime, was released in June 1998, as Digest #150, after undergoing some rewriting to remove any Casefiles references and events. There has been some debate over the possibility of the digests Trial And Terror and Training for Trouble being possible casefiles turned into digests.

After the end of the Casefiles, Simon & Schuster published Hardy Boys Casefiles Collector's Editions over the next twelve months. They contained three seemingly random Casefiles, for example Collector's Edition 1, includes #38 Diplomatic Deceit, #39 Flesh and Blood, and #40 Fright Wave. Three were published; it is not known if others were planned. These were the only three omnibus Casefiles books released in the US and Canada, but for several years since the early 90's Simon &Schuster UK had also produced multiple omnibus Casefiles books for the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada as the Canadian rights were held by Simon & Schuster US with Distican handling the distribution).

In 2006, Simon & Schuster UK arm republished four seemingly random Casefiles in that country, repackaged under The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers.[1]

Plot summary[]

After the death of his girlfriend, Iola Morton, Joe Hardy and his older brother Frank are more determined then ever to bring justice to America and the world. Their fight against crime becomes a personal mission of revenge, and they often clash with The Assassins, the terrorist organization behind Iola's death.

The Hardys don't have any trouble finding The Assassins either, in fact it seems The Assassins seek them out, more often then not. Although the terrorists seem to focus a lot of effort on taking the Hardys down, they are mostly fruitless - of course this just makes them want revenge even more. Revenge isn't their only goal though, the Assassins use the Hardys to get to their greatest foe, America's top security unit, The Network, with whom the Hardys have teamed up on numerous occasions.

It's not just The Assassins they have to worry about, though. There's plenty of other criminals out there, including mob families, cult leaders, hit men, and petty thieves, all of whom Frank and Joe are more than happy to put behind bars.

List of titles[]


1. Dead on Target
2. Evil, Inc.
3. Cult of Crime
4. The Lazarus Plot
5. Edge of Destruction
6. The Crowning Terror
7. Deathgame
8. See No Evil
9. The Genius Thieves
10. Hostages of Hate


11. Brother Against Brother
12. Perfect Getaway
13. The Borgia Dagger
14. Too Many Traitors
15. Blood Relations
16. Line of Fire
17. The Number File
18. A Killing in the Market
19. Nightmare in Angel City
20. Witness to Murder
21. Street Spies
22. Double Exposure


23. Disaster for Hire
24. Scene of the Crime
25. The Borderline Case
26. Trouble in the Pipeline
27. Nowhere to Run
28. Countdown to Terror
29. Thick as Thieves
30. The Deadliest Dare
31. Without a Trace
32. Blood Money
33. Collision Course
34. Final Cut


35. The Dead Season
36. Running on Empty
37. Danger Zone
38. Diplomatic Deceit
39. Flesh and Blood
40. Fright Wave
41. Highway Robbery
42. The Last Laugh
43. Strategic Moves
44. Castle Fear
45. In Self-Defense
46. Foul Play


47. Flight into Danger
48. Rock 'n' Revenge
49. Dirty Deeds
50. Power Play
51. Choke Hold
52. Uncivil War
53. Web of Horror
54. Deep Trouble
55. Beyond the Law
56. Height of Danger
57. Terror On Track
58. Spiked!
59. Open Season


60. Deadfall
61. Grave Danger
62. Final Gambit
63. Cold Sweat
64. Endangered Species
65. No Mercy
66. The Phoenix Equation
67. Lethal Cargo
68. Rough Riding
69. Mayhem in Motion
70. Rigged for Revenge


71. Real Horror
72. Screamers
73. Bad Rap
74. Road Pirates
75. No Way Out
76. Tagged for Terror
77. Survival Run
78. The Pacific Conspiracy
79. Danger Unlimited
80. Dead of Night
81. Sheer Terror
82. Poisoned Paradise


83. Toxic Revenge
84. False Alarm
85. Winner Take All
86. Virtual Villainy
87. Dead Man in Deadwood
88. Inferno of Fear
89. Darkness Falls
90. Deadly Engagement
91. Hot Wheels
92. Sabotage at Sea
93. Mission: Mayhem
94. A Taste for Terror


95. Illegal Procedure
96. Against All Odds
97. Pure Evil
98. Murder by Magic
99. Frame-up
100. True Thriller
101. Peak of Danger
102. Wrong Side of the Law
103. Campaign of Crime
104. Wild Wheels
105. Law of the Jungle
106. Shock Jock


107. Fast Break
108. Blown Away
109. Moment of Truth
110. Bad Chemistry
111. Competitive Edge
112. Cliff-Hanger
113. Sky High
114. Clean Sweep
115. Cave Trap
116. Acting Up
117. Blood Sport
118. The Last Leap


119. The Emperor's Shield
120. Survival of the Fittest
121. Absolute Zero
122. River Rats
123. High Wire Act
124. The Viking's Revenge
125. Stress Point
126. Fire in the Sky


127. Dead in the Water


External links[]