For the original edition of this book, see The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook (original 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 12 sections or chapters, each of which illustrates a different detective methods. The first seven chapters show how Frank and Joe use various facets of police technology to track down criminals in fictional stories based upon non-fictional events. Further uses of the techniques introduced in the first seven chapters are looked at in more detail in the last five chapters.

The 12 sections are as follows:

1. Mystery of the Vanishing Plastics
Undercover Work
2. The Clue of the Cashbox
Fingerprint Proof
3. The Case of the Shabby Shoes
Shoe Prints, Tire Marks, Plaster Casts
4. The Safecracker's Calling Card
Identifying and Capturing the Fugitive
5. The Secret of the Empty Page
The Powers of Observation and Memory
6. The Clue of the Broken Pencil
Search of Crime Scene and Suspect
7. The Trail Beyond the Smoke Screen
8. Dictionary of a Detective
Special Language of Criminals, Police Terminology
9. High Danger
Drug Abuse
10. Innocent Until Proved Guilty
A Look at the Law
11. The Suspect and His Shadow
Secret Watch
12. No Two of Them Alike
Visible and Latent Fingerprints


  • The title of this revised edition is slightly different then the original edition of the book, the original is entitled The Hardy Boys' Detective Handbook and the revised is entitled The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook.
  • The Detective Handbook was just one of the 39 Hardy Boys to be revised between 1959 and 1973, but the Detective Handbook is the only book to be acknowledged as such on the cover.
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