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For the continuity, see Undercover Brothers continuity.

The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers is the novel series, which replaced the long-running Hardy Boys Digest series in April 2005. It was published by Simon & Schuster's Aladdin Paperbacks imprint and all the books in the series are written under the Franklin W. Dixon pen name. The last book was released in January 2012, making this the shortest run of a main Hardy Boys series.

Publication history

Following the success of their then-new Nancy Drew Girl Detective series, that quickly became a New York Times Best-selling series, after replacing the Nancy Drew Digests in 2004, Simon & Schuster launched The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers series in April 2005. The start of the Undercover Brothers marked the end of The Hardy Boys series, a series that was originally published way back in 1927, and had reached 190 volumes by the time it was discontinued (having been published by both Grosset & Dunlap and various Simon & Schuster imprints).

Like the Girl Detective series, the first book in Undercover Brothers series was sold at a very low introductory price, of only $1.99 (the first book in the Girl Detective was at least only $0.99) in both Canada and the US.


"All new mystery trilogies from the Hardy Boys, Undercover Brothers!"

Starting in 2008, with book #22 Deprivation House, a new three part miniseries format replaced the original Undercover Brothers format. Prior to this the books were stand alone stories, with little or even no plot lines continuing from book to book. Now, each book features a self-contained story, but will build toward a bigger mystery that won't conclude until the third installment in its respective trilogy.[1]

Fans began to suspect that the first Undercover Brothers trilogy might be in the works, when the titles of books 22-24 (Deprivation House, House Arrest, and Murder House) were released on the Internet, because of the word "house" in being present in all three titles.[2] In early January 2008 the trilogy was confirmed, and the name of the trilogy was revealed when Simon & Schuster released the cover art for Deprivation House, with "book one in The Murder House Trilogy" printed at the top.

When the title of Undercover Brothers #26 was revealed to be Missing Double (later retitled Double Down) in May 2008, after the title of #25 had already been revealed as Double Trouble, it became clear that a second trilogy would be published directly following the conclusion of The Murder House Trilogy. The name of the second title trilogy was revealed on, later that month as Double Danger Trilogy.

In early July 2008 it was made known that yet another trilogy would be published, entitled Galaxy X, starting in May 2009 with book one of the same name,[3] and it finally became clear that the new mini-series format would be permanently replacing the past one.

In the comics world these trilogies would not technically be considered trilogies or mini series, but instead three part story arcs, because they are within the regular series (the first one being books 22-24 and the second consisting of books 25-27) rather than independent series.[4]


"I believe this Undercover Brothers paperback is going to be one of the last ones, March 2010 is the kill date for the series."
— Paul Mular, refering to Private Killer[5]
"It's not ending actually and they have titles planned through 2012."
— News group member "Jenn"[6]

The future of Undercover Brothers series became very uncertain starting in 2009.

On May 15, 2009, the co-writer of The Hardy Boys reference book Hardy and Hardy Investigations, Paul Mular claimed on an Internet news group that the Undercover Brothers would likely end in 2010. Mular reported that he got his information from an unnamed Simon & Schuster sales-rep, who also told him that a new series would be begin in April 2010, reportable entitled The Hardy Boys Secret Files. This new series includes books with titles such as Trouble at the Arcade and The Missing Mitt.[5]

Than just over two months later, on June 17, another member of the same news group, posted conflicting information. She too, claimed to have been in contact with Simon & Schuster, but claimed the series would last until, at least, 2012. This account later proved to be true, as the last book was published in January 2012.

One thing both members did agree on was the new Secret Files series, due out in 2010.[6]

In September 2011 it was announced that the series had been cancelled and the last book would be "Movie Mayhem", with one final Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew crossover coming in the summer of 2012.

Outside the United States

Casefiles reprints

Cover for the reprinted version of Toxic Revenge

In 2006, Simon & Schuster reprinted four (seemingly random) Hardy Boys Casefiles books in the UK, as part of the Undercover Brothers series. Two other Casefiles were scheduled for a November 2006 release, but were canceled for unknown reasons.[7]

Toxic Revenge (Casefiles #83) (March 2006)
Choke Hold (Casefiles #51)
Darkness Falls (Casefiles #89) (July 2006)
Cave Trap (Casefiles #115)
Canceled titles:
Lethal Cargo (Casefiles #67) (November 2006)
Line of Fire (Casefiles #16)

In Italy

The cover of Giostra da brivido known as Thrill Ride in the US

The Undercover Brothers is also published in Italy by a publishing company named Mondadori, as Hardy Boys - Due fratelli in incognito. It is translated by Igor Longo.[8]

Sfida estrema (2006)
Attentato nel deserto
Agguato sulla spiaggia (2007)
Giostra da brivido

French editions

Cover of Danger extrême

French language editions of The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers were be published in Canada[9] and France by Bayard Jeunesse. The first two were published in February 2009.[10] The series is entitled Frank et Joe, agents très spéciaux in French, which roughly translates to "Frank and Joe, Very Special Agents". In Canada, as of 2018, only A Bout De Course has seen release.

1. Danger extrême
2. A bout de course
3. Le grand plongeon
4. Attraction mortelle

Narrative style

This series also uses the same writing style as the Girl Detective series, utilizing first person narrative for the first time in Hardy Boys history, with Frank and Joe alternate chapters. The reader is told who is narrating the chapter by a heading at the top of the first page of the chapter, that ether says "Frank" or "Joe".

The first chapter was narrated by Joe for the first 12 books, until #13 The Mummy's Curse, when Frank narrated the opening chapter for the first time, since then Frank or Joe have narrated chapter one. In some books Frank or Joe will interrupt the other's chapter, to tell his side of the story, for example if Joe is making fun of Frank, Frank will take over narrative, to defend himself. This technique was first used by the ghost writer of book #2 Running on Fumes, in this book Joe interrupts a few of Frank's chapters.

List of titles


1. Extreme Danger
2. Running on Fumes
3. Boardwalk Bust
4. Thrill Ride
5. Rocky Road
6. Burned
7. Operation: Survival
Spy Set (Boxed set #1-4)


8. Top Ten Ways to Die
9. Martial Law
10. Blown Away
11. Hurricane Joe
12. Trouble in Paradise
13. The Mummy's Curse


14. Hazed
15. Death and Diamonds
16. Bayport Buccaneers
17. Murder at the Mall
18. Pushed
19. Foul Play


20. Feeding Frenzy
21. Comic Con Artist
22. Deprivation House
23. House Arrest
24. Murder House
25. Double Trouble


26. Double Down
27. Double Deception
28. Galaxy X
29. X-plosion
30. The X-Factor
31. Killer Mission


32. Private Killer
33. Killer Connections
34. Children of the Lost
35. The Lost Brother


36. Forever Lost
37. Movie Menace
38. Movie Mission
39. Movie Mayhem

Unpublished Undercover Brothers Stories

40. The Case of the MyFace Kidnapper (w.t.)

Super Mysteries

Main article: The Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers Super Mystery
1. Wanted (2006)
2. Kidnapped at the Casino (2007)
3. Haunted (2008)

See also

The Hardy Boys Wiki
has a gallery of images related to:


  2. Mr. Pizza's Forum
  3. Bookmanager
  4. O'Neil, Dennis; The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics (2001)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mular, Paul (2009)
  6. 6.0 6.1 News group member Jenn.
  9. It appears, that as of June 2009, only ''a bout de course'', has made a brief release appearance on Canadian bookstore shelves, having been shipped around April 7, 2009, and going out of print within 2 weeks of shipping. So far there has been no word on when volume 1 will be released in Canada, if ever.
  10. Book one and two at

External links