AN ANCIENT HIDDEN TREASURE STIRS UP A CUNNING PLOT!
Teen Village International brings Frank and Joe to the south of France to rebuild a deserted town. The finished project will be a center for refugee children. But word is that the local castle is haunted -- by the centuries-old ghost of its lord, who hid a fortune in diamonds from bandits within its thick stone walls.
Spooky lights, strange noises, and several close shaves convince the Hardys that someone is trying to sabotage the project. A pair of French twins, descendants of the owner, want to save the castle from developers. Every facet of the case leads to a dead end -- and the Hardys are hunting a desperate enemy!
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June 25, 2001
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Excerpt from The Castle Conundrum by Franklin W. Dixon
A French Adventure
Seventeen-year-old Joe Hardy stared out the window of the train. He turned and trained his blue eyes on his brother, Frank. "Look," he said excitedly. "On that hilltop. It's a ruined castle!"
Frank, eighteen, leaned forward to see past Joe. "Where?" he asked. "All I see is a blur."
"Oh, never mind," Joe said. "It's already out of sight. You've got to be quicker than that. We're going over a hundred and twenty miles an hour."
Frank grinned and settled back in his seat. He and Joe had boarded the superfast train called the TGV in Paris that morning after breakfast. Now, fewer than three hours later, they were already in the south of France.
Frank and Joe had accompanied their father to Europe, where he was attending a conference on enforcing the UN embargo against illegal diamond transportation. Fenton Hardy was a famous private detective who sometimes asked his two sons for help on tough cases. It had been natural for Frank and Joe to start investigating crimes and solving mysteries on their own. Now they, too, had growing reputations as detectives.
"Too bad we couldn't go to the conference with Dad," Frank remarked after a silence. "Some of the top investigators from around the world will be there. I didn't realize diamond smuggling was such a big problem."
When Joe didn't answer, Frank glanced over. Joe was thumbing through their TVI brochure. The initials stood for Teen Village International. A friend of Fenton's had urged Frank and Joe to spend a couple of weeks in the teen program while they were in France. After talking to him and reading the materials from TVI, they had signed up.