When thieves hijack a collection of stuffed animals from a country auction, Frank and Joe Hardy pursue the getaway car and are drawn into a thrilling mystery. The recently acquired interest of their best pal, chubby Chet Morton, in taxidermy as a hobby adds fresh twists to the puzzle.
At the same time, the young detectives' father--famed private investigator Fenton Hardy--is tracking down an industrial spy ring. Over the Hardy's ham radio, Frank and Joe pick up a coded message from the spies, consisting of names and various wild animals. Are the industrial spies somehow mixed up in the hijacking at the auction and the rash of stuffed animal thefts that follow? 176 pages, hardcover from Grosset & Dunlap. Recommended for ages 8 to 14.