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Button, John

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(?   -?   ) US author, sometimes referred to as Dr John Button. He is noted for ghostwriting five novels in the Hardy Boys series of juvenile adventures, attributed (like all others in the series) to Franklin W Dixon; everyone familiar with the series agrees that his work was inferior to that of his predecessor (and successor), the much-admired Leslie McFarlane (1902-1977), whose contributions to the series were nonfantastic. Button is of mild sf interest for certain elements in his novels, such as an unusual underwater camera in The Secret Warning (1936 with McFarlane; rev 1966 by Jim Lawrence), based on an outline by Edna Stratemeyer Squier (see Stratemeyer Syndicate), and the discovery of a Lost World, of sorts, on an isolated Island in The Twisted Claw (1939; rev 1969 by Thomas Mulvey), based on an outline by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams. However, Button's most vivid contribution to the genre was The Disappearing Floor (1940; rev 1964 by Lawrence), based on an outline by Squier, which unusually pits the young detectives against a Mad Scientist (all novels and revisions as by Dixon). Their adversary's modest innovations include a device that projects an image resembling a ghost (see Supernatural Creatures) and the "disappearing floor" of the title, better described as a large elevator. [GW]

John Button


works (selected)


Hardy Boys

  • The Secret Warning (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1938) with Leslie McFarlane writing together as Franklin W Dixon [Hardy Boys: hb/Paul Laune]
  • The Twisted Claw (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1939) as by Franklin W Dixon [Hardy Boys: hb/Paul Laune]
  • The Disappearing Floor (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1940) as by Franklin W Dixon [Hardy Boys: hb/Paul Laune]


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