This was the sequel to The Rover Boys at School, the first book in a long series (25 or so titles). I'm not sure why I read it. I guess I had a need to find out what happened next, after I finished up the first book. I think I'm now cured from that sickness and will leave the Rover boys to languish in the obscurity they deserve.
To be fair, the Rover boys series of books are geared toward 11-year old boys. So there's lots of adventure, good guys against bad guys, guns, sailing, fires, storms at sea, etc. Jumping to unmerited conclusions is ok because you can always tell the bad guys by the way they look. The writing is truly bad. What it reminded me of was the stories Penrod was writing. The Penrod books themselves are reasonably good, having been penned by a competent author, Booth Tarkington. But occasionally, we find Penrod, the 11-year-old hero of the books, hiding out in the barn and scribbling some kind of lurid adventure. So, that's kind of what the Rover boys comes out being, a lurid adventure written by an 11-year old. A competent author would do better, but Stratemeyer, the author, was an entrepreneur, not an author. Apparently, he actually wrote the Rover boys books himself. Many of his other series, e.g. the Hardy boys, were farmed out to free-lancers who had little time to polish their works. Even so, it seems to me that the Hardy boys books I've read in the last couple of years, were not nearly so lame as these two Rover boys books I read in the past month.
Still, it could be worse. There was adventure and lots of action, so at least things didn't get boring. Just incongruous and irresponsible.