I've an entire set of their novels, all authored by Mel Lyle, and released by the now defunct Whitman Publishing Company. According to Wikipedia (America's Source For Reliable Information™):
Nothing is known about Mel Lyle. It is unknown whether this is his real name, a pseudonym for a single author, or even a house name for different writers - nor is it known whether he is still alive.
I don't know what is more tragic, the fact that Mel Lyle has been rendered so obscure by modernity that absolutely nothing is known about him, or the fact that he probably never existed to begin with.
The books themselves bear wonderful titles like The Mystery of the Haunted Skyscraper and The Mystery of the Flying Skeleton. Seriously, how awesome is that? Flying fucking skeletons! How was this series not optioned for television? Even the Three Investigators got themselves a movie. (Two movies, actually. So what if they're German?)
So, who are the Power Boys? Jack and Chip, of course! (The following info was gleaned from the first chapter of the first book in the series.)
Jack is "big for seventeen, had reddish-brown hair, cut short, and freckles."
Chip, on the other hand, "was almost as tall as Jack, but he hadn't filled out yet" and "his blond hair had reddish glints."
Note, the "reddish-brown hair, cut short, and freckles" pretty much could describe me in my teen years, but the only thing that perplexed me was the Mystery of the Chickenhawk in the Alpha Beta Parking Lot. (True story: When I was a young lad, a creeptastic old man asked me "Wanch yer cock suck'd?" This, in the parking lot of the local supermarket. My mother was out of earshot at the moment, fortunately for everyone involved.)
Speaking of parental figures, the patriarch of the Power clan is a globe-trotting photojournalist, with "thick black hair" peppered with a bit of "premature gray," named Thomas. Dad walks out on a "dangerous" assignment a few pages into chapter one, leaving the boys to their own devices.
Mom is mentioned in passing, having died at some indeterminate time of some unmentioned cause.
I googled Power Boys for more background, and had little luck. (In fact, I don't recommend you do the same, unless you want your screen flooded with twink porn. Then again...) There seem to be no other recurring characters, the boys have no friends save each other, and no permanent home, the result of the family's itinerant lifestyle. It's tough being a single parent, especially in the 1960s.
The titles, published between 1964 and 1967, are (in chronological order):
The Mystery of the Haunted Skyscraper
The Mystery of the Flying Skeleton
The Mystery of the Burning Ocean
The Mystery of the Million-Dollar Penny
The Mystery of the Double Kidnapping
The Mystery of the Vanishing Lady
Two chapters into Haunted Skyscraper and I am pretty sure the ending is going to be quite Scooby. I'm also pretty sure the Power Boys are kind of dense. But more on that in the next post.