The Hardy Boys Casefiles were a new line of books in the late 80s and early 90s that sought to modernize those old fashioned teen (maybe adult) detectives. Out with the haunted farmhouses, in with the virtual reality. Also, because the kids today (and by today, I mean 1994) don't actually want books for "kids," the Casefiles frequently featured lots of actual murder, sometimes in pretty gruesome ways. One image that's been stuck in my mind since I was 11 was from Virtual Villainy, when a evil goon gets squished between two shipping containers. Gross.
Sidenote: these panels were traced almost verbatim from actual book covers. Credit where credit is due.
Author: Franklin W. Dixon (But, Y'Know, Not Really) •
Year: 1987 to 1998 •