Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A Children Mystery Series Worth Revisiting

Encountering Christian Monggaard, a Danish Sherlockian, at Baker Street Irregulars Weekend in New York last month led me to renew my acquaintance with some old friends—the Three Investigators.

Christian’s essay on “Sherlock Holmes and the Three Investigators” in the Autumn 2021 issue of the Baker Street Journal explores the connection between this children’s mystery series and Sherlock Holmes. Suffice it to say that those connections were significant over the 43-year run of the original series, from 1964 to 1987.

I just happen to own the entire series, a gift of our daughter who picked them up at a flea market, and I read many of them when I was young. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up #11, The Mystery of the Talking Skull, the last book written by the series creator, Robert Arthur, Jr., and was soon back in the small town of Rocky Beach, California, with Jupiter Jones, his friends Bob and Pete, and the introducer of their early adventures—Alfred Hitchcock!

It was a delightful book, most of all for me because it involves a magician’s trunk. And the title of my next McCabe & Cody mystery novel is The Magician’s Trunk! Aside from that, the tale is full of twists and turns on its way to a surprising and satisfying solution.

Then I read series finale #43, The Mystery of Cranky Collector by M.V. Carey. I found it entertaining, but somehow lacking the spirit of the Robert Arthur book. The former was a better mystery with more interesting elements—a magician, a talking skull, the surprise ending. There were more ingredients in the soup, even though the number of words was slightly less.

 “The Robert Arthur books are the best,” Christian agreed. “He deliberately set out to make a series for kids that had a certain literary quality—at least compared with Stratemeyer’s Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.”

If you’ve never read the early Three Investigators mysteries, they are well worth a couple of hours of your time.

No comments:

Post a Comment