Title: The Secret of the Crooked CatThe Three Investigators #13 - The Crooked Cat
Author: William Arden
Pages: 182
Recommended Ages: 8-12
Star Rating: ★★★★

The Three Investigators present to you… the Secret of the Crooked cat!

The Story.

Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews may look like ordinary boys. But they aren’t. They are a crack team of private investigators. And when trouble isn’t headed their way, they’re snooping around for it!

When Carson’s Colossal Carnival comes to town, the boys are excited – what could be more fun than a carnival? But when a strange old man tries to steal a prize from the shooting booth, and then Rajah the circus lion escapes, the boys suspect that the circus is being targeted for sabotage! But how could anyone profit from stealing a crooked stuffed cat?

Discussion.

I’ve introduced my readers to the Three Investigators in my review of The Mystery of the Kidnapped Whale. Jupiter Jones is a tubby boy who has a keen knack for deduction; Pete Crenshaw is an athletic boy who refuses to cow in the face of danger; Bob Andrews is the smallest of the three and covers the records and research needs of the Investigators.

The series was written by several different authors – The Kidnapped Whale was written by Marc Brandel, and The Crooked Cat by William Arden –  so there was a little variation between the styles of the two books I’ve read so far. The differences didn’t take away from the continuity of the series – it still felt like the same characters. The main difference was that the boys referred to each other by nicknames which were not in The Kidnapped Whale.

More noticeable was the presence of Alfred Hitchcock in this story. Apparently the first thirty or so books in the Three Investigators series were prefaced by Alfred Hitchcock and in these stories they report to him at the end of the case with their completed work. They refer to him as their “mentor” and he takes a lively interest in the boys. In the later books, ‘Hector Sebastian’ serves in Hitchcock’s place as the Investigators’ mentor and preface writer. I’m not sure exactly why this switch took place, but I would guess it coincided with Alfred Hitchcock’s death.

The words ‘gosh’ and ‘jiminey’ are used often by the boys.

Conclusion. A fun continuation of the Three Investigators adventures.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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