I originally had no intention of reading the Three Investigators Crimebusters series, since many people say that the books are awful and that the premise was changed too much. Partway through reading the Three Investigators series, I decided to try reading some of the English translations of the German Three Investigators series, Die Drei ???. Once I learned that the Crimebusters series is part of the German chronology, I realized that I needed to read them before reading the German books. I rapidly built a complete set.
In this new series, the Three Investigators are now 17 and are surrounded by cars and girls. Jupiter is still smart, but he is constantly on a diet, which is usually a stupid one, and is extremely shy around girls. Pete is still the athlete and has a girlfriend named Kelly. Bob ditched his glasses for contacts, which somehow made him a super stud who is constantly surrounded by swooning girls.
This first book was written by William Arden, one of the writers for the original Three Investigators series. You would think that having one of the old writers would have helped, but it didn't. This serves as a good example of how what the publisher wants will guide how the author writes the book.
This book tries too hard to be trendy. Headquarters is called "HQ," which I found excessively annoying. The girls are annoying. The endless parade of car names is annoying. All of the names of the karate and judo moves are annoying. I don't know what the words mean, and I don't know how to pronounce them. In short, the book is annoying.
I don't mind that the boys' personalities have shifted somewhat. The extreme change in Bob's personality was most jarring for me, and I struggled with it. I don't think I would have minded so much if he weren't surrounded by girls all the time. It was just so... annoying.
Aside from all that, I did overall enjoy the book.
In the Three Investigators Crimebusters #2, Murder to Go, Big Barney Coop owns a popular chain of chicken restaurants. Barney's daughter was in a car accident, and the Three Investigators suspect foul play.
On page 7, I decided that Jupiter's diet schtick was getting old really fast.
I noticed that headquarters is no longer called "HQ" like it was in the first book. Thank goodness.
I don't have much to say about this book, except that I enjoyed it.