Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Three Investigators #15 Flaming Footprints and #16 Nervous Lion

In the Three Investigators #15, The Mystery of the Flaming Footprints, a local potter, known only as The Potter, disappears mysteriously the day his daughter and grandson show up to visit him.  Meanwhile, three men show up in town at the same time, and they all take an interest in The Potter's family.

This is the first book in the series written by M. V. Carey.  The tone of the book is very good.  However, she made the police chief hate Jupiter, and this is a continuity problem.

This story grabbed me quickly, and I found most of it to be outstanding.  However, I found the long descriptions of Lapathia and its history to be convoluted and boring.  The ruling family was deposed with some of them executed, then someone else took office and ruled as a dictator.  I had to force myself to read it, since I found it confusing and boring.

Basically, this mystery involves dangerous people after something valuable that The Potter has in his possession.  The mysterious flaming footprints are spooky.  This is interesting enough.  Why have the explanation involve foreigners from Lapathia?  Why have the boring history lesson?

I just wish that a better explanation had been given for the mystery.  The Lapathian history made me feel the same way I did when I was reading any of the Wanderer Nancy Drew books set in Europe.

If Lapathia had been left out of the story, I would say that this book is outstanding.  Most of the book is outstanding.  Since the part about Lapathia bored me, the book is instead overall very good.

In the Three Investigators #16, The Mystery of the Nervous Lion, the boys are asked to investigate why a lion at an animal farm has been acting nervous.

I'll tell you why:  Some strange person has been messing around the lion's cage, thereby making the lion nervous.  Duh.  I knew that before the Three Investigators began their investigation.  Guess what?  I was right.

Now that I have that out of the way, the introduction by Alfred Hitchcock is copied from The Mystery of the Screaming Clock.  Parts of the opening scene also seem very familiar, so I wouldn't be surprised if some parts were copied from other books.  This book was written by Kin Platt under the pseudonym, Nick West.  Platt also wrote The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon, and the first page of that book was copied from another Three Investigators book.

At times, I just wanted to just get on with the story.  I felt like the description of the sanctuary just went on and on with too much discussion about the animals.

Jupiter came up with a really bizarre theory about the solution of the mystery.  He knew that the crime was smuggling, but he came up with this theory that was convoluted on who was doing what, and it made little sense.  He thought the ringleader was someone I was certain was innocent.  I was correct, because Jupiter's theory made no sense whatsoever.

The explanation of the mystery with Hitchcock in the last chapter just went on and on.  I was so bored and will admit that I skimmed part of it.  The explanation was way too complicated.

In fact, around 10 hours after I finished reading the book, I couldn't remember momentarily if a certain person was one of the guilty people.  The ending was that convoluted.

I enjoyed a good part of the book, but I did not enjoy all of the parts with unnecessarily complicated descriptions and explanations.

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