Monday, September 1, 2014

The Three Investigators #25 Dancing Devil and #26 Headless Horse

In the Three Investigators #25, The Mystery of the Dancing Devil, Pete's young neighbor, Winnie, asks the Three Investigators to find her missing doll.  Her request sends the boys on a quest to find a black case that is being sought by a thief.  Each time the boys get close to a solution, a horrifying Dancing Devil jumps out at them and makes threatening statements.

The boys are on spring vacation.

This book overall struck me as a bit silly.  Over and over, someone dressed as the Dancing Devil jumps out at the boys and scares them.  I was reminded of the silly plot devices in some of the higher-numbered Nancy Drew books, such as The Mystery of the 99 Steps when the villains left Nancy warning notes constantly, which actually helped her solve the case.

I enjoyed this book except for the Dancing Devil scenes.

In the Three Investigators #26, The Mystery of the Headless Horse, Diego Alvarez and his brother, Pico, are in imminent danger of losing their ranch, which has been in their family for generations.  Skinny Norris' father has bought the neighboring ranch and is pressuring Pico Alvarez into selling.  The Alvarez's mortgage comes due, and money is needed immediately.  The Three Investigators hope to locate a valuable sword that would supply the enough money to save the ranch.

This book starts with the boys leaving school for the day.

My book is the first printing and has two mistakes that I noticed.  Page 43, line 11 has an extraneous line by Skinny Norris which should not be there.  On page 123, Sebasti├ín is misspelled as Sebastien

Page 52 mentions "the gloomy bust of Alfred Hitchcock on the filing cabinet."  This is an interesting reference to the original cover art of #2 The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot

This book has long stretches where Jupiter and Diego investigate one lead while Bob and Pete investigate another.  The Three Investigators make good use of their time by examining two paths at the same time. 

This book is outstanding from start to finish. 

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