Monday, September 29, 2014

The Three Investigators #35 Kidnapped Whale and #36 Missing Mermaid

In the Three Investigators #35, The Mystery of the Kidnapped Whale, the Three Investigators save a beached baby whale by digging a hole on the beach for the whale, lining it with canvas, and filling it with water.  The boys return later before the tide comes back in and discover that someone has taken the whale!

Near the end of the introduction, Hector Sebastian states, "I hope you'll enjoy [the story] and that you won't find it difficult to read."  Almost anything would be better than that last horrible book!

This book was written by Marcus Breresford under the pseudonym, Marc Brandel.  I assume that Breresford was given some Three Investigators books written by Robert Arthur when he was hired for this one.  He clearly modeled the book after those books, which resulted in this book having the feel of the early books in the series. 

On page 9 after Pete and Bob have dug the hole, Pete remarks that he hopes Jupe does his part when they heave the whale into the hole.  "Jupe didn't bother to answer him.  It seemed to him he had already done more than his share.  The whole plan had been his idea."  Priceless!

This story is more sinister than most of the books.  The villain's threats are dangerous, and the boys know they are in great danger.

This is a very good book.

In the Three Investigators #36, The Mystery of the Missing Mermaid, the Three Investigators spend time in Venice, California so that Bob can interview people for a school project about areas that are undergoing change.  The boys spend a lot of time around Mermaid Court, which is owned by Mr. Burton.  A young boy, Todd, disappears with his dog.  The Three Investigators take the case.

While the cover art shows what appears to be a real mermaid, the story does not have one.  The mermaid is simply a statue, and the cover art does not depict a scene in the book.  The cover art is pure fantasy.

This story has a more gritty feel to it.  A dog is killed, which is not an event typical for a series book.  A boy is missing, and one can't help but wonder about the boy's fate, since the dog is dead.  Normally in these books, the reader has no doubt that the missing person will be found alive, but the events in this book keep the reader in suspense.

During the entire story, the reader gets the idea that the boys are in a bad part of town around rather bad people.

The book mentions specific streets in Venice, California, and I looked at Venice on a map and was easily able to find the area.  The plot is centered around the Ocean Front Walk with some events on Speedway, Pacific Avenue, and Main Street.  I would have to read the entire book again to see whether a specific cross street was mentioned, so I am unable to narrow down the location any closer than along Ocean Front Walk on this portion of a map of Venice.

I was amazed that I was able to narrow down the area as close as this.

This book is very engaging, and I greatly enjoyed it.  The fact that I spent a good amount of time gazing at both a map and satellite image of Venice after I finished the book should make it apparent that the book fascinated me.

This book is outstanding.

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