Thursday, January 29, 2015

Brains Benton #4 The Case of the Roving Rolls

In Brains Benton #4, The Case of the Roving Rolls, the boys try to find a missing golden vial that must be recovered for Prince Halam to ascend to the throne in the Middle Eastern country of Kassabeba.  The boys suspect that the vial has been hidden in a Rolls Royce that was sent to America at about the time that Halam's father died of mysterious causes.

Quite a few events in this book match up with the plot of the Three Investigators book, The Secret of the Silver Spider.  Brains and Jimmy search for a golden vial, while the Three Investigators search for a silver spider.  Both items are necessary in order for a man to become ruler.  Plot elements of Silver Spider were definitely copied from this book.  Silver Spider is probably my least favorite Three Investigators book by Robert Arthur.  I did not enjoy it very much.  I did enjoy The Case of the Roving Rolls, since it was more believable than Silver Spider, despite how convoluted parts of the plot were.

Brains is very annoying in this book.  I don't mind Brains' superiority as he lords it over Jimmy in the previous books, but he takes it far in this book.  Rather, the author took it too far.  Early in the book, Brains keeps telling Jimmy over and over that he knew how the Rolls drove itself in different scenes throughout several chapters.  Enough already!  Tell your partner, now!  A little suspense is fine, but this is too much.

This type of behavior continues from Brains all through the book.  In all of these books, Brains acts mysterious about his discoveries and commonly withholds telling Jimmy everything he knows.  However, he does relent fairly quickly.  In this book, he keeps dragging it out over many pages of text.  It's way more than necessary, and I found it quite obnoxious.  It should have been toned down just a bit like in the other books.

On page 101, we learn that Brains "liked to have everything all wrapped up nicely and neat as a box of candy before he started handing out solutions."  Let's see... who else is like that?  Why, Jupiter Jones!  Arthur had to have modeled his series after Brains Benton.

I enjoyed this book just a little less than the previous books due to my aggravation with Brains.

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