Saturday, February 14, 2015

Brains Benton Books by Charles Morgan, III

A number of new Brains Benton stories have been written by Charles Morgan, III.  The books are available for purchase from  I decided to purchase five books that are available in hardcover with dust jacket.  These books have nice cover art.  The illustrations kind of remind me of the older Boxcar Children picture cover books.

The first of Morgan's books, The Case of the Carrier Pigeon, was partially written when Morgan was young and was finished many years later.  The sixth Brains Benton book, The Case of the Painted Dragon, concludes as Brains and Jimmy find a carrier pigeon that has been shot.  The Case of the Carrier Pigeon continues the story of the wounded pigeon, and the pigeon leads Brains and Jimmy to attempt a rescue of a young man who is being held captive by a dangerous gang.

This is a very good book.

In The Case of the Lost Loot, the Bentons and Carsons have forbidden Brains and Jimmy from spending time together in the Bentons' garage after what happened to the boys in their previous case.  Brains finds another place for the boys to meet, and this inadvertently involves them in another mystery.  The book has a plot and a subplot.  I was not surprised one bit when the two plots ended up joining near the end.

The Case of the Lost Loot is outstanding.  It has everything a series book enthusiast could want in a book.  The boys go scuba diving and exploring in two different caves.  They have adventures during thunderstorms.  The story is delightful and engaging. 

In The Case of the Stolen Jewelry, Brains and Jimmy are plunged into another mystery when Jimmy finds stolen jewelry stashed in a bottle.  The boys tangle with a dangerous gang as they search for the ones responsible for stealing the jewelry.

This book also has lots of great adventure.  The boys are confronted by gang members at the bottom of an old quarry and face a desperate situation as they try to escape.  They stake out the headquarters of the gang by watching from the nearby woods.  Stinky and Stony, two boys from the original series, try to form their own detective agency in this book.  I love how characters from the original books are woven into these books.

This book introduces a great character, Nick the beatnik.  Nick is a "cool cat" who is always asking "what's buzzin, cuzzin." I love Nick.  He is the type of character that adds so much to a series book.

The Case of the Stolen Jewelry is also outstanding.

In The Case of the Final Message, Brains and Jimmy follow a series of clues left by a friend's deceased father.  The clues lead the boys to Washington, D.C., where they witness the inauguration of President Kennedy.

On page 91, I love the reference to mimeograph paper.  Jimmy loves to smell the fresh copies and so did I in elementary school.  Ah, there was nothing like the smell of mimeographed copies!

The mystery in this book takes on a greater significance since the boys are tracking down a father's final message to his family.

This book is outstanding.

In The Case of the Disappearing Magician, a magician has been accused of a bank heist.  It's interesting that this is the third story about a magician accused of theft that I have read in the past month.  I also found it interesting that the bank heist was planned to coincide with the July 4 fireworks so that nobody would hear the dynamite.  This reminded me of one of the Ken Holt books, but not the title with the magician.

Nick the beatnik returns in this book, and as before, he is hilarious.

This book is excellent.

These are amazingly good books and are as good as the original six Brains Benton books.  The books do have some typos in them, which is typical of self-published works.  It's hard enough to get the typos out of a single blog post, so getting all of the errors out of an entire book would be most difficult.  Any typos are of no concern.  I'll take an outstanding self-published book with a few typos any day over what is coming out of a certain publishing company with respect to its major series book properties.

These are extremely good books.  I think that they may even be better than some of the original six Brains Benton books.  They are that good.

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