Thursday, July 9, 2015

Biff Brewster #12 Arabian Stallion and #13 Alpine Pass

In Biff Brewster #12, Mystery of the Arabian Stallion, Biff vacations in Saudi Arabia while his father works on a project with an oil company.  Biff helps his new friend, Ahmed, search for his stolen horse.  Soon, Biff and Ahmed have reason to suspect that the horse thieves are working to sabotage the oil company.

As the book opens, Biff is flippant and joking all the time.  He also complains a lot, although in a joking fashion.  I don't like this Biff.  Once the adventure starts, Biff is more likeable again and is more like the Biff from the other books.

A scene in this book reminds me of a scene in the Rick Brant book, The Veiled Raiders.  In both books, the protagonists are chased by Arabs on horses and throw things at the Arabs in order to slow them down.  Also similar to The Veiled Raiders is the accurate depiction of the intolerance that exists in the Arab world.  Most Americans were not aware of the intolerance when these books were published. 

Page 155 has another series inconsistency.  Biff asks questions about pearl diving, and the prince explains the process to him.  The only problem is that Biff went pearl diving in Mystery of the Caribbean Pearls.  He knows all about it, but he acts like he knows nothing in this book. 

I partly liked and partly disliked this book.

In Biff Brewster #13, Mystery of the Alpine Pass, Biff and Uncle Charlie travel to Switzerland.  Uncle Charlie is up to his latest scheme, which is to learn about funicular railways so that they can be implemented in the United States.  Uncle Charlie seems to think that someone will steal his idea if anyone knows why he is in Switzerland, so his plans are kept secret.  Meanwhile, Biff is mistaken for a famous chess player, Tim Larkin.  Tim wishes to avoid the extra attention, so Biff masquerades as Tim to help Tim and at the same time help Uncle Charlie keep his scheme a secret.

The entire time Biff and Uncle Charlie kept running around with people after them thinking Biff was Tim, I kept wondering why.  It is so stupid.  The early Biff Brewster books are exciting.  These last ones are not that exciting and are a bit pointless.

This book bored me with the travelogue aspect.  The travelogue aspect comes across as the most important part of the plot in these last Biff Brewster books.

It's not clear what the mystery is for much of the book, which caused me to be bored.  I skimmed the second half of the book.

I will give the book this:  I enjoyed it more than I did the last Cherry Ames book, Ski Nurse Mystery.  That's not saying much, however.

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