Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Mystery Hunters Series by Capwell Wyckoff

The Mystery Hunters series was first published by A. L. Burt and was reprinted by Saalfield.  The Saalfield editions are not hard to find, but the Burt editions are quite scarce.

1.  The Mystery Hunters at the Haunted Lodge, 1934
2.  The Mystery Hunters at Lakeside Camp, 1934
3.  The Mystery Hunters at Old Frontier, 1934
4.  The Mystery Hunters on Special Detail, 1936

My Mystery Hunters books are the original A. L. Burt editions and are in rough shape.  Even though the books are not very nice, they come from excellent series book collector lineage.  I purchased my books from Bob Chenu's daughter, so the books came from his collection.  Bob Chenu was a prominent collector who was a top contributor to Yellowback Library during the 1980s.

In Mystery Hunters #1, The Mystery Hunters at the Haunted Lodge, Barry Garrison, Kent Marple, and twins Mac and Tim Ford stay at Bluff Lodge on Lake Arrowtip.  The boys hope to learn who is prowling around the old lodge and trying to scare the lodge's occupants.  Meanwhile, a wealthy boy from school, Carter Wolf, also stays at the lake.  Carter is always causing trouble for the Mystery Hunters ever since they proved that he was the one stealing things out of lockers.  Between Carter and the mysterious intruder, the Mystery Hunters must stay on constant alert.

On page 57, the boys wash themselves with warm water while camping in freezing temperatures.  Even after drying off, the boys had to be cold from the water!

This story is very good to excellent.

In Mystery Hunters #2, The Mystery Hunters at Lakeside Camp, the four friends stay at Lakeside Camp with the boys from Frontier College.  The Mystery Hunters will soon attend Frontier College, so this is a good opportunity for them to become acquainted with their future classmates.

The boys learn about a robbery that occurred a couple years ago at the abandoned opera house that is adjacent to the lake.  A man who was accused of the robbery has been in hiding ever since that time.  The boys meet the man and feel that he is innocent.  The Mystery Hunters work to clear his name.

This is an excellent book.

In Mystery Hunters #3, The Mystery Hunters at Old Frontier, the boys get settled at Frontier College.  They are soon interested in the mysterious events that occur at the abandoned hospital that is just across the canal from the college.  Prowlers roam the property at night, and mysterious sounds are heard.  When the boys learn of a bank robbery, they soon have reason to suspect that the culprits are hiding out at the old hospital.

I found it interesting that the professors are understanding of the young men, such as their wish for information after certain events occur.  Most series books feature teachers and professors who bully the young people and have little understanding of their feelings.

This book is mostly very good, but the story dragged for me towards the end.  I also skimmed through the part of the book that features a football game since I did not find it interesting at all.

In Mystery Hunters #4, The Mystery Hunters on Special Detail, Mr. Winstead's valuable treasures continue to disappear out of his locked treasure room.  The room has only one entrance, and it is a mystery how the treasures vanish.  Mr. Winstead hires the Mystery Hunters to stay at his home over the summer in hopes that they can solve the case.

This book is especially thrilling, particularly towards the end.  I loved it.

The Mystery Hunters series is a solid series that I overall greatly enjoyed.

1 comment:

Father David said...

Fine review, Jennifer, thank you. I think that the Mystery Hunters are among the best of the generally high quality Wyckoff juveniles. He provides such a wonderful sense of the 1930s! I appreciate also that you gave an intriguing overview of the stories without providing any spoilers. --David Baumann