Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Three Investigators

The Three Investigators were created by author Robert Arthur and intended as a literate alternative to the immensely popular but simplistic Hardy Boys series. The first 43 titles were published between 1964 and 1987. Additional titles were published in a spin-off series through 1990.
The Three Investigators are Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews. Their motto is “We investigate anything” and their headquarters is a 30-foot mobile home located in the salvage yard owned by Jupiter’s uncle Titus.
The first thirty titles were “introduced” by film director Alfred Hitchcock, a marketing ploy to sell books. At the time of the first appearance Hitchcock was still alive and had been involved with the publishing industry. With Robert Arthur’s assistance Hitchcock’s name graced many an acclaimed anthology.
Robert Arthur wrote # 1 thru 9 and # 11; William Arden (AKA Dennis Lynds) wrote # 10 and 12, 13, 18,19,, 22, 25, 26, 28, 30, 33, 38, and 42; Nick West (Kin Platt) wrote # 14 and 16; M.V. carey (Mary Virginia Carey) wrote 15 additional books; Marc Brabel wrote three; G. H. Stone (Gayle Lynds) wrote three. Additional authors include William McCay and Peter Lerangis. Artist Harry Kane provided cover paintings for # 3 thru 16 and interior illustrations for the first sixteen books. Ed Vebell did the covers for # 1, 2 and 17. Harry Kane’s splendid artwork, including the famous graveyard endpapers, set the tone for the series.
I read the first fifteen of the original series. I thought enough of these books to save them and I still own them. I began reading the series in the late 1960s. Naturally my favorites are those penned by Robert Arthur but many of William Arden’s are also fondly recalled. The covers by Harry Kane had me hooked. Some personal favorites include The Mystery of the Whispering Mummy (1965), The Mystery of the Green Ghost (1965), The Mystery of the Fiery Eye (1967), The Mystery of the Screaming Clock (1968) and The Mystery of the Moaning Cave (1968, along with its classic Harry Kane cover).
For additional information about the authors and artists associated with the Three Investigators series please visit Seth T. Smolinske’s fantastic website HERE!.
Visit a website devoted to artist Harry Kane HERE!

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