The Cranky Old Reader

I'm a Goodreads refugee, looking for a new home. Old books for children, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and humor are my main areas of interest. I've little interest in books that were written after 1975 or so, and prefer books that are older still. There are, however, a few still-living authors that I respect.

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Talking Skull (#11)

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Talking Skull (#11) - Another top-notch mystery for boys from Robert Arthur. He had a gift for creating situations that fascinate children; his books gave me endless hours of enjoyment as a boy, and now they're doing the same for my son (and for me again, too; the books are as fun to read aloud as they were to read in the first place!). The Three Investigators books are, in the most complimentary sense of the word, pure brain candy - compulsively readable and re-readable, with a perfect blend of puzzles, drama, excitement and humor.As in the other Three Investigators books, Jupiter Jones (the brainy, chubby one), Pete Crenshaw (the athletic, nervous one) and Bob Andrews (the studious one) are faced with another mystery: a skull that talks, and mysterious men who apparently want that skull very badly indeed. All the usual secondary characters are present, including Headquarters itself. As always, I strongly recommend that you seek out a copy that features Alfred Hitchcock himself, rather than one of the poorly re-written later editions that replaced Hitchcock with a fictional character. Also, do yourself a favor and try to find a copy with the excellent Harry Kane illustrations!There was one small additional chuckle for me when I read the books to my son recently; I'm pretty sure I caught a shout-out from Robert Arthur to one of his contemporaries, one who happens to be another favorite author of mine. I didn't know if they knew each other (although their writing styles are actually rather similar), but a reporter who helps the boys out a bit is named Fred Brown. If that's not a reference to Fredric Brown...well, I'm pretty sure that it must be. For one thing, the real Brown was also a newspaper reporter, at least for a while.It's an outstanding book, one that belongs in the collection of anyone who enjoys exciting, thought-provoking mysteries.

Currently reading

Basic Roleplaying: The Chaosium d100 system (Basic Roleplaying)
Sam Johnson, Charlie Krank
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Rebecca Solnit