The genre of kid detectives is a pretty rich one, with the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and others. However, my favorite as a kid was The Three Investigators. The Three Investigators, as the card says, were Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews. I never read any Hardy Boys or any of the others, but these stories really captivated me as a kid. I think there was something about these seemingly normal boys and their adventures solving mysteries and crime. It helped that their were stationed out of Jupiter’s aunt and uncle’s junk yard, where they had built a secret headquarters out of an RV left in the yard. Jupiter also invented lots of other little devices with the junk in the yard, like communicator devices and such. And they were sponsored, so to speak, by Alfred Hitchcock (though, at the time, I’m not sure I really realized who he was).
I don’t remember any of the adventures all that well now. I just remember waiting with anticipation for the next book to come out. Looking back, there were some 44 books published (according to this Wikipedia article), many more than I ever read (though I probably read 15-20 of them, I imagine). I remember that they seemed plausible (to a young kid) and they seemed intelligent. The boys did things on their own, using their own ingenuity and smarts, and in a way that seemed believable.
According to that Wikipedia article, the series is still hugely popular in Germany and a movie was even made, though one review said it wasn’t too good. It seems like perfect material for a TV show for young kids/pre-teen audience. Now, some of the stuff is a bit dated (who needs some special communications device when you have a cell phone). So, it would need updating, but with a clever writer, I’m sure the concept can be modernized.
The original author was Robert Arthur, who’s daughter runs a website in dedication to her father, with a lot of information about the series (including the addition 40-odd books written in Germany). Another site with cover scans and other information is T3I.
Anyways, just wanted to share this bit of nostalgia from my childhood.
2 thoughts on “The Three Investigators”
I also grew up reading these books (although translated into spanish). I hope I can find them again so that my little boy (Mikel Aged 1 1/2) can also enjoy them in the future…
Nice piece of nostalgia, thanks.
That is very cool, Anton. Did the Spanish translations have Hitchcock as the man behind the scenes?
I just remember that the heroes got into enough trouble to be menacing but that they also solved things on their own, often in spite of adult help. And they did it in a believable way, using their brains to solve the mystery.
A couple of years ago, maybe even 10, I looked for them for my cousin, who was maybe 10 at the time. I found them in a local bookstore, so I think that at least some of them are still in print.