The story so far…

Three updates in short succession? Will wonders never cease.

And now on an unrelated note, I will wax eloquent about “The Three Investigators.” Have you heard of this series? It was a line of kids’ mystery novels about three kid detectives, that were mostly written in the late 60s and early 70s. One of the kids was a chubby genius-type, one was athletic, and one was a bookwormish researcher. Lots of the mysteries they solved were of the occult varietiy – whispering mummies, talking skulls, etc.  –  although the solutions were usually mundane. It might just be nostalgia, but I remember the Three Investigators as a pretty sterling example of the kid detective novel, not least of all because the kids had a secret hideout hidden in a junkyard. It was an old trailer hidden deep inside a pile of old cars and machinery, and they had secret disguised entrances, like a big pipe, to get down to it. Dudes, I don’t know about you, but when I was kid this was about my ultimate fantasy.

Anyway, the series actually started as “Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators.” I’m not sure what Alfred Hitchcock has to do with kid detectives, but this was only one of about ten billion books that Hitchcock’s name showed up on in the sixties and seventies. The kids would go to old Alfred to get his advice about particularly difficult clues. Later on they phased out Hitchcock (probably after kids forgot who he even was) and replaced him with a new mentor, a very fat genius fellow (in the vein of Mycroft Holmes or Nero Wolfe) who would never leave his house (which was a converted restaurant.)

Anyway, the other day I was organizing the few books I have (I mostly checked them out from the library as a kid) and noticed something that had escaped me previously – the Three Investigators books originally had a little logo on the spine with Hitchcock’s famous silhouette:

But later on after they phased out Hitchcock, they sneakily replaced him with a keyhole logo:

If you’re just skimming the bookshelf, you don’t even notice the difference! Very sneaky, guys. Good save.

Anyway, I think the series is pretty much dead now, but if you see one of these books kicking around in a used bookstore or yardsale, I would advise you to pick it up… but then there’d be less out there for me to find!