Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Secret of Skeleton Island

 The Secret of Skeleton Island (1966) by Robert Arthur

The Three Investigators are off to Skeleton Island off the southeastern American coast. Pete Crenshaw's dad is working for a movie company who is using the island's abandoned amusement park for scenes in their latest film. The island, long known as a pirate headquarters in days gone by, is also said to be haunted. Not, as you would expect, by a pirate. The ghost is that of a young woman who was electrocuted while riding the park's merry-go-round during a storm. The rumors of the ghost hampers the company's efforts to get men to help renovate the park rides for the film. They have also had a number of pieces of equipment stolen or damaged.

Alfred Hitchcock sends Jupiter, Pete, and Bob out to the Island, ostensibly to provide young divers for a short film the company also wants to do--but also to investigate the mystery of the island. They know something is up right away when the man who meets them (supposedly from the company) takes the boys out the the Skeleton's Hand and abandons them. The Hand is separated from the main island and is made of reefy bits that look like a hand from air. They're rescued by Chris, a young Greek boy, who many on the island seem to blame for the troubles experienced by the company. The boys believe Chris to be unfairly suspected and are even more determined to discover what's going on in order to clear their new friend. Jupe is laid low by a cold, but still manages to spot the clues that lead to the solution.

A fun, light mystery--even though it's easy to spot what the secret of Skeleton Island is. There are a few very good scenes--from the cave at the bottom of the Hand to Chris's rescue of Pete & Bob at the end. And the boys face some very real dangers from very real villains. It all adds up to another great adventure with the Investigators. ★★★★

First line: "How are you lads at Scuba diving?" Alfred Hitchcock asked.

Last line: "I can't help wondering--what kind of mystery are those boys going to find themselves involved with next?


Deaths = one electrocuted {I was surprised to find a death mentioned in a Three Investigators book!}

1 comment:

Jean said...

I love the Three Investigators so much! :D