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The Mystery of the Talking Skull

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It all started with a dollar. One dollar paid at auction by Jupiter Jones for a dusty old trunk that once belonged to The Great Gulliver, a magician who vanished as mysteriously as one of his tricks. The trunk attracts a host of bizarre characters, like Zelda the Gypsy, Three-Finger Munger, and Maximilian the Mystic. But what's inside the trunk is even more bizarre -- a sk It all started with a dollar. One dollar paid at auction by Jupiter Jones for a dusty old trunk that once belonged to The Great Gulliver, a magician who vanished as mysteriously as one of his tricks. The trunk attracts a host of bizarre characters, like Zelda the Gypsy, Three-Finger Munger, and Maximilian the Mystic. But what's inside the trunk is even more bizarre -- a skull that talks!


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It all started with a dollar. One dollar paid at auction by Jupiter Jones for a dusty old trunk that once belonged to The Great Gulliver, a magician who vanished as mysteriously as one of his tricks. The trunk attracts a host of bizarre characters, like Zelda the Gypsy, Three-Finger Munger, and Maximilian the Mystic. But what's inside the trunk is even more bizarre -- a sk It all started with a dollar. One dollar paid at auction by Jupiter Jones for a dusty old trunk that once belonged to The Great Gulliver, a magician who vanished as mysteriously as one of his tricks. The trunk attracts a host of bizarre characters, like Zelda the Gypsy, Three-Finger Munger, and Maximilian the Mystic. But what's inside the trunk is even more bizarre -- a skull that talks!

30 review for The Mystery of the Talking Skull

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    An easy 5 stars when I first read it at age 12. Thirty plus years later it is probably closer to a 3 star, but that averages out to a 4 star which is what I'll give it. I can remember these books as the most exciting books in the library when I was a kid. I hope my son, when he's old enough to read enjoys them as much as I did. An easy 5 stars when I first read it at age 12. Thirty plus years later it is probably closer to a 3 star, but that averages out to a 4 star which is what I'll give it. I can remember these books as the most exciting books in the library when I was a kid. I hope my son, when he's old enough to read enjoys them as much as I did.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    2009 review - The last Robert Arthur book, this has a good strong opening and maintains a cracking pace throughout. Staying close to Rocky Beach, the regular cast of characters all have parts to play and there’s a nice, nostalgic atmosphere to the whole thing. Jupiter buys a magician’s trunk at auction and discovers it contains a skull that talks and a letter which seems to lead towards a stash of stolen money. Incorporating mediums, gypsies, hoodlums and houses that move, this is great fun and 2009 review - The last Robert Arthur book, this has a good strong opening and maintains a cracking pace throughout. Staying close to Rocky Beach, the regular cast of characters all have parts to play and there’s a nice, nostalgic atmosphere to the whole thing. Jupiter buys a magician’s trunk at auction and discovers it contains a skull that talks and a letter which seems to lead towards a stash of stolen money. Incorporating mediums, gypsies, hoodlums and houses that move, this is great fun and a fitting swansong for the series creator. There’s also a nice touch, where Arthur bemoans the fact that old neighbourhoods are being torn down to make way for yet more freeways. Well worth a read. 2013 update - My original review is spot-on and I can’t really add more, except to say that Chief Reynolds has a good part, the criminal gang - Three-Finger Munger and his associates Leo The Knife and Babyface Bension - are played admirably straight and the use of Zelda the gypsy was a nice nod back to “Terror Castle” (though in that it was actually Gypsy Kate, Zelda was her comrade-in-arms). With a nod to a real book - “Lord Chizelrigg's Missing Fortune” by Robert Barr - this has nice interplay between the lads (though Pete seems more nervous than usual), great use of locations and a good pace 2017 update - Still in agreement with my previous assessments, a good story, well told with a cracking pace, very enjoyable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    Not a bad one, just not one of the best. This one involves an old trunk, a talking skull, some bad guys, and some stolen money. No teen boys show up this time to help, so the international helper trope was tossed out this time. Overall a decent story, but I have some much nostalgia for this series it would have to be pretty bad for me not to like it. If you enjoy the series, you'll enjoy this one as well. Not a bad one, just not one of the best. This one involves an old trunk, a talking skull, some bad guys, and some stolen money. No teen boys show up this time to help, so the international helper trope was tossed out this time. Overall a decent story, but I have some much nostalgia for this series it would have to be pretty bad for me not to like it. If you enjoy the series, you'll enjoy this one as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cynaemon Milliken

    I really enjoy the Three Investigator series. This one was fun. In the end the boys always discuss the case with Mr. Hitchcook, and the reader discovers how the tricks of the mystery were done. It was clever the way the crook made the skull talk, but I won't tell you.... I really enjoy the Three Investigator series. This one was fun. In the end the boys always discuss the case with Mr. Hitchcook, and the reader discovers how the tricks of the mystery were done. It was clever the way the crook made the skull talk, but I won't tell you....

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I was fond of mysteries when I was a kid...mostly because my dad has lots of hardy boys and other books like those. This was definitely one of my favorites.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    While I remember this one fondly, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this one now. Some of the details were nice, like the lamenting of development taking out neighborhoods. But the Three Investigators seemed rather unconcerned about the skull talking to them and trying to figure out how it worked and who was talking to them through it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    wanderer

    Another typical Three Investigators mystery. The kids liked it, though I don't think it lives up to The Secret of Terror Castle. Pete is pretty wimpy, and Jupiter wasn't as sharp this time. We figured out some stuff long before he did. The gypsy angle was fun, and they were super helpful to the main characters, showing up just in time. Speaking of "just in time." One sixth grade boy said you could tell it was fiction because everything worked out way too smoothly. :) Another typical Three Investigators mystery. The kids liked it, though I don't think it lives up to The Secret of Terror Castle. Pete is pretty wimpy, and Jupiter wasn't as sharp this time. We figured out some stuff long before he did. The gypsy angle was fun, and they were super helpful to the main characters, showing up just in time. Speaking of "just in time." One sixth grade boy said you could tell it was fiction because everything worked out way too smoothly. :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Ripley

    I'm always keen to read new books from the past, especially a series of books that have passed me by. In this case I have Darren to thank from the Book Zone Blog for boys. I picked up this recommendation from one of his tweets a few weeks ago. This is a real hidden gem - I always find it interesting to look back and notice the difference. In this case, the time frame in which it was written is before the internet and the rapidly changing digital world. Book one was published in 1964 and, 43 book I'm always keen to read new books from the past, especially a series of books that have passed me by. In this case I have Darren to thank from the Book Zone Blog for boys. I picked up this recommendation from one of his tweets a few weeks ago. This is a real hidden gem - I always find it interesting to look back and notice the difference. In this case, the time frame in which it was written is before the internet and the rapidly changing digital world. Book one was published in 1964 and, 43 books later, the very last book was published in 1987. Due to legal issues (with publishers and such) nothing has happened since 1990 and this may still remain the case in the future. Whilst I would love to read more books in this series, I don't think this is going to be an easy task - some books appear to be out of print and some were published in the US as part of another series. However, I do feel slightly hopeful that I might be able to find another example as I found this book in a local charity shop. Therefore, I think you know where I'll be looking and what I'll be doing in the next week or so! Many different authors are featured in this series such as William Arden, Nick West and Robert Arthur (the creator). Robert penned many of the original ideas and edited most of the early books. In fact the book that I've just read was written by the master himself. It is a fantastic introduction to the books. It would appear that all of the authors have written their own introductions and epilogues. These were reportedly dictated by Hitchcock in the early books. This book entails a classic mystery for three boys to sort out. Centered around their uncle's scrapyard, an absolutely brillant idea, Jupiter Jones buys an unusual old-fashioned trunk in an auction. Looking through the contents of the trunk, they discover a talking skull which sets them off an epic adventure of sinister proportions. It's a classically well told story that every young boy, and even every old boy, would still love to read today. This is an example of when books were based on pure imagination. Full of good creative ideas which have been told in a simplistic way. By the time I had finished this book, I felt about ten years old. Let the search commence for the next book. If you remember reading these books, then please leave a comment on the post. I would love to hear what you've got to say.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Jupiter Jones, chief investigator of The Three Investigators detective agency, decides that he wants to attend an auction and brings fellow investigators, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews, along. It's all part of the gathering of experiences so they can be well-informed detectives. While at the auction, Jupiter becomes interested in an old trunk that belonged to the Great Gulliver. The Great Gulliver was a mediocre magician who had one great trick--a talking skull who could predict the future. He i Jupiter Jones, chief investigator of The Three Investigators detective agency, decides that he wants to attend an auction and brings fellow investigators, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews, along. It's all part of the gathering of experiences so they can be well-informed detectives. While at the auction, Jupiter becomes interested in an old trunk that belonged to the Great Gulliver. The Great Gulliver was a mediocre magician who had one great trick--a talking skull who could predict the future. He is the only bidder and becomes the proud owner for only $1. He's barely taken possession of the trunk before people start clamoring to buy it from him. There's the elderly lady who reached the auction just moments too late to bid and offers $25 for it, and Maximilian the Magnificent who flaunts $100 and claims to want the trunk of his good friend Gulliver "for old times sake." There's also the mysterious men who keep hanging around The Jones Salvage Yard, owned by Jupiter's aunt & uncle, and who try to steal the trunk. Obviously, the trunk holds a valuable secret--but is it more than just a talking skull magic trick? Once Socrates, the skull, begins talking to him, Jupiter and The Three Investigators just might find out! I've got a lot of nostalgia for this series. I first discovered them when I went with my then best friend and her family on a shopping trip to the big malls in Ft. Wayne. I was the one insisting on stopping at all the bookstores and had never heard of "Alfred Hitchcock & the Three Investigators," but I couldn't resist a new mystery series and grabbed up two or three of the novels. This is one of the titles that I missed reading back in the day. I have to say that I miss the Alfred Hitchcock connection--I mean, I know that Hitchcock just lent his name to the series and Random House decided to change the host when he died, but it was fun having him as the mentor for the boys. This newer edition has some guy named Hector Sebastian (apparently, after a little Google research, a fictional mystery writer)--not nearly as interesting to me. It was still fun to revisit a childhood favorite and I enjoyed following along with the boys as they tracked down clues, entered their Headquarters through the secret tunnels in the junkyard, and ultimately discovered the secret hidden in the trunk and in Socrates's mysterious messages. Good solid adventure for young readers with a mystery that they can solve even before Jupiter does (I did!). First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Rodrigues

    This was my first book in this series, featuring the Three Investigators, Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews. It turned out to be an interesting mystery, one that will certainly appeal to its target audience. Jupiter bids $1 on an unclaimed trunk at an auction and wins it. But there are many who want the trunk. It turns out that the trunk belonged to the Great Gulliver, a reputed magician whose bag of tricks included a talking skull called Socrates. The magician had reportedly disappe This was my first book in this series, featuring the Three Investigators, Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews. It turned out to be an interesting mystery, one that will certainly appeal to its target audience. Jupiter bids $1 on an unclaimed trunk at an auction and wins it. But there are many who want the trunk. It turns out that the trunk belonged to the Great Gulliver, a reputed magician whose bag of tricks included a talking skull called Socrates. The magician had reportedly disappeared into thin air some years ago. When two men make an unsuccessful attempt to steal the trunk, Jupiter sells it to another magician, a rival and friend of the Great Gulliver, who meets with an accident. It is now up to the Three Investigators to resolve the mystery of the talking skull. Each chapter ends on a minor cliffhanger. And that was nice. What wasn't so interesting was that Jupiter did the bulk of the heavy lifting when it came to solving the mysteries. Peter, in particular, was the least enthusiastic about solving the mystery, and the keenest on winning the award. There is a message that adults should not dismiss the opinions of children as they may have a fresh viewpoint. There is also a hidden lesson about not trusting anyone blindly. And the final message was the one that should impress children. "Luck helps people who've got their eyes open." Jupiter is too naive, ready to spill his secrets to anyone who exudes the slightest bit of authority.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Phipps

    The Three Investigators is a juvenile detective series published in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that spans about 43 books. They feature three teenage boys who mostly investigate paranormal type stuff that they debunk (somewhat like Scooby-Doo) or other abnormal crimes that the police do not handle. They report their cases to Alfred Hitchcock or a fake director depending on which versions you read. Their base of operations is hidden away in the depths of a junkyard and it has multiple hidden entrances. The Three Investigators is a juvenile detective series published in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that spans about 43 books. They feature three teenage boys who mostly investigate paranormal type stuff that they debunk (somewhat like Scooby-Doo) or other abnormal crimes that the police do not handle. They report their cases to Alfred Hitchcock or a fake director depending on which versions you read. Their base of operations is hidden away in the depths of a junkyard and it has multiple hidden entrances. I discovered these books in the library during middle school and promptly read them all. As such, I have a lot of nostalgia for these books. The Mystery of the Talking Skull is #11 in the series. Lots of forced coincidences here as the boys randomly visit an auction and purchase a piece of luggage that many shady characters want to acquire. A somewhat silly story overall but not bad. I read an online ebook version of this since most of these books are out of print.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Routh

    This has always been one of my favorite T3I entries, and it's the last that Robert Arthur contributed to the series, so I'm a bit surprised that other reviewers don't like it a great deal. It is a bit disappointing that so little time is devoted to actually figuring out how Socrates (the skull) is able to speak, and it seems a bit unlikely that (view spoiler)[ none of the boys, especially Jupiter, would think to check the base for any kind of explanation (hide spoiler)] , but it's still a fun st This has always been one of my favorite T3I entries, and it's the last that Robert Arthur contributed to the series, so I'm a bit surprised that other reviewers don't like it a great deal. It is a bit disappointing that so little time is devoted to actually figuring out how Socrates (the skull) is able to speak, and it seems a bit unlikely that (view spoiler)[ none of the boys, especially Jupiter, would think to check the base for any kind of explanation (hide spoiler)] , but it's still a fun story and probably the one that, out of all the T3I books, made me wish the most that mysteries to be solved would somehow find me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mehedi Sarwar

    Another really good one in the series. Most of the good three investigators cases have riddles and in those cases the boys gets into the middle of the mystery and find clues to make sense of everything. In this one, Jupiter buys a box that belonged to a magician. And all if a sudden a lot of different parties became interested in the box. The contents of the box are also very interesting. Among many interesting things there was a spooky talking skull. One mystery leads to many other mystery. But Another really good one in the series. Most of the good three investigators cases have riddles and in those cases the boys gets into the middle of the mystery and find clues to make sense of everything. In this one, Jupiter buys a box that belonged to a magician. And all if a sudden a lot of different parties became interested in the box. The contents of the box are also very interesting. Among many interesting things there was a spooky talking skull. One mystery leads to many other mystery. But to solve the mystery you gave to go along with the three investigators and I don’t want to spoil the story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ・ kaina ୭̥⋆*。

    (re-read) : i don’t care how long its been, or how different i perceive the book now, the nostalgia that a book carries would always be enough for me (a deeply-sentimental, ruled-by-emotions kind of person) to give it 4-5 stars! this book is not an exception. the three investigators (amongst other mystery books) deeply influenced my daydreams of becoming a detective, thus resulting in me and my cousin’s routine of running around my neighborhood picking through trash to find a ‘mystery’. definitel (re-read) : i don’t care how long its been, or how different i perceive the book now, the nostalgia that a book carries would always be enough for me (a deeply-sentimental, ruled-by-emotions kind of person) to give it 4-5 stars! this book is not an exception. the three investigators (amongst other mystery books) deeply influenced my daydreams of becoming a detective, thus resulting in me and my cousin’s routine of running around my neighborhood picking through trash to find a ‘mystery’. definitely a fond memory from my childhood! ★★★★☆ 4 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joe Stevens

    Based more on I liked it rather than this is a great book. This is the last Robert Arthur book and it was edited by a different person than his earlier book. Maybe this is why it feels a little different than the other books. This volume relies more on coincidence and almost seems to have a don't try this at home message in it as the Chief of Police scolds the boys for not contacting him and they realize their mistake. Still the case is a bit odd and the boys are fun to tag along with. This is wh Based more on I liked it rather than this is a great book. This is the last Robert Arthur book and it was edited by a different person than his earlier book. Maybe this is why it feels a little different than the other books. This volume relies more on coincidence and almost seems to have a don't try this at home message in it as the Chief of Police scolds the boys for not contacting him and they realize their mistake. Still the case is a bit odd and the boys are fun to tag along with. This is why we read the books anyway as we recapture our youths misspent in the library.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cliff

    Considering this was Robert Arthur's last entry into this series, it's a little bit disappointing. Perhaps this can be attributed to an attempt to shift the tone of the series towards greater realism and less from the "Scooby Doo" type of mysteries that seems to have predominated the earlier books. Despite the title, the talking skull is more of a side effect rather than the focus of the case. Considering this was Robert Arthur's last entry into this series, it's a little bit disappointing. Perhaps this can be attributed to an attempt to shift the tone of the series towards greater realism and less from the "Scooby Doo" type of mysteries that seems to have predominated the earlier books. Despite the title, the talking skull is more of a side effect rather than the focus of the case.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Orlando Hidari

    I first got this book when I was in elementary school, when my uncle found out I liked reading detective-themed books. Rereading this book makes me miss my childhood. Actually the story in this book is very simple (this book is very thin), but quite interesting if you want you to read a light book before starting back your thick books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emeka Elo-Chukwuma

    I read this book a long time ago as a kid and it intrigued me how the three investigators could encounter such mysteries which I couldn't fathom myself being in but at the same time wanted to be a part of. I read this book a long time ago as a kid and it intrigued me how the three investigators could encounter such mysteries which I couldn't fathom myself being in but at the same time wanted to be a part of.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This one was pretty interesting. Alfred Hitchcock seemed out of place in this book, but he makes an appearance at the beginning and end. In this book, the Three Investigators investigate a talking skull that once belonged to a magician.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    magicians, gypsies and talking skulls. Excellent mystery

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    One of The first book i have been Reading fr.o.m. The three investigators .It is really exiting and pure entertainment.Some different ending that i Did not expect... :)

  22. 4 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    The purchase of a dusty, old trunk is going to take readers into a great mystery by an author who knows how to tell a tale.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shameen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Childhood favourite

  24. 5 out of 5

    Redwan Hasan

    Wireless energy is all we need, who cares about battery anyway!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sonny

    One of the best in the series, a carnival atmosphere, shady performers and a mysterious skull full of secrets!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Roger

    There were a few good moments but mostly this was not one of the better books in this series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Book collector

    This is a generic review of the series rather than the individual books. A small comment at the end of some reviews will be added. The three investigators series was another, along with the hardy boys, that my father bought for me. Aimed at an age range of around 12 rather than the hardy boys slightly older audience, I enjoyed these more at first before moving onto the hardy boys when I was older. I first read these when I was around 9 and then like the hardy boys kept reading them when i was ol This is a generic review of the series rather than the individual books. A small comment at the end of some reviews will be added. The three investigators series was another, along with the hardy boys, that my father bought for me. Aimed at an age range of around 12 rather than the hardy boys slightly older audience, I enjoyed these more at first before moving onto the hardy boys when I was older. I first read these when I was around 9 and then like the hardy boys kept reading them when i was older. The books are great fun. Good mysteries with a set of good main characters. They are aimed firmly at boys and that of course shows there age. But there is still a lot to be enjoyed here. The books started well and as other authors took over became a little varied in quality at times but on the whole they were good fun to read. By modern standards they are very tame but retain a charm to this day. And are still readable to this day too.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    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, excit 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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Stephenson

    AH&T3I Update: 11 read, 17 hardbacks to go! Rest in peace, Robert Arthur, Jr! This was the last Three Investigators title written by series creator Robert Arthur, Jr before his untimely death due to illness in 1969. He wrote a masterpiece for his last work! There are a lot of comparisons that one can draw between this story and another Robert Arthur T3I classic, The Mystery of the Screaming Clock. Both stories start small--this time with the purchase of a trunk at an auction that includes a talki AH&T3I Update: 11 read, 17 hardbacks to go! Rest in peace, Robert Arthur, Jr! This was the last Three Investigators title written by series creator Robert Arthur, Jr before his untimely death due to illness in 1969. He wrote a masterpiece for his last work! There are a lot of comparisons that one can draw between this story and another Robert Arthur T3I classic, The Mystery of the Screaming Clock. Both stories start small--this time with the purchase of a trunk at an auction that includes a talking skull--and then the plot grows and grows into a full blown mystery with multiple suspects, lots of twists, turns and puzzles, and a somewhat surprising ending. The story is very Sherlock Holmes like and requires a certain amount of puzzle solving and just pure deduction by our hero, Jupiter Jones before the solution to the mystery falls into place. The setting remains close to the boys' home in Rocky Beach, CA. Almost all of the classic Three Investigators elements are present in this book. They use the secret headquarters located in the Jones Salvage Yard. Many of the supporting characters (Alfred Hitchcock, Uncle Titus and Aunt Mathilda, Hans and Konrad, Chief Reynolds, Bob's father, etc) all make minor appearances in the book. They even try to use Worthington and the Rolls-Royce but cannot because he is away with another customer at the time. The boys are also frustrated by working in the salvage yard and library when they want to go investigating. So not everything goes right all the time, but they always recover well enough to be able to solve the mystery, and solve the mystery they do! The final solution is multi-layered and complex for an adolescent mystery, but it still very understandable and good for younger readers. Bravo Robert Arthur, Jr, bravo! You left a strong legacy behind with the Three Investigators, and I only hope that the other T3I writers can halfway live up to your standards! Bravo, indeed!

  30. 5 out of 5

    chris wood

    Skull Skulduggery Is Socrates Skull supernatural? The Three Investigators must solve this mystery as well as others after buying a strange magician's trunk leads them on a dangerous quest for lost bank loot. a cryptic note found in the trunk leads the investigators to a fortune teller who gives them a veiled warning. A warning that turns out to be true as a gang trails them out of their detective junkyard headquarters owned by the uncle of head detective Jupiter Jones. The question that Jupiter Skull Skulduggery Is Socrates Skull supernatural? The Three Investigators must solve this mystery as well as others after buying a strange magician's trunk leads them on a dangerous quest for lost bank loot. a cryptic note found in the trunk leads the investigators to a fortune teller who gives them a veiled warning. A warning that turns out to be true as a gang trails them out of their detective junkyard headquarters owned by the uncle of head detective Jupiter Jones. The question that Jupiter Jones must answer is the whereabouts of the lost loot. The loquacious skull knows more than he is letting on. The skull is one of many leads in this concisely written boy's mystery. The leads lead to an easily solved plot...perhaps too easy to solve. I am no super sleuth when it comes to detective plots; I found myself absorbed, yet not mystified by this mystery plot. Robert Arthur gave the young readers of 1969 a detailed account of a freeway. I wonder whether freeways were widely known when this book was written in 1969? Odd! In any case, there is nothing supernatural in this book as Jupiter and the "skull" saves the day!

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