William Arden - Shastrix Books

William Arden

Recently reviewed

The Secret of the Crooked Cat

The Secret of the Crooked Cat

19th May 2019

One of the classic Three Investigators stories that I remember well from reading as a child. The team set out to locate five stuffed cats, after one is stolen from them at a travelling fair.

It contains all the elements that make up the best of this series. A guest child that needs help, a bunch of creepy adults with their own agendas, and a mystery that’s just scary enough.

It’s a great tale, if a little dated now, and a thrilling adventure for the characters.

read more

Buy book: UK
The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow

The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow

23rd September 2017

The twelfth adventure of the Three Investigators, and the second by William Arden, finds the trip well into their stride and tells a tale in what I remember as the classic style of the series. When two of the boys accidentally hear a call for help and intercept a coded message, they're drawn into a complex and fascinating investigation.

While it must be said that some of the narrative hasn't aged well and some of the choice of language would be unlikely to be published today, the mystery itself is strong, the peril real, and the adventure interesting.

I felt is was a good quick read and am happy I decided to revisit the series.

read more

Buy book: UK
The Mystery of the Moaning Cave

The Mystery of the Moaning Cave

21st August 2015

The Mystery of the Moaning Cave sees the Three Investigators travel out to the desert to stay with a friend of one of their fathers. They encounter an unusual cave which makes strange noises in a way that doesn't appear random, and set out to investigate.

The story follows the typically slightly creepy bent of the series, going places that in some cases I recall being creeped out by when I originally read them as a child. There's a lot that goes on which would be slightly uncomfortable from a modern health and safety viewpoint, but the book does well to represent the real peril that the hats era often find themselves in.

This is actually one of the more plausible plots for the series and this really helps to engross the reader and suck them into the plot. There are a few twists that don't seem to fit properly, some convenient coincidences and the oft played but scarcely plausible call to the local police chief.

Overall a good entry in the series and one that encourages me to continue re-reading the series.

read more

Buy book: UK

Unreviewed books

Hot Wheels
The Mystery of the Dead Man's Riddle
The Mystery of the Headless Horse
The Mystery of the Purple Pirate
The Mystery of the Shrinking House
The Mystery of the Smashing Glass
The Secret of Phantom Lake

Top books

  1. The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow
  2. The Secret of the Crooked Cat
  3. The Mystery of the Moaning Cave