The Secret of Terror Castle
Finding a genuine haunted house for a movie set sounds like fun - and a great way to generate publicity for the Three Investigators' new detective agency. But when the boys arrive for an overnight visit at Terror Castle - home of a deceased horror-movie actor - they soon find out how the place got its name.
Reviewed on 29th July 2012
The first adventure of the Three Investigators introduces a number of long-running features of the series and sees the three boys, Jupiter, Pete and Bob, on their first investigation - to find a haunted house for Alfred Hitchcock to use in his next film.
It's been a long time since I first read these books as a child, and I didn't remember how clearly distinct the characters were - Jupiter in particular comes across as something of a pompous know-it-all which in places early on seems a little irritating, though the character mellows throughout the story.
Although it was written in the 1960s there's very little to significantly date the book and it would be easily readable for a young audience today, with a good amount of tension to keep the reader entertained. The mystery is fairly basic and reading as an adult some of the twists seemed obvious (but I have read it before and was surprised by some), but it serves to introduce the characters and set up the series.
All round a nice trip down memory lane with a book that I think is still perfectly good for a youngster interested in mystery stories. I'm looking forward to re-reading the rest of the series, including those I missed out on as a child.