The Three Investigators Book Series Review

Hello everyone!

This is my The Three Investigators book series review. The characters of the series were created by Robert Arthur.

This is a series I grew up with and I love it! So, let’s go!

Big black-red questionmark

Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews live in Rocky Beach, California (I’d love to live there, near the sea btw! And I’ll definitely visit someday). They are friends from school and have founded The Three Investigators. They solve mysteries, find lost things; their motto is “We Investigate Anything”. They also have an office; how cool is that? Their Headquarters – as they call it – is in The Jones Salvage Yard, that belongs to Jupiter’s uncle and aunt. Jupiter’s parents died when he was younger, so he lives with them.

Their headquarters is an old home trailer, that was too damaged to get sold. The boys gathered a lot of things around it, so no one else could see it from outside. With time passing, no one even remembers that it is there, except the boys. And what kind of investigators would be, if they haven’t any gadgets? They ‘ve got the necessary equipment for their investigations by fixing old stuff that came to the Salvage Yard. That’s how they pay for their expenses, too.

The boys are all different from each other and that’s what makes them a great team. They complete each other and each one’s virtues are useful in a different part of the investigation.

There are a lot of books in this series. But each book is standalone, so you don’t have to read the rest before it.

I’m leaving my favourite ones below!

The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot

The Three Investigators are on a mission to find a parrot. But when they go to the house of the parrot’s owner, Mr.Ferriss, they found a man holding a pistol to them.

Fortunately, he’s the parrot’s owner and just wanted to play a joke on them. Unfortunately, the parrot has returned, so there is no case for The Three Investigators. Disappointed, the boys start to go home, but they realize that the man they met is not who he said he was. Going back, they see the man leaving fast from the house. They can’t see a lot but they get the description of his car. Then, they go as fast as they can to save the real Mr. Ferriss.

Green parrot with yellow head

They find him and untie him. Mr. Ferris is an actor; that’s why he asks them not to call the police. When he tried to tell them that someone stole his parrot, they thought he just wanted publicity. He ‘ll be glad, though, if they try to find his parrot, so our boys got the case after all!

They start their investigation and try to find the man who was at Mr. Ferriss’s house. Probably he has something to do with the missing parrot because he made some suspicious questions about it. That’s the first time they use their Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup. These guys are geniuses!

How Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup works: They are three of them, right? Now, each one calls 5 friends of his and tells them what they’re looking for and asks them to call 5 friends of them. These 5 friends of each boy call another 5 friends and tell them the same. And so on…

Let’s get some calculations!

Dark forest

3 times 5 = 15

15 times 5 = 75

375 times 5 = 1875

Do you realize the potential of this system? How many people can have to look for what they search for? Mind blown!!!

Trying to find the parrot leads them to a much bigger mystery. Now they have to find 6 more of them in order to solve this case.

Searching for all the parrots leads them to have to deal with thieves, a threat over the phone, a stolen masterpiece and 7 riddles. 7 riddles that lead to a treasure. A piece off the end of a rainbow with a pot of gold underneath…

Will they be the first to find it?

The Mystery of the Screaming Clock

The boys find a screaming clock in the Salvage Yard. Like literally, a clock that screams when you set off the alarm. Who would want to wake up like that??? This sounds like a mystery for The Three Investigators!

Searching around the clock, they Clock facefind a message that was glued on it. A strange message. But first things first. They have to find whose clock it is. Luckily, the clock maker’s name is engraved on the clock. That’s their first clue!

So their next step is to visit him. After persuading him to give them the phone number of the person who gave him the order to make the clock, they go to his house.

There they find Harry. His parents are living in an apartment behind the owner’s, Mr. Hadley’s, house. His mother worked as the housekeeper for Hadley. They explain to him about the clock, trying to get him to help them but Harry is not particularly impressed. He lets them in the house and shows them why; there is a room full of clocks that scream! Mr. Hadley was very fond of them.

So he is definitely the original owner of the clock!

Car side mirror showing someone following the carThe three boys with Harry’s help try to find the people Hadley leaves their messages too. But it seems a lot of people are after them. People chase them, try to steal the clock and the messages. But why? Why are the messages so important? What is hidden behind them?

They go to a crazy race where they have to collect the messages and decrypt them to find the solution to this mystery. But how easy will it be when they have people trying to get the messages first? People, that are willing to do anything for the prize?

This is probably my favourite one. I love the riddles in it! And they meet a character from the previous book! But not in the same role! I just love it!

The Mystery of the Deadly Double

Jupiter gets kidnapped!Road on mountains

The boys start to go to an amusement park, the Magic Mountain. Oh, a day n an amusement park! After spending all the summer working in the Salvage Yard all summer, they deserve it, after all.

On their way there, a car follows them and, after a while, stops them. What could they want from them? It’s not like they’re involved in an ongoing investigation.

Two men with guns get out of it and they take Jupiter with them. Terrified for their friend, the boys call immediately the police. After tracing the kidnappers’ car, they go with the police but even though they see the kidnappers, they can’t reach them on time. They escape with a helicopter! Fortunately, they were in a hurry to leave and they didn’t have the time to get Jupiter with them.

Now, our Investigators have to find why one of them was kidnapped…

The Red Lion HotelAfter researching and combining it with what Jupiter heard while he was kidnapped, they find out that he wasn’t the intended target. They got the wrong person! Whom they wanted was Ian, the only son of the prime minister of Nanda, to use him as a leverage against his father. Ian looks a lot like Jupiter; that’s why the kidnappers made this mistake. Moreover, Ian hasn’t been in Nanda for two years, so they couldn’t have seen him recently.

Jupiter, Pete and Bob will have to find Ian in order to help him. Ian has left behind some clever clues for them to trace him when he ran away from people chasing him. But will they find him before the kidnappers?

Other book from the same series I like:

  • The Mystery of the Fiery Eye
  • The Mystery of the Talking Skull
  • The Mystery of the Crooked Cat
  • The Mystery of the Shrinking House
  • The Mystery of the Phantom Lake
  • The Mystery of the Headless Horse
  • The Mystery of the Two-Toed Pigeon
  • The Mystery of the Moaning Cave
  • The Mystery of the Monster Mountain
  • and I’m stopping here because I’ll end up writing the whole list… 😛

Favourite character

  • Probably Jupiter. Not that I don’t like Pete or Bob, but I always loved riddles and puzzles so I guess I feel more connected to him.

Why I love this book

  • Because I love solving riddles, puzzles, anything like that and three boys being investigators while still at school was my dream come true! Probably obvious, but no, I didn’t found my own investigative team while I was at school. That would be cool, though!
  • Some way or another, no case is simple. Eventually, things get a little serious after a while. But nothing stops The Three Investigators!

Random thoughts

  • I’ve started this series when I was nine. Each kid in my class had to borrow a book from the library and read it during Christmas holiday. I chose one of this series and I loved it. It was The Mystery of The Shrinking House. I finished it and I went to borrow another: The Mystery of The Two-Toed Pigeon.
    That was it! I was hooked. From then on, I have read almost all the books. Most of them multiple times. As I said, I always loved riddles, so these books were my paradise. I still read them occasionally and I’m 24!
  • There are a lot of books in this series. If a title draws your attention, ask me and I’d be glad to give a short description. Chances are I have read it! 😀
  • You don’t have to read them in any particular order. Anything you need to know is explained in the book!
  • I was always curious about why most of them have a title starting with “The Mystery of …” and only a couple of them start with “The Secret of …”. Feel free to speculate below!

For more books for young teens, check out my list!

If you ‘ve already read this, I ‘d like to know how you liked it. If you haven’t and you have questions, ask me and I’ll answer.

Please before any major spoiler, write SPOILER ALERT. We don’t want to destroy it for others!

Don’t forget to have fun!!!


  1. Hi Jenny, that is a great review of some of the books in that series.

    I am not sure, but I remember as a child watching a TV series that I think was on Saturdays that may very well have been based on this series. The TV stories were about a few children who had their operations base hidden inside of a junk yard.

    I recall enjoying watching those TV stories. I do not recall reading any of the books associated with them. I do recall reading Famous Five stories and Secret Seven stories, and seeing a few Famous Five stories on the TV. Ah, Happy Days. 🙂

  2. Great review! These sound like something my daughter would love to read. She’s a huge fan of mysteries!

  3. I am going to assume you are too young to remember the Hardy Boys series but this reminds me of those books. I can see the appeal for a young reader to get hooked on the stories moving through the series with great anticipation. Great review.

    1. Thanks a lot!
      No, I didn’t know the Hardy boys, but I did search a little right now and I can say that the cover reminded me of The 3 investigators, as well.
      When I have a little time, I’m definitely picking up one of them. Thanks for the suggestion! 😀

  4. Jenny, your title is super appropriate when it says “The Novel Playhouse!” It is absolutely quite a playhouse indeed! I was reading the story of the Three Investigators and I was literally taken on a ride through them going to Mr. Ferriss to going to call their friends to investigating and on and on! It was a thrill; I wonder if there is a movie about it? Great post!

    1. There are movies but not for these books. There is one for the Secret of Terror Castle and one for the Secret of Skeleton Island!

  5. Hello Jenny, what a great memory you brought with your post. This is classic literature for teens. I was a bit younger but I loved to read a lot when I was a kid, and there was an old restored house from a Local Hero back in my city Montevideo, Uruguay, converted into a library. They lend all kinds of books, and I used to pick 3 at a time, and guess what? The three investigators were always in my pickup list.
    Great adventures, smart mystery books for kids. Totally recommending them.
    Thank you for the great post, it was a special pleasure to read through!

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