A series of juvenile mystery novels that started back in 1964 and continued into the 1980s. The Three Investigators were Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews. They operated out of a seceret hideout located in Jupiter's uncle's junkyard in Rocky Beach, California.

Jupe was the chubby smart kid of the group (and a former child star, incidentally), Pete was the athletic kid, and Bob was in charge of records and research. They were sponsored by film director Alfred Hitchcock, who paid them for their stories and published them in books. After Hitchcock's death, the series changed the references to Hitch to a generic movie director to avoid dating the books too much. Last time I checked, the series was using the name "Hector Sebastian" for the boys' benefactor.

One of the coolest elements of the stories was the kids' hideout, which was an old trailer completely hidden by piles of junk. It had a telephone, miniature crime lab, and numerous secret exits. It was a kid's dream come true (or at least this kid's dream come true).

In fact, it's my theory that "The Three Investigators" was the ultimate geek-friendly mystery series. In addition to that gorgeous, high-tech secret hideout, Jupe was a chubby, arrogant smart kid, Bob was a crippled, bespectacled researcher, and Pete was an athletic popular kid who still thought Jupe and Bob were fun to hang around with. In addition, Jupe had won the services of a limousine and chauffeur, and they all got to meet with a hotshot film director on a regular basis. What did the Hardy Boys have to compete with? Absolutely nothing. Encyclopedia Brown could've competed, 'cause he had a cool nickname and hung out with a real live girl who could beat up bullies, but all of his adventures were local, while the Three Investigators took on more wide-ranging cases.

The Three Investigators got involved in all kinds of different mysteries, often with elements that appeared supernatural until disproved by, usually, Jupiter (Bob and Pete were usually just along for the ride). Their books included such lurid titles as "The Secret Of Terror Castle", "The Mystery Of The Green Ghost", "The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock", and "The Mystery Of The Shrinking House".

The authors of the series included Robert Arthur, William Arden, and M. V. Carey.

More info and lots of cool stuff is available at http://www.threeinvestigators.net/

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