October is Halloween month. Which is the perfect time for Lovecraftian horror but also a good time for more harmless Scooby Doo
And one of my major sources for Scooby Doo Scares has been The Three Investigators, a series of juvenile mysteries that actually started a few years before the first Scooby Doo cartoon.
(I was well aware that the idea of faking a supernatural occurrence long predates Scooby Doo. Wilkie Collins, an influence on Charles Dickens, used it for crying out south. However, allegedly the Chateaux Vauvert in France was the subject of one in real life in the 13th century. And that’s just the first one I found)
I am slowly making my way through the series and the Mystery of the Invisible Dog made me decide that it was time to write about the Three Investigators again. Because it is buck wild.
You see, on a whole, the Three Investigators are relatively grounded. Yes, they do things like debunk haunted houses and go on treasure hunts that were designed by Professor Layton and they have an elaborate junkyard hideout. However, all of the crazy mysteries do get explained in a rational manner and the guardians of one of the members owns that junkyard. On top of that, the three of them have fairly well developed personalities for characters in juvenile literature from over 50 years ago.
The actual story is about a stolen crystal statue of a dog but that’s not why I found it so interesting.
Near the end of the book, over the course of twenty-four hours, someone gets poisoned, a car gets bombed and someone’s place gets set on fire. That’s a whole lot of action for one of these books.
On top of that, a major plot point involves astral projection. And there’s a ghost who never gets disproven but also doesn’t have anything to do with the actual case.
This isn’t the first time the Three Investigators have drawn outside the lines. The Silver Spider had them go to another country for the CIA. Monster Mountain had them run into Bigfoot. But both of those felt like more of a strain than the Invisible Dog.
And that because Invisible Dog didn’t hold back. The baby flew past on a hang glider when the bath water went out. It’s willingness to just go crazy won me over.
That said, I hope the next book steers back to the usual tone.