History Literature / TheThreeInvestigators

3rd Feb '17 7:59:20 AM Ingonyama
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* DyingClue: A few of the riddles or searches for lost treasure involve one of these. The Chumash Hoard's hiding place is revealed by the FamousLastWords of Chief Magnus Verde, while the delirious Joshua Cameron of ''Shrinking House'' babbled a message for [[spoiler:Marechal]] about the hiding place of the lost Fortunard. Don Sebastian Alvaro of ''Headless Horse'', dying in a cave after the American deserters hunted him down, left one on the wall next to him that was particularly cryptic, but inspired: "Ashes Dust Rain Ocean", meaning that like everything else in life, the Cortes Sword had gone back to where it began...

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* DyingClue: A few of the riddles or searches for lost treasure involve one of these. The Chumash Hoard's hiding place in ''Laughing Shadow'' is revealed by the FamousLastWords of Chief Magnus Verde, while the delirious Joshua Cameron of ''Shrinking House'' babbled a message for [[spoiler:Marechal]] about the hiding place of the lost Fortunard. Don Sebastian Alvaro of ''Headless Horse'', dying in a cave after the American deserters hunted him down, left one on the wall next to him that was particularly cryptic, but inspired: "Ashes Dust Rain Ocean", meaning that like everything else in life, the Cortes Sword had gone back to where it began...
3rd Feb '17 12:00:51 AM Ingonyama
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** By {{Irony}}, the very thing the Investigators need to get around Southern California, the Rolls-Royce, is also so conspicuous it allows the villains (and Skinny Norris) to know what they're doing and where they've been, as they discover right away in ''Stuttering Parrot'' and again in ''Fiery Eye''. They also discover that the Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup, while it allows them to learn information quickly, draws attention to itself too and can allow people they don't want to know about it (like Skinny) to be tipped off thanks to a friend of a friend. The issue with the Rolls-Royce is dealt with by using the car as a decoy on several occasions while they go to their real destination in one of the salvage yard trucks (although this solution and the problem it addressed never came up again in later books, except once when Worthington uses his own car to following the fellowship to Torrente Canyon in ''Singing Serpent''). The Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup problem quietly vanishes altogether, although it isn't used in many of the books after Arthur's death.

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** By {{Irony}}, the very thing the Investigators need to get around Southern California, the Rolls-Royce, is also so conspicuous it allows the villains (and Skinny Norris) to know what they're doing and where they've been, as they discover right away in ''Stuttering Parrot'' and again in ''Fiery Eye''. They also discover that the Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup, while it allows them to learn information quickly, draws attention to itself too and can allow people they don't want to know about it (like Skinny) to be tipped off thanks to a friend of a friend. The issue with the Rolls-Royce is dealt with by using the car as a decoy on several occasions while they go to their real destination in one of the salvage yard trucks (although this solution and the problem it addressed never came up again in later books, except once when Worthington uses his own car to following follow the fellowship to Torrente Canyon in ''Singing Serpent''). The Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup problem quietly vanishes altogether, although it isn't used in many of the books after Arthur's death.
28th Jan '17 1:22:05 AM Ingonyama
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* CloudCuckoolander: A number of these appear throughout the series whether as clients, witnesses, or clue bearers. Irma Waggoner from ''Stuttering Parrot'' (who is almost a bird-owning version of the CrazyCatLady), Miss Agawam from ''Vanishing Treasure'', Imogene Taylor from ''Screaming Clock'' (who can't find her spectacles after pushing them up on her forehead), and Mrs. Darnley from ''Haunted Mirror'' are prime examples. Miss Maureen Melody of ''Two-Toed Pigeon'' is...sweet and kind, but very strange. She also seems unable to understand why her neighbors would not enjoy being next door to grounds filled with birds that sing constantly.

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* CloudCuckoolander: A number of these appear throughout the series whether as clients, witnesses, or clue bearers. Irma Waggoner from ''Stuttering Parrot'' (who is almost a bird-owning version of the CrazyCatLady), Miss Agawam from ''Vanishing Treasure'', Imogene Taylor from ''Screaming Clock'' (who can't find her spectacles after pushing them up on her forehead), Aunt Pat from ''Singing Serpent'', and Mrs. Darnley from ''Haunted Mirror'' are prime examples. Miss Maureen Melody of ''Two-Toed Pigeon'' is...sweet and kind, but very strange. She also seems unable to understand why her neighbors would not enjoy being next door to grounds filled with birds that sing constantly.
21st Jan '17 5:10:13 AM Ingonyama
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Added DiffLines:

* WellDoneSonGuy: Jim Clay of ''Dancing Devil'' turns out to be this [[spoiler:and it's why he pretends to destroy the Dancing Devil, so his father can keep the thing he treasures so much]]. William Margon of ''Smashing Glass'' claims to be this (his actions being done "just to make you proud") but his father calls him on it, saying he instead wanted to impress him, make money, and be important.
21st Jan '17 3:54:22 AM Ingonyama
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** Every once in a while the usual formula of a client coming to the boys or them stumbling upon a case would be subverted--when, for example, [[BusmansHoliday they happened to be traveling outside Rocky Beach or had been invited away/on vacation]] (''Skeleton Island'', ''Moaning Cave'', ''Monster Mountain'', ''Death Trap Mine''), and once they even ended up traveling to another ([[{{Ruritania}} fictional]]) country (''Silver Spider'').

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** Every once in a while the usual formula of a client coming to the boys or them stumbling upon a case would be subverted--when, for example, [[BusmansHoliday they happened to be traveling outside Rocky Beach or had been invited away/on vacation]] (''Skeleton Island'', ''Moaning Cave'', ''Monster Mountain'', ''Death Trap Mine''), Mine'', ''Shark Reef'', ''Blazing Cliffs'', ''Wandering Cave Man'', ''Missing Mermaid''), and once they even ended up traveling to another ([[{{Ruritania}} fictional]]) country (''Silver Spider'').
21st Jan '17 3:51:02 AM Ingonyama
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* {{Sidekick}}: In many of the books, the boys have one of these in the form of their client, a local who happens to make a handy guide or MrExposition, or a relative who either is seeking a lost heirloom/treasure or wishes help to ClearTheirName or that of a member of their family. A RunningGag early on is that this would be a boy of a new nationality for each book--Carlos from ''Stuttering Parrot'', Hamid from ''Whispering Mummy'', Chang from ''Green Ghost'', Taro from ''Vanishing Treasure'', Chris from ''Skeleton Island'', August August from ''Fiery Eye'', and Djaro from ''Silver Spider''. This gag was dropped for a while, although sidekicks continued in ''Screaming Clock'', ''Crooked Cat'', ''Flaming Footprints'', ''Nervous Lion'', ''Singing Serpent'' ([[DistaffCounterpart this time a girl!]]), and ''Shrinking House'', then was briefly resurrected for Cluny of ''Phantom Lake'' (well, Scottish-American, but close enough), Diego of ''Headless Horse'' and Ian Carew (although only appearing briefly in-story) in ''Deadly Double''. A number of these were found in and around Rocky Beach, justified by its proximity to both Los Angeles and Hollywood. Interestingly, none of these were reckless (at least no more so than the boys themselves) and many were quite helpful.

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* {{Sidekick}}: In many of the books, the boys have one of these in the form of their client, a local who happens to make a handy guide or MrExposition, or a relative who either is seeking a lost heirloom/treasure or wishes help to ClearTheirName or that of a member of their family. A RunningGag early on is that this would be a boy of a new nationality for each book--Carlos from ''Stuttering Parrot'', Hamid from ''Whispering Mummy'', Chang from ''Green Ghost'', Taro from ''Vanishing Treasure'', Chris from ''Skeleton Island'', August August from ''Fiery Eye'', and Djaro from ''Silver Spider''. This gag was dropped for a while, although sidekicks continued in ''Screaming Clock'', ''Crooked Cat'', ''Flaming Footprints'', ''Nervous Lion'', ''Singing Serpent'' ([[DistaffCounterpart this time a girl!]]), and ''Shrinking House'', then was briefly resurrected for Cluny of ''Phantom Lake'' (well, Scottish-American, but close enough), Diego of ''Headless Horse'' Horse'', and Ian Carew (although only appearing briefly in-story) in of ''Deadly Double''. A number of these were found in and around Rocky Beach, justified by its proximity to both Los Angeles and Hollywood. Interestingly, none of these were reckless (at least no more so than the boys themselves) and many were quite helpful.
21st Jan '17 3:50:20 AM Ingonyama
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* {{Sidekick}}: In many of the books, the boys have one of these in the form of their client, a local who happens to make a handy guide or MrExposition, or a relative who either is seeking a lost heirloom/treasure or wishes help to ClearTheirName or that of a member of their family. A RunningGag early on is that this would be a boy of a new nationality for each book--Carlos from ''Stuttering Parrot'', Hamid from ''Whispering Mummy'', Chang from ''Green Ghost'', Taro from ''Vanishing Treasure'', Chris from ''Skeleton Island'', August August from ''Fiery Eye'', and Djaro from ''Silver Spider''. This gag was dropped for a while, although sidekicks continued in ''Screaming Clock'', ''Crooked Cat'', ''Flaming Footprints'', ''Nervous Lion'', ''Singing Serpent'' ([[DistaffCounterpart this time a girl!]]), and ''Shrinking House'', then was briefly resurrected for Cluny of ''Phantom Lake'' (well, Scottish-American, but close enough) and Diego of ''Headless Horse''. A number of these were found in and around Rocky Beach, justified by its proximity to both Los Angeles and Hollywood. Interestingly, none of these were reckless (at least no more so than the boys themselves) and many were quite helpful.
** Amusingly, once the sidekick in question was their thirty-year-old publisher boss who was also their client (''Magic Circle'').

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* {{Sidekick}}: In many of the books, the boys have one of these in the form of their client, a local who happens to make a handy guide or MrExposition, or a relative who either is seeking a lost heirloom/treasure or wishes help to ClearTheirName or that of a member of their family. A RunningGag early on is that this would be a boy of a new nationality for each book--Carlos from ''Stuttering Parrot'', Hamid from ''Whispering Mummy'', Chang from ''Green Ghost'', Taro from ''Vanishing Treasure'', Chris from ''Skeleton Island'', August August from ''Fiery Eye'', and Djaro from ''Silver Spider''. This gag was dropped for a while, although sidekicks continued in ''Screaming Clock'', ''Crooked Cat'', ''Flaming Footprints'', ''Nervous Lion'', ''Singing Serpent'' ([[DistaffCounterpart this time a girl!]]), and ''Shrinking House'', then was briefly resurrected for Cluny of ''Phantom Lake'' (well, Scottish-American, but close enough) and enough), Diego of ''Headless Horse''.Horse'' and Ian Carew (although only appearing briefly in-story) in ''Deadly Double''. A number of these were found in and around Rocky Beach, justified by its proximity to both Los Angeles and Hollywood. Interestingly, none of these were reckless (at least no more so than the boys themselves) and many were quite helpful.
** Amusingly, once the sidekick in question was their thirty-year-old publisher boss who was also their client (''Magic Circle''). They are also assisted by the studio chauffeur Gordon Harker in ''Rogues' Reunion'' who ends up saving the day against [[spoiler:Lomax]].
21st Jan '17 3:21:57 AM Ingonyama
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** A former great in Hollywood, living in a forgotten, overgrown mansion...constantly reliving their GloryDays before [[WhiteDwarfStarlet they lost all of their prestige, notoriety, and fame]]...lashing out at [[HorribleHollywood the directors, studio execs, and actors who either abandoned them, used them, or robbed them for their own careers]]...plotting secretly to make a huge comeback, restore their glamour, and show all those who sneered at them... This backstory for the villain in ''Rogues' Reunion'' sounds a very great deal like the plot of ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''. (And the namesake street actually plays a role in the book's plot, since it's where the studio lot and headquarters are located, and where a clandestine rendezvous by the villains takes place.) Except here it's inverted. [[labelnote:Explanation]][[spoiler:Its the director, not the actress, who is living in the past, bemoaning the betrayal of the studio system and the public, and believing he can still get the recognition he deserves; the actress actually wants nothing more to do with Hollywood and the director wants to force her into it because he "discovered" her and thinks he can make her great in order to prop himself up as a genius;]] and instead of a murder, the crimes the villain is implicated in are fraud and kidnapping (although a gun is involved and comes close to being used). It's as if Brandel took the film's RedHerring with [[spoiler:Max]], amped up his behind-the-scenes ManipulativeBastard tendencies, had him buy even more into the false narrative (as he did in the Webber musical), and then made him the outright villain and [[spoiler:Norma]] a complete innocent dupe in the matter. In the end [[spoiler:Lomax]] still has the SanitySlippage Norma Desmond famously experienced (the part where [[spoiler:he starts ordering the boys and 'Bonehead' around as if they were cameramen and crew, which has shades of him thinking they actually are, or that there are imaginary ones nearby to film his great triumph]], is rather chilling, as is his breakdown after they free Peggy), and he even ends up placed in the mental wing of a retirement home for old Hollywood actors and directors.[[/labelnote]]

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** A former great in Hollywood, living in a forgotten, overgrown mansion...constantly reliving their GloryDays before [[WhiteDwarfStarlet they lost all of their prestige, notoriety, and fame]]...lashing out at [[HorribleHollywood the directors, studio execs, and actors who either abandoned them, used them, or robbed them for their own careers]]...plotting secretly to make a huge comeback, restore their glamour, and show all those who sneered at them... This backstory for the villain in ''Rogues' Reunion'' sounds a very great deal like the plot of ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''. (And the namesake street actually plays a role in the book's plot, since it's where the studio lot and headquarters are located, and where a clandestine rendezvous by the villains takes place.) Except here it's inverted. [[labelnote:Explanation]][[spoiler:Its [[labelnote:Explanation]][[spoiler:It's the director, not the actress, who is living in the past, bemoaning the betrayal of the studio system and the public, and believing he can still get the recognition he deserves; the actress actually wants nothing more to do with Hollywood and the director wants to force her into it because he "discovered" her and thinks he can make her great in order to prop himself up as a genius;]] and instead of a murder, the crimes the villain is implicated in are fraud and kidnapping (although a gun is involved and comes close to being used). It's as if Brandel took the film's RedHerring with [[spoiler:Max]], amped up his behind-the-scenes ManipulativeBastard tendencies, had him buy even more into the false narrative (as he did in the Webber musical), and then made him the outright villain and [[spoiler:Norma]] a complete innocent dupe in the matter. In the end [[spoiler:Lomax]] still has the SanitySlippage Norma Desmond famously experienced (the part where [[spoiler:he starts ordering the boys and 'Bonehead' around as if they were cameramen and crew, which has shades of him thinking they actually are, or that there are imaginary ones nearby to film his great triumph]], is rather chilling, as is his breakdown after they free Peggy), and he even ends up placed in the mental wing of a retirement home for old Hollywood actors and directors.[[/labelnote]]
21st Jan '17 3:19:37 AM Ingonyama
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* ShaggyDogStory: After a story revolving around two men going to a great deal of trouble (kidnapping and ransom on one side, leaving a mysterious secret message for his daughter on the other) to either gain access to a lost emerald mine or retain possession of it, it turns out in ''Cranky Collector'' that [[{{Irony}} the mine in question had been found long ago by the authorities]] and was being run as a regular mining corporation. So in the end it was all for nothing.

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* ShaggyDogStory: After a story revolving around two men going to a great deal of trouble (kidnapping and ransom on one side, leaving a mysterious secret message for his daughter on the other) to either gain access to a lost emerald mine or retain possession of it, it turns out in ''Cranky Collector'' that [[{{Irony}} the mine in question had been found long ago by the authorities]] and was being run as worked by a regular mining corporation. So in the end it was all for nothing.



** When seeking the money Spike Neely stole from a bank in ''Talking Skull'', Bob suggests he pasted the money on the wall of his sister's home since he had put up new wallpaper for her while he was there. Jupiter mentions this is similar to a Robert Barr story ("The Triumph of Eugene Valmont") where one Lord Chizelrigg hides his fortune in gold by beating it into gold-leaf and and pasting it under his wallpaper. [[spoiler:Like the ''Fiery Eye'' example, this also turns out to be a RedHerring since the money is actually hidden under the attic floor; as Jupe points out, pasting paper money to a wall would simply ruin it, unlike gold-leaf.]]

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** When seeking the money Spike Neely stole from a bank in ''Talking Skull'', Bob suggests he pasted the money on the wall of his sister's home since he had put up new wallpaper for her while he was there. Jupiter mentions this is similar to a Robert Barr story ("The Triumph of Eugene Valmont") where one Lord Chizelrigg hides his fortune in gold by beating it into gold-leaf and and pasting it under his wallpaper. [[spoiler:Like the ''Fiery Eye'' example, this also turns out to be a RedHerring since the money is actually hidden under the attic floor; as Jupe points out, pasting paper money to a wall would simply ruin it, unlike gold-leaf.]]
21st Jan '17 3:16:51 AM Ingonyama
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** On another occasion (in ''Laughing Shadow''), Ted Sandow asks what the "???" on their business card means. This is a OnceAnEpisode thing which wouldn't normally be significant, but Jupe notices that he didn't actually read the card, and must have seen it before. Of course this is just a RedHerring, as the true villain of the story is [[spoiler:Mr. Harris]], not Ted.

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** On another occasion (in ''Laughing Shadow''), Ted Sandow asks what the "???" on their business card means. This is a OnceAnEpisode thing which wouldn't normally be significant, but Jupe notices that he didn't actually read the card, and must have seen it before. Of course this is also just a RedHerring, as the true villain of the story is [[spoiler:Mr. Harris]], not Ted.



* OneSteveLimit: Averted once, where the villain's right-hand man in ''Green Ghost'' and one of Anna's inn guests in ''Monster Mountain'' both have the name Jensen. The latter seems suspicious at first since he is faking being a nature photographer, but it turns out he is just there to protect Anna from her ConMan husband, who had also swindled his sister.

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* OneSteveLimit: Averted once, where the villain's right-hand man in ''Green Ghost'' and one of Anna's inn guests in ''Monster Mountain'' both have the name Jensen. The latter seems suspicious at first since he is faking being a nature photographer, but it turns out he is just there to protect Anna from her ConMan husband, who had also swindled his sister. Also, the villains of both ''Coughing Dragon'' and ''Scar-Faced Beggar'' share the name Shelby (albeit as a last name and first name, respectively) although they could not be more different since one is a repentant and mostly harmless trickster while the other is an arrogant, entitled thief, rebel, and traitor.



** While Pete's film knowledge waxes and wanes throughout the books, it seems to be something Brandel missed entirely in his research for the series, since in ''Rogues' Reunion'' Pete not only expresses eagerness to "see what goes on behind the scenes at a movie studio" (even if he's never visited one personally, his father has to have told him a great deal about it already--anyway, nothing in the text suggests he already knows anything), but he later asks Jupe why it's called a "sound stage", something he ''absolutely'' should know since his father is a sound man as well as a special effects designer.

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** While Pete's film knowledge waxes and wanes throughout the books, it seems to be something Brandel missed entirely in his research for the series, since in ''Rogues' Reunion'' Pete not only expresses eagerness to "see what goes on behind the scenes at a movie studio" (even if he's never visited one personally, his father has to have told him a great deal about it already--anyway, already and he reveals plenty of behind-the-scenes knowledge in ''Nervous Lion''--anyway, nothing in the text suggests he already knows anything), but he later asks Jupe why it's called a "sound stage", something he ''absolutely'' should know since his father is a sound man as well as a special effects designer.
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