The Mystery of the Talking Skull: Nostalgic Review

Photograph by: Bhagyashree. All rights reserved.

Hi guys! Enjoyed the weekend? My weekend was pretty awesome too. I had a pizza plus cheese garlic bread (they delivered it an hour late, but still) and watched Boss Baby. It’s a hilarious movie, you should definitely watch it sometime.

I also reread ‘The Three Investigators’ series. Pretty nostalgic, no? I am sure most of us have spent our childhood fantasizing about the mysterious adventures we embarked on with our (imaginary or real) friends. The only sad thing about these series, is that they are not longer printed and published. I have been in search of these books, since a long, long time. If anybody is willing to sell me those books, inbox me. PLEASE.

I had the fortune of reading one of the earliest editions of The Mystery of the Talking Skull, hence the tattered cover of the book, which I thought of sharing with you guys. Isn’t it grand? The smell of the book pages is so unique and triggers so many emotions at a single point of time. Remember the book is only available for viewing purposes and NOT for lending or borrowing.

So today’s book review is a tribute to our childhood!

The Mystery of the Talking Skull by Robert Arthur Jr. is a novel of mystery genre involving three juvenile detectives Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Robert Andrews. All it took was a dollar to set the wheels rolling for this mystery. A dollar which was paid by Jupiter for a battered trunk, belonging to a famous magician The Great Gulliver, who had vanished as mysteriously as his tricks. The trunk then attracted the attention of many queer magicians and gypsies. Even more bizarre were the contents of the trunk, including a skull which talks. What follows is the journey of those three young boys unraveling the mind-boggling mysteries of the the talking skull and the disappearance of the renowned magician.

The plot of the novel is extremely gripping and forbids you to rest until you have reached the end of the book. Since childhood, I had loved how the author had woven together strings of clues throughout the book and brought them all together at the end, to give a fantastic ending. And of course, beginning to my craving for adventures and solving mysteries(which sadly never happened to me, if you exclude searching my ‘lost’ notebooks with the help of chiding clues provided by my mother, *sigh*). You begin the novel assuming you will be able to solve the mystery before the protagonists do, but as the plot reaches its climax, you left with a dazzling and unique solution put forward by the detectives. The best thing about ‘The Three Investigators’ series is that, there is no specific order to read them. You begin from anywhere in the series and as you finish the first chapter, you feel assured to have know the characters since a long time.

What else can I say about the characters apart from what we already remember? The main characters resemble people we come across everyday in our lives, simple and ordinary with extraordinary abilities. You can count on Jupiter to amaze and leave you in splits with his imitations and actions. And not to forget, astound you with his spectacular deductive, observant and analytical skills. Peter with his impeccable hunch of sensing dangerous situations and providing the biggest clues to upturn the mystery, will charm you with his athletic, funny appeal and head-strong will. Robert (the character identified myself with the most; non-athletic and nerdy) is the backbone of the group. Any research to be done about the case, any news clipping to found for reference, any suggestion for solving the seemingly impossible clues, he is the person to turn to. The boys’ mentor and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock is given a graceful and elegant part in the narrative. How he discovers the potential in young people, introduces them to this world of marvel and guides them is surely a treat for the eyes and mind. In the recurring characters, Aunt Matilda and Uncle Titus (Jupiter’s guardians) are my favorite. Their timely and comical comments can make anyone’s day. I wonder how they never suspected how Jupiter created an army of useful equipments for solving mysteries in their backyard!My parents would have defiantly found out about this, the very first day. How about your parents?

It is very difficult for me to rate this book, as it opens the channel to my childhood memories.You can’t rate memories, right? So I would just say these books are beyond rating and stars. These are pure gold! Just like the three question marks on the detectives visiting card(read the book to find out more), these books are unique, refreshing and eludes mystery right from the first glance.

Even if you haven’t read these in your childhood, read them in your adulthood and let’s see whether you are able to forget those childlike adventurous fantasies?

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Β© 2019 Bhagyashree. All rights reserved.

31 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Talking Skull: Nostalgic Review”

  1. I used to love The Three Investigators so, so much! I remember reading most of them through my school library. I still have like 6-7 of them with me. I hate that they aren’t really available that easily now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are the ones that I have :
      The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure
      The Secret of Skeleton Island
      The Mystery of the Silver Spider
      The Mystery of the Screaming Clock
      The Mystery of the Talking Skull
      The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon
      The Mystery of the Flaming Footprints
      The Mystery of the Singing Serpent
      The Mystery of Death Trap Mine

      Which ones do you have ?


      1. The Mystery of the moaning cave
        The Mystery of the taking skull
        The Mystery of the green ghost
        The Mystery of the screaming clock
        The Mystery of the vanishing treasure


  2. It’s a good read. But to be honest, the books is not in a condition to be read. I have been preserving my mother’s books for about 17 years now. Have you tried the book’s pdf or Kindle?


    1. Woah, 17 years is quite amazing! Even three of my books of the series are like about 30 years old!

      Honestly I prefer physical copies over digital. It’s just not that fun reading on a screen for me. But I totally understand about The Haunted Mirror.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really since I’ve read them all multiple times during my childhood. But I wouldn’t mind rereading ‘The Mystery of the Green Ghost’ incase there’s a book you want from my collection. Otherwise I’m okay πŸ˜€


      2. It’s a pretty good read imo. Has quite a different vibe from the main eleven books. So it feels kinda fresh to see the characters you love through a different kind of storytelling style.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There’s actually a site called which delivers used three investigators books at moderate prices. I’ve ordered Fear Street books from there (which are also rare to find!) And there’s this market in Delhi called the Daryaganj book market where I once found a Three Investigators book. So if you’re ever in Delhi so you should def check that out. Best of luck!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Death Trap Mine is actually kinda disappointing. I had that one ordered specially from a person in the US and it was like below average compared to the other books.


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