Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Mystery Of The Moaning Cave

An old cave, rumoured to be the resting place of a famed bandit called El Diablo, has suddenly begun to moan and no-one knows why. There by accident - Pete’s dad knows the ranch owners - the boys decide to investigate and came up against legends of the Old One, a scar-faced mystery man, two old prospectors and a gripping mystery. The first non-Arthur book (he gets the credit in every edition I've seen, William Arden (Dennis Lynds) actually wrote it), this is well-written, clever and full of atmosphere - well worth a read.



This is the cover in my beloved 1983 impression and it's interesting to see how the book is sold differently with the cover art.

10 comments:

  1. A great book and one of the best. However, I'm a little puzzled by two points in the review. First, I've owned three copies and all were credited to William Arden. Anotehr thing is, why do you say the boys were at the Crooked Y Ranch by accident? Pete was there on holiday and when the troubles began he sent for Jupe and Bob, convinced that they were onto a big mystery. So they were actually there on purpose, not by chance. Nevertheless, I agree with everything else in the review. This book is excellent (in my opinion the second best in the entire series) and easily worth ten out of ten.
    Robert

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  2. Hi Robert
    I meant by accident in that they weren't there to investigate the mystery, rather than anything else. As for the credit, as I say, in all of the copies I've ever seen, Arthur gets the credit, but Seth Smolinsoke's site and in various other places, it gives the credit to Arthur.

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  3. The first 3I book I ever read. I reread it two days ago and still love it. The only weak point I see now is why make the cave moan at all? Ben and Waldo had a secret entrance and their mine shaft could be solidly sealed by a giant rock. Making the cave moan only attracted attention.

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  4. All paperback copies from 1972 to 1992 mis-credited Arthur:

    http://postimg.org/image/f0suattmx/
    http://postimg.org/image/dvoxqmuwz/

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  5. I don't think it was until I got onto the Internet that I discovered this wasn't written by Robert Arthur, Ian.

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  6. Same here, Mark! It doesn't help that Arthur himself thought that Arden had done such a good job of imitating his own style.

    Plus, all British Collins editions (from 1969 to 1979) credited the story to Arden. Quite how the error in the paperbacks was perpetuated for two decades is beyond me, quite frankly.

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  7. Furthermore, this illustration by Roger Hall only appears in the Collins hardback edition:
    http://3investigators.homestead.com/files/10uke.jpg

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  8. This was my favourite. I'd say the vision of The Old One was the clincher. Just perfect fodder for a young boys imagination!

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