Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock

I had it in my head that this and “Talking Skull” are the weakest Arthur books but, upon re-reading this as an adult, I don’t think that’s the case. Certainly, it’s not as sensational as the other stories and sticks resolutely close to home (coming off of the Varania trip), but it’s a solid mystery, showing the boys detecting skills perfectly, though the story itself relies quite heavily on chance. Characterisation is good - it’s nice to see Hugenay again after “Stuttering Parrot” (and it’s a shame he never appeared again) - it’s well written, there’s some nice interplay between the lads and there are a couple of decent action sequences. Worth a read.


  1. I liked this one and both stories with Hugenay were good. This one is a little bit more back to basics but that's okay. I agree bringing Hugenay back at some point would have been great. I don't have a problem with sort of a reoccurring villain returning.

  2. This is a classic that really stands up to the test of time. The second story with Huganay, who tries to double-cross the boys at the end but is a good sport when his plans fall through. Both the stories involving Huganay have the boys chasing after paintings through cryptic messages from dead men. I reread this story last week and still love it. I think it was the last of the Robert Arthur stories that I got my hands on. The first one I read by the original author was Vanishing Treasure.

  3. Arthur was very good at constructing these tricky plots.