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HOT WHEELS Paperback – May 21 1991

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (May 21 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679813802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679813804
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.4 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This is the first of The 3 Investigators Crimebusters series. Three teenage investigators on the West Coast--Jupiter (the Brain), Pete (the Jock) and Bob (Mr. Cool)--use their talent for solving crimes. Stereotypical Hispanic hoodlums, part of a "Latino La Bamba" (that is, salsa) band, are being used as muscle by a record promoter-gone-bad. The case moves quickly to a close; before long, the investigators have put their judo and karate training to use and have captured the bad guys, to the surprise of the local police. Lively cover graphics and short chapters are part of this package; the Crimebuster's first adventure is short on realism, but offers honest value as amusement. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f8e54b0) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f85fdc8) out of 5 stars I wish it could have been better... Sept. 20 2006
By Paul Cerra - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I only recently discovered the "Crimebusters" extension to the original Three Investigators canon. I'm sure that like myself, many readers of the original series wondered how Jupiter, Bob and Pete would turn out as they grew older. Since this series promised to reintroduce the boys as teenagers, and since this first story ("Hot Wheels") is written by one of the original authors, William Arden, I had high hopes that it would be worthwhile.

Unfortunately, early in the book it is already clear that Arden must have lost his touch as he tried to modernize a series that was originally conceived in the early 1960s. The first chapter of the book is filled with makes and models of cars -- a corvair, a Mercedes 450 SL, various VW bugs, and so on. You can feel the formula... boys + cars = an avid readership. But it's such a hackneyed notion, and isn't made any better by the boys referring to their cars as "wheels". I was the same age (17) as the Three Investigators are said to be when this book came out in 1989, and none of my friends ever called their cars "wheels".

Another feature of the original books is that they were, if you'll pardon the phrase, "lily white". That is to say, all the characters had names like Jensen, Roberts, Morton, Wilkins, and Carson, and the only exceptions were stereotypes, like Carlos the Mexican boy from Book 2, and the Chang the Chinese boy from Book 4 (who always referred to anyone in his family as being "honorable.") To Arden's credit, he appears to have tried to have buck this trend by introducing a populace of latinos in this book. Unfortunately, these characters can't escape the stereotyping, either. Here in California we've got plenty of Latinos and I don't think a single one of them has ever called a white person an "Anglo" as all the latinos do in this book. Arden must have seen the movie "La Bamba" circa 1986 and felt that it was the wave of the future, but unfortunately that movie was never representative of Latino culture in California and the book immediately feels dated and false.

Maybe you're thinking that I am nitpicking by pointing out these small flaws. Then how would you react upon learning that all of the Three Investigators now seem to know either Judo or Karate? Arden spends plenty of time describing and naming the exact moves that each of the Investigators performs to disarm or disable opponents. Even Jupiter, never athletic in the original books, is proficient. When Jupiter drums up a plan that he explains to Pete by telling him to "use your Karate on him!" to gain the upper hand, you know that the book is never going to get better.

And it doesn't. Unlike the early books, there are no real red herrings, no misdirection, just a series of unlikely happenings interspersed with clumsy descriptions of the Three Investigators and their girl troubles. Would you believe that brainy Bob, with the gimpy leg, is now "Mr. Cool" who has more girls than he knows what do with? Maybe it's easy enough to believe that Pete is controlled by his girlfriend, but when Jupiter repeatedly begs his friends to help him buy a car, enough is enough. This is the same Jupiter Jones that used to build direction finders and who fixed anything electronic that came his way, but yet he somehow can't drum up enough cash to buy a cheap beater (excuse me... some "wheels") to drive around? It just doesn't make any sense.

If you're a longtime fan of the Three Investigators and want to see how they turned out, I warn you that you will be left with a profound sense of "what could have been" if you read this book. If you're not a longtime fan or wonder what the fuss is all about, then please don't bother to read this book. It might scare you away from reading the original series, and that would be a real crime.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f7f1dbc) out of 5 stars READ THIS SERIES! Aug. 7 2014
By MAINE-LY_BOOKS! - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say enough about this vintage juvenile mystery series that's still going strong in Germany! If not for the greed of Hitchcock's heirs, this series might well still be alive & well in the USA. Hitchcock lent his name to the series, and each book began and ended in Hitchcock's office where he introduced the mystery or listened to the boys as they told how they solved the case. That was the sum of Hitchcock's involvement with the series. He neither wrote the series nor appeared in the actual mystery itself. But he was a hot item when this series started in 1964, and his name sold books. He edited many a collection of short stories by other authors, and that's how Robert Arthur came to conceive the series, after being published in several books Hitchcock edited. The series was so successful it survived two decades after Robert Arthur, the original author, passed away.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f703090) out of 5 stars Story line is a little far fetched as to how much danger is involved and the easy apprehension of criminals Aug. 28 2014
By xscamper1 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first book of the new series. The three investigators are much older and drive their own cars. This book doesn't read as smoothly as the older books. Their is too much attention paid to the girls and their partying. Story line is a little far fetched as to how much danger is involved and the easy apprehension of criminals.
HASH(0x9f98df90) out of 5 stars Nice Mystery March 17 2013
By DArsenault - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great mystery book for fans,fun to read excellent kids from the ages 10-12,and collectors. A fun story fun beginning to end.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f6b2ed0) out of 5 stars Four Stars Oct. 5 2014
By capshky - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

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