This installment of The Three Investigators Mystery Series is the first after the death of Alfred Hitchcock, ostensibly the boys' mentor (in the original run of the series). M. V. Carey introduces the reader to the fictional Hector Sebastian, initially a suspect in a bank robbery who eventually proves above-board and famous enough as a writer and movie mogul to fill the role. The transition is sensitive and complete. It is also absolutely necessary, since it opens the series to the future; after all, in 2002, no teenager could ever visit Alfred Hitchcock in his movie studio office.
The story has strong characterizations, vivid settings, surprising twists, hard-core detective work, a touch of the supernatural, and a thrilling climax, all told with enthusiasm and imagination. This installment, along with the rest of the series, will hold any young reader's attention. I read it over and over again as a kid, and I've read it aloud with kids recently. It's definitely a keeper.