Elizabeth S's Reviews > The Mystery of the Scar-Faced Beggar

The Mystery of the Scar-Faced Beggar by M.V. Carey
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's review
Jan 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: c-juvenile, z-2011
Read on February 15, 2011

In this one, the three boys do more "real" detective work than we usually see them do. In my opinion, Carey's earlier contributions to the series were quite weak. However, his writing and his portrayal of the boys has improved to the point that I think this is one of the best of the whole series.

The interesting part of this book is the introduction of Hector Sebastian. Originally the series used Alfred Hitchcock as a character who introduced the write-up of the boys' adventures. After Hitchcock's death in 1980, the fictional Sebastian was introduced to replace Hitchcock. For a number of reasons, the series was later rewritten without Hitchcock's name. All of Hitchcock's appearances were replaced by Hector Sebastian. I don't know if this book was also rewritten in later editions, but at least the edition I have shows that Sebastian character was originally not intended to be written over the previous stories.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Robert Stewart After Hitchcock died, the writers decided they would still need someone to introduce the cases, so they opted for a fictional mystery writer. When the earlier books were reissued in 1998, Hitchcock's estate refused the right to his name, so Mr. Sebastian replaced him.

Trey In your review, you refer to the author as a male, but M.V. Carey is actually a woman. I agree that many of her entries were weak, particularly when she relied on parapsychology and mystical solutions (like in Monster Mountain and The Invisible Dog). Even in this one, she has an oracle who dreams the future. That type of nonsense has no place in a true Three Investigators mystery.

Robert Stewart MV Carey's works were in some ways a sign of the times. In the early 70s, scientists were seriously looking at ESP as something feasible and a lot of research was done into parapsychology, etc. However, by the 1980s most of this had laregly been debunked, but Ms. Carey went on using these themes.

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