The Mystery Of The Singing Serpent by M V Carey

Singing SerpentThe Three Investigators – Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews – find themselves thrust headfirst into the world of the supernatural. A young girl, Allie Jamieson, hires them to investigate a dreadful singing noise that is echoing around her house at a night. They soon discover that a sinister cult are meeting there, a cult that Allie’s aunt is a member of.

The cult has sinister plans afoot, bringing the wishes of their members to life, using the power of the singing serpent. Can the three teenagers possible thwart the dreaded snake?

Well, of course they can. It’s a kids’ book, the seventeenth in the series that helped nudge me in the direction of detective fiction. I like to return to it on occasion to remind myself of it, especially when my reading is a bit slow, as these are pretty short books.

This one was a real nostalgia-fest as I’m pretty sure that I re-read this one a lot when I was much younger. Certainly I remembered it a lot better than I did the other re-reads that I’ve done of this series – Laughing Shadow, Monster Mountain, Magic Circle or Haunted Mirror – with virtually no surprises in the plot developments as I read it.

It’s not remotely a mystery, as it doesn’t take a genius to work out what the villains’ plot is and we’re never in any doubt who the villains are. The token supernatural bit – the appearance of a giant snake in a cloud of smoke – is as about as convincing as a Scooby Doo explanation, but I do accept that it’d be easier to do with a snake than almost anything else. There is a nice unexpected reversal towards the end – the final recipient of the serpent – and there’s a level of menace pervading the book. Not just the general nastiness of the scheme or the dark idea of curses and whatnot, but there’s more than one direct attempt to kill our heroes – pretty sure these are the most ruthless set of badguys in my re-reads so far.

So, not remotely a mystery, but a nostalgic bit of fun. Recommended.


      • I was rather stunned as to how much I remembered about this one – it must have made an impact! Well, I’ve got a load more that I picked up for a pittance recently, so expect a few more soon…


    • I’m pleased. However, I do like the ones written by Robert Arthur and William Arden more than the one I read by Carey, The Mystery of the Invisible Dog, which used actual supernatural phenomena and that’s something she, apparently, often did in her books. Just not a fan of the supernatural in my mysteries.


      • Fair enough – I generally feel the same, especially when it’s a critical part of the solution. IIRC, there’s a lot of in Invisible Dog, but it’s high on the list of ones to re-read as I’ve strong memories of it scaring the pants off me! The Arden I looked at a while back – Laughing Shadow – didn’t impress to much but I’ll be taking a look at the other authors soon.


  1. As I’ve said of them before, my gateway drug to crime fiction. Nice to see them getting a mention, Doc! (and so superior to the ultra dull Hardy Boys)


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