The Case Of The Missing Message - Brains Benton Mystery 1 by Charles Spain Verral. Here's the book that introduces the series. Brains is a smart kid who started his own detective agency. The narrator of the books, Jimmy Carson, is his only operative. They get involved with a bunch of circus performers who have been cheated out of their circus by a sharp bastard. Brians and Jimmy jump right in to help the cheated family to get things back the way they should be. The bad guy isn't as smart as Brains and he gets sent off to jail. There's some laughs, a bit of drama and smidge of danger. There's even an elephant. I liked the cover but I'm waffling on keeping the book. I have read three of the series and only have kept the last two books. I haven't seen the other books in the series turn up used anywhere I look regularily.
The Spirit Archives 26 by Will Eisner collects all the Spirit material that Eisner did after the original Spirit Section folded. It covers 53 years, ending in 2005, and reprints the covers and stories of just about everything Spirit related. There isn't much from the 1950's but the following decade has some material done for Harvey Comics. They tried to revive The Spirit but only produced a couple of issues before the title folded. There was a new cover and story in each issue and the rest of the comic was reprints of the stories from the Spirit Section. I only have one of them and it has no cover. Nice to see that cover. The 1970's have all the material that Eisner did for Denis Kitchen's Kitchen Sink Comics. Somehow Eisner got involved with some of the Underground cartoonists and wound up doing some covers for a couple of Spirit comics. There was a Spirit Jam comix that had 50 artists working on it but they only reprint the pages that Eisner worked on. It would have been nice to have it all there so I would be able to get rid of the actual comic. In the 1980's Warren, then Kitchen Sink, did reprints of the Spirit Sections with new Eisner covers. Those covers are reprinted in the book and that makes me think of getting rid of the comics and magazines. That would eliminate a fair bit of bulk. This volume is he last of the Archives. I haven't finished the 25th one yet. It reprints The Spirit newspaper strip which Eisner didn't have that much to do with. They are reprinted annoyingly small in the book and hard to read easily. I just read online that some of the volumes are out of print now. Kind of hard for a new reader to get hold of them. That's the comic business, huh.
Tintin And The World Of Herge - An Illustrated History by Benoit Peeters. For some reason I have two copies of this book. The paperback on the right and the hardcover on the left. I don't have the statue but it is nice. The book covers a lot of territory and there are a lot of pictures and art to look at. There's sections on the books and the characters and a bit about Herge himself. There are plenty of material to look at. Sadly the books are Out Of Print but still available.
Charlie Chan Carries On by Earl Derr Biggers doesn't even have Charlie show up until half way through the book. What kind of stupid idea is that? I sure didn't care for the book much and I didn't like the writing style at all. I won't keep it and I won't bother with any of the rest of the series. I'd rather watch the Charlie Chan movies. They made a 1931 film of this 1930 novel but it is a lost film. There is a Spanish language version of the film that was made at the same time as the English version using the same sets and script. I haven't seen it but I did hide a link on this post to it. I do have several of the Chan films from the Internet Archive. Some are entertaining. The 1940 film Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise is a remake of the same novel.
The Motor Boat Boys Among The Florida Keys by Louis Arundel is a 1913 book about 3 high school age teenagers that each have a motorboat. They are spending part of the school year off because their school burned down. They start up the Mississippi, each with a second teen for their crew, and wind up in the Florida Keys. I picked it up for the cover and the novelty of it being nearly 100 years old. It reads ok but it's not too exciting. The guys see a suspicous boat but it turns out to be nothing and it never appears in the story again. There's a fishing contest and who ever lands the largest fish wins. By fish they mean anything that swims. One kid beats a stranded porpoise to death with an axe. Not a book I'd recommend. Not because of the porpoise. It was a much different time back then and stuff like that was common place. It's just kind of dull. I have to admit I like the cover the best.
Seven Sorcerers by Caro King is about a young girl who's brother is taken by the boogeyman for an insane sorcerer to use in his experiments. He's got a castle in a strange magic place that co-exists with our own world. The boogeyman has some magical powers, like making the kids he took no longer exist, in our minds or anywhere else. The young girl goes after her brother and with the help of some others tries to get him back. There's a whole lot of other things going on with lots of characters to meet and places to see. There's a bit of humor and mayhem. It was entertaining enough to keep and the writing is fun to read. The ending has enough open doors that you can feel the draft. There is a sequel called Shadow Spell which looks like it wraps up the story. I wonder if she turned in a huge book, both books are over 300 pages, and the publisher broke it in two. No matter I'll keep an eye out for it and her other book Kill Fish Jones. There are demons in that book, not sure about the fish.