Ok, I’m making another offbeat choice for this week’s FFB, and before I get into the book, here I go again, digressing... !
I’m always searching into what originally sparked my interest in reading and writing crime/detective stories. I’ve mentioned before that when I was young, reading the Hardy Boys led into Robert B. Parker novels, which, in turn, led me to the stories of Raymond Chandler. Prior to the Hardy Boys, I remember watching a Dirk Benedict police show called Chopper One, but, as far as reading is concerned, I always thought it was the boys from Bayport who started the ball rolling -— though I may have uncovered an even earlier influence.
Over the Christmas holiday, I was digging through more of my boxes stored at Mom’s house and came across something I had completely forgotten about: Jonny Quest’s Adventure with the Secret Tunnel from 1972 (when I was just knee-high to a grasshopper). This Hanna-Barbera storybook is only twelve pages long, and as a youngster, I read it over and over, never tiring of it. In the story, Professor Boris Krantz plans to raid Dr. Benton Quest’s island, Palm Key, and kidnap Benton in order to learn the secret of his anti-laser device. Of course, Jonny and special agent/bodyguard, Race Bannon, are on top of the situation and, in the end, foil the Professor’s diabolical plan. The tunnel in the title doesn’t really figure into the plot all that much but many kindergarten aged kids would never notice -– whereas this thirty-eight year old did. The story was written by Horace J. Elias, who had a very successful career writing children’s books.
The little book contained a special dedication from my parents, written by Dad. The extra “h” at the end of “with” is from my unskilled hand in an attempt to learn how to write by mimicking his letter.
Next week, I’ll choose a more appropriate FFB, but, for me, Adventure with the Secret Tunnel was a very personal rediscovery that I wanted to share.
Head over to Patti Abbott's site for more Friday's Forgotten Books.