The German Three Investigators Stories

Many fans may have been as surprised as I to discover that although the Three Investigators ended their careers in the United States in the late 1980s (the original series) and the early 1990s (the "Crimebusters" series), they have continued to live on in Germany with new stories being added to the series on a regular basis.

Not being fluent in German, I cannot provide an authoritative look at the German series, but there are several good Three Investigatorswebsites that focus on the German series that are listed in the Webring information on my links page.

One fan in Germany with whom I've had contact is Marcus Meyer. He's an avid T3I fan and is willing to share all sorts of information about the German version of the Three Investigators.  Marcus graciously took the time to give me some information via e-mail which I wanted to share on my web site.

Although the German version of the Three Investigators starts with "Terror Castle," it continues through "Cranky Collector," then picks up with the "Crimebusters" series and continues on with German language originals from there. The German language originals started in 1993 with books by BRIGITTE JOHANNA HENKEL-WAIDHOFER. She wrote 16 books for the KOSMOS-VERLAG (KOSMOS publishing). After her era ended several other authors continued to write in the series at the rate of two books per year. However, there are three stories set to be released in August 2000! This is inconceivable for those of us in the U.S. who were used to a new story every year or so after Robert Arthur's death.

The T3I series is so popular in Germany that there are audioplays available of each episode, which are even more popular than thebooks. There are CD-ROMS in the making and there are all kinds of games (cardboard games etc.). In Marcus's opinion, the series nowadays appeals to the 20 to 30 old; the fans just grew with the series!

For the "kids" there is the much critizised "Die drei Fragezeichen Kids"-series ("The Three Investigators-Kids"), which is written for the 6-12 year olds. Some of the German titles were translated into other European languages like Czech, Spanish or Italian.

Some characters have other names than the original: Jupiter "Jupe" Jones is JUSTUS "JUST" JONAS and Peter "Pete" Crenshaw mutated into PETER SHAW. Worthington (The episode "DEADLY TRAIL" is dedicated solely to
him!) changed his name into MORTON and the two bavarian brothers Hans and Konrad are from Ireland and called PATRICK and KENNETH!

There are three girls who frequent the series as well and more or less act as the girlfriends of the boys. They were all introduced in the "Crimebusters" series.

According to Marcus, the german titles are all written in the same tradition as the "old stuff", there´s no break in the logical environment. Contentwise some episodes can be compared to the Crimebusters-era stories while others are similar to the early stories and is largely dependent on the author. Even though each new episodes brings new characters, some old, known
characters are still "used", like for instance the French art thief Hugenay in the Episode POLTERGEIST.

German books don´t have any internal illustrations comparable to the originals. However, Marcus's web site does have pictures of several of the covers, and he's planning to add more illustrations as time allows.

Below is a list of the German language original stories provided by Marcus. The list includes the German name followed by Marcus's rendition of the title in English.

Die drei Fragezeichen - Tatort Zirkus (The Three Investigators - Crimes at the Circus)
Die drei Fragezeichen und der verrueckte Maler (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Mad Painter)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Giftiges Water (The Three Investigators -Poisoned Water)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Doping Mixer (The Three Investigators - Doping Mixer)
Die drei Fragezeichen und die Rache des Tigers (The three investigatos -Revenge of the Tiger)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Spuk im Hotel (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Haunted Hotel)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Fussball Gangster (The Three Investigators -Soccer Gangsters)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Geisterstadt (The Three Investigators -Ghost Town)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Diamantenschmuggel (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Smuggled Diamonds)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Schattenmaenner (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Shadowmen)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Geheimnis der Saerge (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Mysterious Coffins)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Der Schatz im Bergsee (The Three Investigators - Treasures in the Mountain Lake)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Dreckiger Deal (the Three Investigators - Dirty Deal)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Schuesse aus dem Dunkeln (The Three Investigators - Shots in the Dark)
Die drei Fragezeichen und die verschwundene Seglerin (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Missing Sailor)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Späte Rache (The Three Investigators - Late Revenge)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Poltergeist (The Three Investigators - Poltergeist)
Die drei Fragezeichen und das brennende Schwert (the Three Investigators in the Case of the Burning Sword)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Die Spur des Raben (The Three Investigators - The Ravens´ Trail)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Stimmen aus dem Nichts (The Three Investigators - Voices from the Void)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Pistenteufel (The Three Investigators - The Devil on the Beaten Track)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Das leere Grab (The Three Investigators - The Vacant Tomb)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Im Banne des Voodoo (The Three Investigators - The Curse of Voodoo)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Geheimsache UFO (The Three Investigators - UFO Confidential)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Verdeckte Fouls (The Three Investigators - Hidden Foul Play)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Die Karten des Boesen (The Three Investigators - The Cards of Evil)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Meuterei auf hoher See (The Three Investigators - High Sea Muntiny)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Feuerturm (The Three Investigators - The Tower of Fire)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Naght in Angst (The Three Investigators - One Night in Fear)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Wolfsgesicht (The Three Investigators - Wolf Face)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Vapir im Internet (The Three Investigators - Vampire Online)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Tödliche Spur (The Three Investigators - Deadly Trail)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Der Feuerteufel (The Three Investigators - Fire Demon)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Todesflug (The Three Investigators - Flight of Death)
Die drei Fragezeichen und das Geisterschiff (The Three Investigators in the Case of the Ghost Ship)
Die drei Fragezeichen - Das Labyrinth der Goetter (The Three Investigators - The Labyrinth of the Gods)

Ronny Schmidt, another fan of the German series sent me some additional information on the German books with yet more new titles. They are as follows:

#094: The Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Black Monster
#095: The Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Ghost Hand's Message
#096: The Three Investigators and the Secret of the Red Revenger
#097: The Three Investigators: Insect Prick
#098: The Three Investigators in the Case of Character Assassination
#099: The Three Investigators in the Mystery of Terror Valley
#100: The Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Isle of the Deaths (Trilogy)
-----#100/1: The Three Investigators and the Secret of the Sphinx
-----#100/2: The Three Investigators and the Mystery of the Lost People
-----#100/3: The Three Investigators and the Curse of the Graves
#101: The Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Doubled Deception
#102: The Three Investigators in the Mystery of the Evil Mobilephones / Haunted Mobilephones.

In 2007, I got more information from another German fan of the series, Oliver Nekrep.  Thanks to him for helping me update my list again.

Das Erbe des Meisterdiebs (The Mystery of Hugenays last Will) ((Hugenay fakes his death and puts Jupe to a test of will)
Der Nebelberg (The Secret of Fog Mountain)
Gift per e-Mail (Poisoned e-Mail)
Die sieben Tore (The Secret of the Seven Gates) ((This is a title in which the german word for "Gates" also has another
Der Schatz der Mönche (The Treasure of the Tibetean Monks)
Der Mann ohne Kopf (The Mystery of the Headless DJ)
Die Höhle des Grauens (The Cave of Horror)
Gefährlicher Quiz (The Dangerous Quiz- Show)
Panik im Park (Panic in the Park/ The Mystery of the Wild Running Dogs)
Die Villa der Toten (Mansion of the Dead/ The House that wasn't Haunted)
Schlucht der Dämonen (Gorge of the Demons/ Mystery of the Kidnapped Horse)
Das Auge des Drachen (Eye of the Dragon)
Codename: Cobra (Codename: Cobra/ E-Mail from Beyond)
Der finstere Rivale (The dangerous Rival/ Mystery of the Mafia Money)
Auf tödlichem Kurs (On deadly Course/ Mystery of the Stolen Painting)
Das düstere Vermächtnis ( The Dark Legacy/ The Secret of the Queen of Saba)
Der geheime Schlüssel (The Secret Key)
Der schwarze Skorpion (The black Scorpion/ Sting of the Scorpion)
Die Spur ins Nichts (Trail To Nowhere/ Jupiter Jones- Memory Lost)
Fußballfieber (Soccer Fever/ Myster of the Mendozza Curse)
Der Geisterzug (The Ghosttrain/ Myster of the Haunted Train Tunnel)
Geister- Canyon (Ghost canyon/ Mystery of the Kidnapped Violin)
Feuermond (Firemoon) ((This is the second Trilogy for the Number 125 in the series))
Teil 1: Das Rätsel der Meister (Part 1: Riddle of the Artists)
Teil 2: Pfad der Täuschung (Part 2: Path of Deception)
Teil 3: Nacht der Schatten (Part 3: Night of Shadows) ((Hugenay returns once more and is finally brought to
justice. Until next time. Who knows))
Schrecken aus dem Moor (Terror of the Moor/ Mystery of the Wandering Moor Corps)
Schwarze Madonna ( The Black Madonna Statue/ Mystery of the Missing Madonna Statue)
Schatten über Hollywood (Shadows over Hollywood/ Mystery of the Hollywood Ghost) ((A Ghost appears at the Hollywood
SMS aus dem Grab (SMS out of the Grave/ Mystery of the Sphinx) (The Investigators travel to Egypt))
Fluch des Drachen (Curse of the Dragon/ Mystery of the Dragon vase)
Haus des Schreckens (The House of Terror) ((Story is borrowed a little from "House on Haunted Hill"))
Spuk im Netz (Ghosts on the Internet/ The Mystery of the Kidnapped Librerian)
Fluch des Piraten (Curse of the Pirate/ Mystery of the Golden Animals)
Fels der Dämonen (Demons Rock/ Mystery of the Labyrinth of Caves)
Der tote Mönch (The Dead Monk/ Mystery of the Monk Graves)

The following three books will come in August 2007:
Das versunkene Dorf (Mystery of the Sunken Village)
Pfad der Angst (Path of Fear)
Die geheime Treppe (The Secret Stairs)

As you can see, there are some intriguing titles. Four of the books have been translated into English.