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Title Year Author Translator GNS *
1. The Curse of the Cell Phone 2005 André Minninger Andreas Zantop # 45
2. Poisoned E-mail 2005 Ben Nevis Andreas Zantop # 48
3. Soccer Mania 2006 Marco Sonnleitner Andreas Zantop # 67
4. The Haunted Ship 2006 André Marx C. Vivien Arnold # 37
5. Valley of Horror 2007 Ben Nevis C. Vivien Arnold # 42
6. The Mystery of the Ghost Train 2007 Astrid Vollenbruch C. Vivien Arnold # 66
7. Hidden Fouls 2008 Ben Nevis Melissa Morrow # 25
8. The Pirate's Curse 2008 Ben Nevis Melissa Morrow # 79
9. Web Phantom 2009 Astrid Vollenbruch Chris Huber et al. # 76
10. The Pharaoh's Message 2009 Ben Nevis Chris Huber et al. # 73
11. Soccer Trap 2010 Marco Sonnleitner Chris Huber et al. # 85
12. Ghost Village 2010 André Marx Chris Huber et al. # 80
13. Hollywood Horrors 2011 Astrid Vollenbruch Chris Huber et al. # 72
14. Evil Games 2011 André Marx Chris Huber et al. # 65

PONS Series (Abridged English Language Stories and Audio CDs)

Title Year Author Translator GNS *
1. Arctic Adventure 2009 Kari Erlhoff Anneli Jefferson # 86
2. Mysterious Testament 2009 André Marx Anneli Jefferson # 47
3. Vampire City 2009 Marco Sonnleitner Marion Charles # 84
4. Dangerous Quiz Show 2009 Marco Sonnleitner Patricia Wolf # 53
5. Black Madonna 2009 Astrid Vollenbruch Marion Charles # 71
6. Soccer Gangsters 2009 B. J. Henkel-Waidhofer Patricia Wolf # 7
7. Canyon of Demons 2010 Marco Sonnleitner Verena Bremer # 56
8. Bite of the Beast 2010 Kari Erlhoff Brian Melican # 90
9. Master of Death 2011 Kari Erlhoff John Dalbey # 99
-- The Great Anthology 2012 Various Various ---

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* The German New Series (GNS)

I have numbered the German-penned novels in order to make it easier to see the American-English translations in the context of the German series as a whole. Therefore, in this numbering system, the very first novel to be written by a German author – Tatort Zirkus (Crime-Scene: Circus) by B. J. Henkel-Waidhofer – would be GNS # 1

As of March 2010, the most recent title in the German series is GNS # 97: Das Fußballphantom (The Soccer Phantom) by Marco Sonnleitner.

The Empty GraveAs a rule of thumb, the earlier stories in the German series contain more characters left over from the Crimebusters books, such as Pete's girlfriend Kelly. In the later and more recent titles, the only significant remaining element is Bob and Pete's cars: the green VW Beetle and red MG. Headquarters even underwent restoration to it's previous junk-covered condition in a recent entry by André Marx.

Interestingly, one German title that has yet to be translated — GNS # 22: Das leere Grab (The Empty Grave) by André Marx — has had a minor involvement in the the recent Three Investigators movies. In the Skeleton Island film, Jupiter states that his parents died in an air-crash, which was first alluded to in this novel. Also revealed for the first time in The Empty Grave, are the first names of Jupiter's parents — Julius and Catherine — whose tombstone is shown briefly in the second film: Terror Castle.

A full list of all of the titles in the German Three Investigators series can be found here.

American-English Series (2005 to present)

1. The Curse of the Cell Phone (GNS # 45)
Year: Sep. 2005 / Author: André Minninger / Translator: Andreas Zantop

The hottest thing with the teenagers in Rocky Beach: enchanted cell phones! They glow in the dark, and instead of ringing, they make a strange sound that makes your blood freeze. But then some terrible things happen in the small coastal town – some of the proud owners of these special cell phones mysteriously disappear. The only thing found at the scene of the crime is the glowing cell phone displaying the devil's sign of 666. The three detectives, Justus, Peter and Bob, follow the trail of the cell phone, without knowing what waits for them on the other end of the line...

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Original German title: Hexenhandy (Literal translation: The Bewitched Mobile Phone)
Original German release date: September 2001 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

2. Poisoned E-mail (GNS # 48)
Year: Sep. 2005 / Author: Ben Nevis / Translator: Andreas Zantop

Danger: Stinging jellyfish! At the last minute, Meg Baker manages to get away from the jellyfish while diving near Rocky Beach. But then, images of the dangerous animals suddenly show up on her computer screen, arriving by e-mail and threatening not just her files, but her life as well.

With the help of Tom Wood – a computer specialist – Justus, Peter and Bob start looking for the anonymous sender. If only Dick Perry, a detective from Santa Monica, didn't get in the way of their investigation...

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Original German title: Gift per E-mail (Literal translation: Poison via E-mail)
Original German release date: February 2002 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com CoversReview
Amazon Page Listings: | |

3. Soccer Mania (GNS # 67)
Year: April 2006 / Author: Marco Sonnleitner / Translator: Andreas Zantop

Peter, the Second Detective, is training enthusiastically for the Californian High School Soccer Championship. Meanwhile, a boy turns up at headquarters and asks Die drei ??? for help: Scary things are happening at his grandparents' house and the two elderly people believe that they are facing a terrible omen of death.

 
 

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Original German title: Fußballfieber (Literal translation: Football Fever)
Original German release date: February 2005 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

4. The Haunted Ship (GNS # 37)
Year: Sep. 2006 / Author: André Marx / Translator: C. Vivien Arnold

A haunted ship is sailing along the coast of Rocky Beach. Justus, Peter and Bob can hardly believe their eyes as a three-master with torn sails glides through the mist. Ghostly illusion or reality? The three detectives need nerves of steel as their investigations lead them to bloodthirsty pirates from the distant past. Has an old curse brought them into the present?

There is only one way to solve this mystery: the three detectives from Rocky Beach must board the pirate ship...

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Original German title: ...und das Geisterschiff (Literal translation: ...and the Ghost Ship)
Original German release date: February 2000 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

5. Valley of Horror (GNS # 42)
Year: April 2007 / Author: Ben Nevis / Translator: C. Vivien Arnold

A woman awakens at the steering wheel of her car in the middle of the Magic Mountains. She has no idea where she is; her head aches. The only thing she can remember is that an Indian wearing an eagle-mask yanked her out of her car in the middle of the night. The police have doubts about the woman's sanity, but Die drei ??? believe her. Fearlessly, they make their way to the Valley of Horror and experience the worst night of their lives.
 

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Original German title: Tal des Schreckens (Literal translation: Valley of Fear)
Original German release date: February 2001 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

6. The Mystery of the Ghost Train (GNS # 66)
Year: Sep. 2007 / Author: Astrid Vollenbruch / Translator: C. Vivien Arnold

The three detectives from Rocky Beach expected their ride on the old steam engine to be a pleasant outing. But by the time the train reaches the tunnel through the Black Mountain, the friends are in no mood for an excursion anymore. The train's passage through the mountain is boycotted in the most blood-curdling way. Of course Die Drei ??? don't believe a word of the horror story according to which the ghosts of the men who died building the tunnel still haunt it. But Justus, Peter and Bob have only 24 hours in which to find out who really is behind these nasty machinations.

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Original German title: ...und der Geisterzug (Literal translation: ...and the Ghost Train)
Original German release date: February 2005 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

7. Hidden Fouls (GNS # 25)
Year: April 2008 / Author: Ben Nevis / Translator: Melissa Morrow

The German soccer team has some successful weeks behind them. Now the players want to prepare for the second half of the season beneath the Californian sun. However, the harmony is soon disrupted by strange events: an unknown person is playing wicked games in the team locker room.

What is his reason for shredding jerseys and spray painting mysterious symbols? Die drei ??? are taking on the case. But Justus will be threatened from an unexpected source.

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Original German title: Verdeckte Fouls (Literal translation: Hidden Fouls)
Original German release date: February 1998 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

8. The Pirate's Curse (GNS # 79)
Year: Sep. 2008 / Author: Ben Nevis / Translator: Melissa Morrow

A series of puzzling pictures arouses the curiosity of Justus, Peter and Bob. Everything points to a precious gold treasure being buried on a desolate island. But on site, it quickly becomes clear that the three successful detectives from Rocky Beach are not the only ones who know about this secret. And the adversary will stop at nothing!

Justus fell on something soft, moist. Once again it cracked beneath him. "Ouch!" It became increasingly watery and musty. Justus tried frantically to get back up on his feet. He felt something cool and slippery slide up his right leg. His breath caught...

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Original German title: Fluch des Piraten (Literal translation: Curse of the Pirate)
Original German release date: February 2007 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

9. Web Phantom (GNS # 76)
Year: April 2009 / Author: Astrid Vollenbruch / Translators: Chris & Tracey Huber

Miss Bennett, the head of the library in Rocky Beach, has vanished! A hastily abandoned apartment and a note containing several strange numbers all point to an extremely mysterious case. Die Drei ??? begin the search. Before long they learn that the librarian followed the puzzling sightings of a ghostly apparition on the Internet. What messages did she receive? Where was she lured to?

Justus, Peter and Bob must use all of their wits to solve the riddle that lies behind Miss Bennett’s disappearance. The answer is written in the stars – but will the three successful detectives from Rocky Beach be able to understand what they reveal?

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Original German title: Spuk im Netz (Literal translation: Spook on the Internet)
Original German release date: August 2006 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

10. The Pharaoh's Message (GNS # 73)
Year: Oct. 2009 / Author: Ben Nevis / Translators: Chris & Tracey Huber

Rubbish-George, the eccentric tramp from Rocky Beach has suddenly disappeared, leaving behind only a mysterious letter. It leads the three detectives to the pyramids in Egypt! But what secret does Rubbish-George hope to uncover there?

Die Drei ??? dare to enter the dark realm of the sphinx – and get caught in the trap!

 

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Original German title: SMS aus dem Grab (Literal translation: SMS from the Grave)
Original German release date: Sep 2006 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: |

11. Soccer Trap (GNS # 85)
Year: April 2010 / Author: Marco Sonnleitner / Translators: Chris & Tracey Huber

The soccer star Jeffrey Seaman and his team are in Rocky Beach to train for an international tournament. But a series of bizarre incidents disrupt their preparations, spreading fear and terror among the players. When Anubis – the Egyptian god of death – runs rampage in the catacombs that run under the soccer stadium, one thing becomes startlingly clear: Die Drei ??? need to be at their very best to solve this case!

 

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Original German title: ... und die Fußball-Falle (Literal translation: ... and the Football Case)
Original German release date: Feb 2008 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

12. Ghost Village (GNS # 80)
Year: October 2010 / Author: André Marx / Translators: Chris & Tracey Huber

Die Drei ??? are called to a small town in Oregon to investigate the strange case of a glowing lake. The detectives from Rocky Beach are assisted (and occasionally hindered) by their client: a boy who is the Great-Nephew of the town mayor. However, the older townsfolk are not helpful in the slightest. On the contrary: they all seem to be complicit in covering-up a dark and troubling secret.

Justus, Peter and Bob don their Scuba gear and dive into the cold mountain lake, and uncover the ruins of a flooded town. In the murky green depths they soon realise that silent waters are not only deep, but perilous too…

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Original German title: ...und das versunkene Dorf (Literal translation: ...and the Sunken Village)
Original German release date: 2007 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

13. Hollywood Horrors (GNS # 72)
Year: April 2011 / Author: Astrid Vollenbruch / Translators: Chris & Tracey Huber

Ghosts do not exist: of that Justus, Peter and Bob are certain. Until one night an eerie white figure plummets from the famous Hollywood sign and disappears without trace. Have Die Drei ??? really just witnessed the spirit of the late actress Casey Wye?

Fragments of a curious letter seem to lead to that conclusion, before several devious individuals become involved in the case. Justus, Peter and Bob realize that they must tread carefully among the glitter and dust of Hollywood’s troubled past, if they want to unravel the secret and still live to tell the tale...

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Original German title: Schatten über Hollywood (Literal translation: Shadows Over Hollywood)
Original German release date: February 2006 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

14. Evil Games (GNS # 65)
Year: October 2011 / Author: André Marx / Translator: Chris & Tracey Huber

Justus is trapped! Disorientated, he awakes in a dark, cold, sealed chamber, with no recollection of how he got there. Was the First Detective kidnapped and locked away in this dank prison? And who is the strange young man who is trapped together with him? Is he also suffering from amnesia? Or does he know more than he is willing to let on?

Soon the pair realize they are the victims of an evil game. With time running out, the two must work to outwit their captor and save Peter, who is badly injured.

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Original German title: Spur ins Nichts (Literal translation: Without a Trace)
Original German release date: February 2005 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

The 'American-English' editions are published by Kosmos and edited by Ursula Tzavaras, Ina Brandt and Martina Zierold.

PONS Series (2009 to present)

'Learn English with Justus, Peter and Bob!'
The stories in this series were heavily abridged and re-edited by the original authors. Accompanying the books are CDs containing narrated audio versions of the English texts. Also, these books correctly refer to the protagonists as 'The Three Investigators', and not 'Die Drei ???' as is the case with the American-English editions.

PONS 1. Arctic Adventure (GNS # 86)
Year: July 2009 / Author: Kari Erlhoff / Translator: Anneli Jefferson /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

The Three Investigators help a young journalist to report on the Nordic Wilderness Challenge – one of the toughest sled dog races in the world. But in the process, they find themselves entangled in a dangerous adventure. Mysterious accidents plague the event, eerie figures are seen in the distance, and a trail of blood is uncovered, which leads through the snow...

 

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Original German title: Tödliches Eis (Literal translation: Deadly Ice)
Original German release date: Sep 2008 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS 2. Mysterious Testament (GNS # 47)
Year: July 2009 / Author: André Marx / Translator: Anneli Jefferson /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

The French authorities announce that the famous art-thief Victor Hugenay has died in a mountain-hiking accident. A few days later, Justus receives a message from beyond the grave: A letter from Hugenay. It contains his last will and testament in the form of a riddle that tells The Three Investigators where he had concealed a collection of priceless works-of-art.

This time Justus's only unbeaten opponent challenges him to the very limit. In an earlier case, the First Investigator told Hugenay that he would never change sides and become a criminal. Yet when a mysterious and beautiful girl begs for his help, he has to make a difficult decision: Love or the Law?

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Original German title: Das Erbe des Meisterdiebs (Literal translation: The Master-Thief's Legacy)
Original German release date: Sep 2002 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com CoversReview
Amazon Page Listings: |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS 3. Vampire City (GNS # 84)
Year: July 2009 / Author: Marco Sonnleitner / Translator: Marion Charles /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

On a hike in the Californian mountains, The Three Investigators find themselves in Yonderwood, a gloomy village tormented by the bloodthirsty reign of a vampire. However, Justus doesn't believe in the the paranormal. But then the vampire claims another victim and yet again a person wakes up with a punctured neck and bed sheets stained with blood!

Justus, Bob and Pete join forces with a local girl to try to unmask the undead and to finally put an end to the bloodshed. Soon they discover that there is much more to Yonderwood than meets the eye...

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Original German title: Stadt der Vampire (Literal translation: City of the Vampires)
Original German release date: Feb 2008 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS 4. Dangerous Quiz Show (GNS # 53)
Year: July 2009 / Author: Marco Sonnleitner / Translator: Patricia Wolf /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

Justus takes part in a famous quiz-show called Tough Nuts. As the show is about to start a group of unscrupulous criminals change the rules. Now Justus has to prove that he really is a genius, otherwise a wrong answer could have fatal consequences. If he fails, a hostage will die!

Live on TV, and watched by an entire continent, Justus uses his knowledge for the prize of a living soul...

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Original German title: Gefährliches Quiz (Literal translation: Dangerous Quiz)
Original German release date: Feb 2003 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com CoversReview
Amazon Page Listings: | |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS 5. Black Madonna (GNS # 71)
Year: July 2009 / Author: Astrid Vollenbruch / Translator: Marion Charles /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

The Three Investigators try to reveal the incredible secret of a black statue. But it seems everybody wants to get hold of the mysterious "Black Madonna". Before long the boys have to face one dangerous situation after another. Will Justus, Peter and Bob live to unearth its perilous secret?

 
 

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Original German title: Schwarze Madonna (Literal translation: Black Madonna)
Original German release date: Feb 2006 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS 6. Soccer Gangsters (GNS # 7)
Year: July 2009 / Author: B. J. Henkel-Waidhofer / Translator: Patricia Wolf /
Narrator: Elizabeth Webster

James' main goal is to become a professional soccer-player. So when the famous instant meal company 'Aroma Foods' offers him a scholarship for their renowned soccer-academy, he accepts without a second's thought.

Justus can't share his cousin's happiness, however, sensing that something about 'Aroma Foods' doesn’t smell right at all. Then later, Peter watches a soccer game on TV that seems to confirm the First Investigator's suspicions...

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Original German title: Fußball-Gangster (Literal translation: Football Gangster)
Original German release date: 1995 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS 7. Canyon of Demons (GNS # 56)
Year: March 2010 / Author: Marco Sonnleitner / Translator: Verena Bremer /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

A cowboy's best friend is truly his horse, and Ewan Donovan is prepared to go to hell and back for "Lady", his trustworthy mount of 29 years. Now the elderly mare, who spends her days sleeping and eating, has been kidnapped! When it becomes clear that her hide was once branded with a detailed map of the wild west, Justus deduces that "Lady" is the key to an old Indian treasure.

With reckless abandon, The Three Investigators mount three of Donovan's best horses and set out for a perilous ride in the truly wicked, wild, wild, west…

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Original German title: Schlucht der Dämonen (Literal translation: Gorge of the Demons)
Original German release date: 2003 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: |

PONS 8. Bite of the Beast (GNS # 90)
Year: March 2010 / Author: Kari Erlhoff / Translator: Brian Melican /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

Justus has to admit that the skeleton of a saber-tooth tiger on display at the Museum of Natural History looks very menacing indeed - with its huge, white fangs. But he finds it much harder to believe that the ghost of the tiger is said to roam the building at night!

Who – or what – is responsible for the eerie events in the "Haunted Museum", as the building is known as in the neighborhood? The Three Investigators follow the trail of clues, and discover the unbelievable truth ...

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Original German title: Der Biss der Bestie (Literal translation: The Bite of the Beast)
Original German release date: 2009 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

PONS 9. Master of Death (GNS # 99)
Year: September 2011 / Author: Kari Erlhoff / Translator: John Dalbey /
Narrator: Brian Munatones

The abandoned house on the coast was once the home of a puppeteer. It’s the perfect location for The Three Investigators and their friends in the high-school film society to shoot their horror movie—especially as the creepy dolls still dangle from the walls of the old place. When mystifying events begin to unfold around them, Justus, Peter and Bob are sceptical that magical forces are at work—until one of the boys is caught under a sinister and macarbe spell.

Are the marionettes themselves up to mischief? Or is someone else pulling the strings from behind the scenes? The Three Investigators must hang tough to unravel this particular mystery …

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Original German title: ... und der Meister des Todes (Literal translation: .. and the Master of Death)
Original German release date: 2010 / Links: Rocky-Beach.com Covers
Amazon Page Listings: | |

CLICK HERE FOR A SAMPLE PAGE

PONS The Great Anthology
Year: March 2012

This bumper paperback omnibus contains three PONS translations:

  • Black Madonna
  • Canyon of Demons
  • Dangerous Quiz Show

The MP3 CDs bundled with the individual volumes are not included in this collection.

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German title: Der große Sammelband (Literal translation: The Great Anthology)
Amazon Page Listings: |

The cover illustrations of all American-English and PONS editions are by Silvia Christoph, with the exception of Hidden Fouls & Soccer Gangsters, which are by Aiga Rasch.

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