Biff Brewster #3:
HAWAIIAN SEA HUNT MYSTERY
This is a very good book and I really enjoyed it. A great mystery-adventure!
Biff and his entire family travel to Hawaii for a vacation while his dad attends a mining engineer's conference. As soon as they arrive, all kinds of intrigue begins and, of course, Biff finds himself at the very center of it. Mr. Brewster's associate, Dr. Weber, a famous scientist he was supposed to meet in Honolulu, is missing, and before you can say 'Aloha' Biff and his dad are off in search of him.
Biff's native buddy in this book is Li, a young Hawaiian boy, and I like the way he is portrayed. He's not the usual 'unafraid of anything' Biff-buddy. This kid gets scared at times and it's very realistic. Off the boys go, island-hopping with their dads in search of the missing scientist, a sunken sloop, and the map to a cache of Cesium, a rare mineral important to rocket
Biff's dad plays an important role in this adventure like he did in #1 Brazilian Gold Mine Mystery. Again, it's nice to read about father and son sharing an adventure like this and getting along so well. They eventually rent a yawl and take off by sea for the big island of Hawaii as they search for the missing scientist. They end up at the southern cape of the island where dads and sons get separated, Biff and Li get separated by a Kona storm, and the ruthless rival engineer who is their enemy shows up ready to do away with them all. Much of the action takes place on Mauna Loa, a volcano that apparently takes up the entire lower part of the cape, and the waters that surround it. Of course, I had a map out and everything checked out correctly.
This book was probably written by the author of #2 Mystery of the Chinese Ring, who is unknown, as this is the only other Biff Brewster with unknown authorship. It has the same simple style and flowing pace where the story and suspense build nicely without any kind of overwriting or confusion. Also, a plus in this book, you could trade the names Biff, Li, and Tom Brewster for Rick, Scotty, and Hartson Brant, and you'd have a terrific Rick Brant book here. There is enough science to satisfy that requirement and the story is very much like the beloved Rick Brant South Seas epics such as 100 Fathoms Under and The Phantom Shark. Rick and Scotty would have had a good time with this mystery-adventure. If you are a Rick Brant fan and haven't read the Biff Brewster books, start now. Biff is enough like Rick, yet refreshingly himself, to satisfy any Rick Brant cravings.
Probably the Biff Brewster books were meant to compete with the Rick Brants, but of course any young reader would have wanted all of them, both the Biffs and the Ricks. I rate this book a 9 out 10. It's a really good adventure out in the warm South Seas sun, especially appealing at this wintry time of year when most of us just wish we were 16 again like Biff and could go roaming around the world getting caught up in this kind of excitement!