I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to find this as amusing as I did, but I'm several decades past its target demographic. I'd never read a Three Investigators book before and know a few people with fond memories of them, so I wanted to give one a try.
I'm not going to touch on the sheer fantasy of what is the foundational premise of the books; they were written to be adventures and mysteries for kids (I use 'kids' as a broad spectrum noun here) and why not make these kids important? Why not give them more parental freedom and the only junk yard in the world that would be fun and safe to play in.
But it was still hilarious. The gnomes, which are probably not PC by today's standards. The Japanese representation, which is definitely not, yet feels innocently done here - yes, the authors' should have been more sensitive, but the kids reading it at the time would likely have read it in total naiveté. I didn't find the Japanese speaking stereotypically funny at all, but I did have a good head shake over it.
Mostly what I found funny were the three boys, and that's just because despite my best efforts, I grew up and can't avoid seeing the playacting taking place. Still, their hideout sounds cool as hell and I loved the Alfred Hitchcock appearances. That man just couldn't stay on the sidelines of anything, could he?
I read this for the Baker Street Irregulars Square in Halloween Bingo.