Dennis Lynds was born in St. Louis in 1924, and grew up in New York, attending Brooklyn Technical High School. He earned a B.A. in chemistry from Hofstra College in Hempstead, New York and an M.A. in journalism from Syracuse University. Lynds served in the infantry in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and three battle stars. After the war, he was a chemist and wrote and edited various trade magazines in that industry. In 1962 he began writing crime fiction under his own name and various pen names like William Arden, Michael Collins, John Crowe, Carl Dekker, Maxwell Grant and Mark Sadler among others. A past president of The Private Eye Writers of America, Lynds was awarded that organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. He lives with his wife, fellow 3 Investigators Crimebusters writer Gayle Lynds, in Santa Barbara.
Three Investigators titles written by William Arden:
#10 The Mystery of the Moaning Cave - 1968
#12 The Mystery of the Laughing Shadow - 1969
#13 The Secret of the Crooked Cat - 1970
#18 The Mystery of the Shrinking House - 1972
#19 The Secret of Phantom Lake - 1973
#22 The Mystery of the Dead Man's Riddle - 1974
#25 The Mystery of the Dancing Devil - 1976
#26 The Mystery of the Headless Horse - 1977
#28 The Mystery of the Deadly Double - 1978
#30 The Secret of Shark Reef - 1979
#33 The Mystery of the Purple Pirate - 1982
#38 The Mystery of the Smashing Glass - 1984
#42 The Mystery of Wreckers' Rock - 1986
Crimebusters #1 Hot Wheels - 1989
With Robert Arthur's health in decline, Dennis Lynds was the first of several authors hired to write for The Three Investigators series. Using the pseudonym William Arden and working first with editor Walter Retan and later Eugenia Fanelli, he penned thirteen of the original Three Investigators titles beginning with #10 The Mystery of the Moaning Cave in 1968. In 1989 he wrote the first title, Hot Wheels, in the spin-off series called The 3 Investigators Crimebusters.
The original 1968 cover art for William Arden's "The Mystery of the Moaning Cave."
Collection of Seth T. Smolinske.
The signed photograph pictured to the left was found by U.K. Three Investigators fan, Gary Mills in 2004. Gary contacted Dennis Lynds to learn more about this photo and here is what Mr. Lynds had to say: "My best guess is I sent it to a child who wrote asking for a signed photo. When and where it was taken is easy to pinpoint. The first clue is the pipe. I stopped smoking cigarettes in 1973. I stopped the pipe in 1977. In late 1973 we had to return to the New York area, and I took a part-time job with Gordon Publications as editor of a magazine called LABORATORY EQUIPMENT from early 1974 to mid 1975. The shirt and tie I'm wearing, the typewriter, and the papers on the desk tell me this shot was taken in the Gordon offices. So, that all pinpoints it as anywhere between April 1974 to June 1975, in the offices of Gordon Publications in Morristown, New Jersey. At this time I had just turned in Dead Man's Riddle and was writing Dancing Devil."
Outside of The Three Investigators series, William Arden has written one other book for the juvenile market. "The Mystery of the Blue Condor," a 63 page book illustrated by George Ulrich was published by Ginn and Company in 1973.
To learn more about Dennis Lynds and his history with The Three Investigators series you will definitely want to read the extremely informative interview with him conducted by Mike Morley in 1995. CLICK HERE
The Rocky-Beach.com 2002 interview with Mr. Lynds. CLICK HERE (It's in English)