44. The Mystery of the Ghost Train, a.k.a. The Mystery of the Counterfeit Train Crash
M.V. (Mary Virginia) Carey and Three Investigators editor Eugenia Fanelli were working on this particular story when the series was canceled in 1987. Ms.Fanelli was interviewed in the 1990's by Tom Calhoun and then extensively interviewed again in 2010 by a dedicated private T3I researcher who wishes to remain unnamed. Although "Ghost Train" existed in a complete narrative form, Ms. Fanelli described the manuscript as "unfinished" to both of the researchers and she felt that "it simply was not a good mystery". She rejected the story for publication and was working with Ms. Carey to revise the manuscript into something that could potentially be published. Ms. Fanelli and artist Robert Adragna both confirm that cover art for "Ghost Train" was never commissioned for this story by Random House.
UPDATE Oct. 2, 2018. In May of 2017 I was contacted by a nephew of M.V. Cary and learned that a manuscript for Ghost Train is in the possession of the Carey family and that Random House has expressed no interest in it. This manuscript, previously considered lost, was discovered at the bottom of a desk drawer. The "working title" on this manuscript is The Mystery of the Counterfeit Train Crash. As of this date the heirs are apparently still in the process of determining what best to do with the manuscript. My suggestion to the Carey family, in June of 2017, was to sell the manuscript to the German publisher, Kosmos, with the strict stipulation that the story be published in an English edition so that English-speaking fans could FINALLY read and enjoy this legendary lost manuscript. Fans may recall that both Peter Lerangis and Gayle Lynds sold their unpublished Crimebusters manuscripts to Kosmos but neither book was officially published in English. This led some creative and industrious fans to purchase German copies, translate the stories back into English, and then self-publish their own copies.
On November 19, 2018, after learning of the update above, an editor for Kosmos contacted me wishing to obtain an e-mail address for the Cary heirs as the heirs hadn't yet reached out to Kosmos. Understanding the world-wide legendary status that this lost manuscript has developed over the years, there is great potential and opportunity here, and the publication of this book should be something very special. During the course of our e-mail conversation, I made the suggestions to her that it would be extremely nice if U.S. Three Investigators artist Robert Adragna, the only U.S. artist to paint covers for all 43 titles in the original series, were commissioned to design and paint a new cover for this book. Perhaps 7 internal illustrations would be a nice bonus, as well. And, since the original blue cemetery end papers can't be used, why not use the nearly-as-legendary red alternate end papers designed by Harry Kane? Published in German and in English, I think that Kosmos would very likely have a best-seller on their hands for years to come.
UPDATE Oct. 29, 2023. On October 20, 2023, after years of silence from both the Cary heirs and Kosmos, our partners at Germany's rocky-beach.com made the announcement that Kosmos will publish M.V. Carey's "lost" manuscript in March 2024. Whether or not it will be published in English, available to the UK market, is not known at this time.