The Rick Brant Series

The Rick Brant Science-Adventure Series
Summaries of #1-12

  #1 The Rocket's Shadow

Rick Brant, a boy of high school age, enjoys making his own inventions.  Rick has great inspiration, since he lives on Spindrift Island with his family.  Rick's dad, Hartson Brant, is the head of the Spindrift Scientific Foundation, which is responsible for many scientific innovations.  The Spindrift Scientific Foundation is working towards being the first group to get a rocket to the moon.  If Spindrift succeeds, they will win a $2 million grant.

The project has been plagued by defective parts and various mishaps.  Rick begins to wonder whether rivals are sabotaging the experiment.  Someone may be delaying the Spindrift project so that they can get a rocket to the moon first!

Rick meets Don Scott, known as Scotty, while he investigates the sabotage.  Scotty is hired as a guard since he has military experience.  Scotty quickly becomes a permanent member of the family.

Rick concludes that someone on Spindrift Island is the saboteur.  Rick and Scotty must discover the identity of the saboteur before the rocket gets destroyed.
  #2 The Lost City
Rick and Scotty journey to Tibet along with Julius Weiss and Hobart Zircon.  The expedition will last many months over rough terrain in Asia.  The scientists staying on Spindrift Island plan to bounce a message from Spindrift to the moon and then down to Tibet.  The group in Tibet will intercept the message.

Soon after Rick, Scotty, and the scientists depart, acid spills on their possessions while stored in the hold of the ship.  This is the first sign that someone may be trying to sabotage the mission.

In India, the Spindrift group's equipment is stolen!  An Indian boy named Chahda learns where the equipment was taken and helps Rick and Scotty retrieve it.  When the Spindrift group departs from Bombay, Chahda tries to warn them about something.  Later, the group realizes that someone is trying to prevent them from reaching their destination.

The reason becomes obvious as the Spindrift group reaches the remote area of Tibet, where they discover a fantastic lost city.
  #3 Sea Gold
School has closed for summer, and Rick has no plans.  As he and Scotty fly over the coast of Connecticut in the Cub, they spot the new sea mine plant.  Rick thrills at the idea of getting a job for the summer on some type of scientific project, so he lands the plane next to the plant.

A man is spotted at the gate of the plant, and he runs as soon as he sees Rick and Scotty.  Rick senses a mystery.  The boys ask for information about the plant while in the nearby town and are met with a frozen reception.

The boys learn that the local fishermen believe that the sea mine will harm fishing and are trying to get the plant shut down.

Rick and Scotty are fortunate to get jobs at the plant and take an immediate liking to the owners, Doug and Tom.  The boys learn that the plant has been plagued by problems and that someone might be sabotaging it.

Doug and Tom have gone into debt to open the plant and are at great risk of losing the plant if the sabotage continues.  Rick and Scotty work to find the saboteur before it is too late.
  #4 100 Fathoms Under
Spindrift's latest project is the exploration of a temple that is at the bottom of the ocean in Alta Yuan.  The team has invented the Submobile, a device that can carry two people down to 100 fathoms.  The Submobile has the necessary equipment to grab onto artifacts so that they can be salvaged.

Rick, Scotty, and Chahda go on the journey with several of the Spindrift scientists.  The temple is located in the ocean next to an island that is inhabited by superstitious natives. 

Soon into the journey, Rick becomes suspicious of the captain of the Tarpon.  Turk is sometimes overly friendly, but at other times, he is cruel and sullen.  Rick begins to suspect that the captain is not all that he seems and wonders if the captain could be planning to sabotage the expedition.

Rick and Scotty get more than they bargained for when they face threats both on and off the ship.  Can they get out of this expedition alive?
  #5 The Whispering Box Mystery
Hartson Brant and the Spindrift scientists are working on a new project for the U.S. government that is so secret that not even Rick and Scotty know about it.  Rick and Scotty are being driven crazy wondering what is going on.  Rick is particularly upset because his father normally shares the details of all his projects with him.

Finally, Rick and Scotty learn about the whispering box.  The box is used by villains to incapacitate government officials so that classified information can be stolen.  JANIG, the Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Group, is certain that the villains plan to strike again soon.  Rick and Scotty are brought into the project so that they can help the Spindrift scientists build a device that can counteract the effect of the whispering box.  But will it be too late?

Rick and Scotty face several close calls as they run up against the villains.  The whispering box causes immediate incapacitation and is impossible to fight unless the Spindrift group can build its device in time.
  #6 The Phantom Shark
Barby finally gets her wish!  Tired of being left behind while Rick and Scotty have adventures abroad, Barby is invited to go on a South Sea voyage on the Tarpon with Rick, Scotty, Chahda, and friends of the Brants, the Warrens.  Dr. Warren is completing a survey of the ocean life in the South Sea in order to locate new places for commercial fishing.

The young people soon hear about the legend of the Phantom Shark, a mysterious man known for finding fabulous pearls.  He is notorious for killing anyone who prevents him from finding his pearls.  Rick and Scotty suspect that they may have met the Phantom Shark soon after their arrival and that the Phantom Shark caused damage to their boat in order to delay them.  Details are scarce, but the boys feel certain that the Phantom Shark poses a sinister threat to the voyage.

Barby's impulsiveness helps unearth clues about the Phantom Shark, but her impulsiveness also pulls the young people into grave danger.
  #7 Smugglers' Reef
Rick and Scotty try their hands at detective work while they tag along with Jerry as he works on a story for his newspaper.  Captain Tyler's trawler ran aground at Smugglers' Reef, and Tyler claims that he was drunk.  As Jerry gets the facts for his story, Rick and Scotty make observations.  They notice that Mrs. Tyler seems frightened of something and that Tyler refuses to give any information other than that he was drunk.

Rick and Scotty explore the area around Smugglers' Reef and quickly center in on the Creek House hotel, which is currently rented by the Kelso family.  The Kelsos are unfriendly and take shots at Rick and Scotty.  The boys assume that the Kelsos are guilty of smuggling and set out to prove it.  The task is not as easy as the boys think it will be.  While eavesdropping on the Kelsos one evening, the boys are discovered.  The Kelsos take the boys on an extended tour of the entire hotel, proving to them that nothing is amiss.

Undaunted, Rick and Scotty continue their investigation, determined to get proof of the Kelsos' criminal activity.
  #8 The Caves of Fear
Rick and Scotty receive a coded telegram from Chahda.  After cracking the code, the boys learn that Chahda and a man named Carl Bradley are in danger in Hong Kong.  Steve Ames is contacted, and he informs the boys that Carl Bradley is a JANIG man who has been involved in the search for a source of heavy water in Asia.  It is believed that foreign agents have already discovered the heavy water somewhere in Tibet—and heavy water can be used in nuclear reactors!  The U.S. government wants to destroy the source of heavy water as soon as possible.

Rick, Scotty, and Zircon are chosen to travel to Hong Kong to follow the series of clues left by Chahda.  The trail leads them on an expedition into Tibet and into a series of caves where they soon realize that they have dangerous enemies who would rather see them dead.

How the Spindrifters discover the source of heavy water and defeat their enemies makes for a thrilling adventure story.
  #9 Stairway to Danger
The Spindrift Scientific Foundation has been commissioned to build a robotic bulldozer for the government.  Dubbed the "Tractosaur," the bulldozer will be able to respond to voice commands and will prove of great use to the military, since it can be operated remotely.  The Tractosaur is being built in a location next to an abandoned amusement park.

Meanwhile, Jerry and Barby were riding in a vehicle that was struck by a hit-and-run driver.  Even though Jerry and Barby were not seriously injured, Rick and Scotty are furious.  They vow to do everything they can to locate the perpetrator.  Soon, the boys have reason to believe that the driver is an escaped convict who is hiding in the abandoned amusement park.  Rick and Scotty enter the amusement park to see what they can learn.

The boys get more than they bargain for and find themselves in grave danger.  Will the boys capture the criminal before they themselves get caught?
  #10 The Golden Skull
Tony Briotti has translated the tablets found in the Spindrifters' previous expedition to the submerged temple in Alta Yuan.  The tablets told about a large golden skull that is hidden in the mountains of the Philippines.  Rick, Scotty, and Tony Briotti travel by ship to the Philippines, where they plan to meet Chahda in Manila.  As the ship reaches port, a man lunges at Tony with a knife.  Tony passes off the incident as nothing, but Rick is certain that trouble lies ahead for the expedition.

Soon, the Spindrifters learn that some of the natives are religious fanatics who will stop at nothing to prevent the golden skull from being unearthed.  One of the natives infiltrates the Spindrift expedition, and his presence is not noticed until after his diabolical plan has been put in motion.  Tony Briotti disappears, and Rick and Scotty have no idea what happened to him.

Rick, Scotty, and Chahda must find a way to discover where Tony has been taken before time runs out.
  #11 The Wailing Octopus
Rick, Scotty, Tony, and Zircon travel to the Virgin Islands to Clipper Cay on what is planned to be purely a pleasure trip.  The only goal is to try to unearth a possible shipwreck and find a golden statue.  Rick and Scotty have brought all of their scuba gear.  Tony plans to look for underwater artifacts while Zircon expects to spend his time fishing.

Soon after their arrival in Charlotte Amalie, the boys run across Steve Ames in a chance encounter on the street.  Rick and Scotty quickly discern that Steve is on a case, and he asks for their help in getting rid of a man who is shadowing him.  That chance encounter causes Steve's adversaries to begin shadowing the boys, who find themselves in grave danger.  Rick and Scotty's scuba equipment is sabotaged, and multiple attempts are made on their lives.

Rick and Scotty find themselves in the midst of danger and intrigue, and for once, they do not know why.  All they can do is keep watch on the people who are harassing them while they search for the shipwreck off the coast of Clipper Cay.
  #12 The Electronic Mind Reader
Steve Ames comes to Spindrift to ask for help with a top secret government project.  Two scientists who had been working on the project are now hospitalized with minds that no longer function.  The government does not know what happened, and as far as JANIG can tell, the project has not been infiltrated, although something must have happened.  In order to increase the security around the project, Steve requests that the project be relocated to Spindrift Island.  Dr. Miller, his daughter, Jan, and their family will come to Spindrift Island to live while Dr. Miller continues to work on the project.

After the Millers arrive, Rick worries.  He feels certain that somehow someone has infiltrated the project at Spindrift, even though no evidence of infiltration can be found.  All of the Brants worry that the scientists on Spindrift Island will be the next victims.

Rick has a possible suspect in mind and tries various means of surveillance with minimal results.  Can Rick uncover the villain's identity before his father or one of the other scientists loses his mind?
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