Currently I'm reading The Boy Detectives: Essays on the Hardy Boys and Others, edited by Michael G. Cornelius. I've... never actually read the Hardy Boys, but I was a big Encyclopedia Brown fan (I remember having a crush on him and everything), so I was hoping this book would have something that touched on him. Unfortunately, it doesn't, but there's still a lot I enjoyed. There's an essay on Hardy Boys adaptations, some of which I've never heard of; an essay on Christopher Cool, TEEN Agent, a little-known book series from the late 60s about a boy spy, and why it failed; essays on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Boy Detective Fails; and even a retrospective on the Three Investigators, which I never read, but made it sound like a really great series.
Unfortunately, even some of my favorite essays are marred by an... amateurishness, I guess I'd call it? For example, the essay about the Three Investigators opens with a three page (ha!) digression about the nature of trios in psychology and art, and it's like, okay man, I got your point the first couple of paragraphs in, no need to take it any further. It just felt so self-aggrandizing, and it's hard to imagine how it got past the editor for this collection. It's not a bad read, but it could use some tightening up.