The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang by Hans Jürgen Press

I’ve had The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang by Hans Jürgen Press (Scholastic, 1965) in my library since I was a kid. I’m sure my parents got it for me or something.



I’ve read this more times than I can count, I’m sure, so the puzzles aren’t really that puzzling to me anymore. I have most of them memorized. But it’s always fun to read again, especially after a couple years. I love the way they solve mysteries, even if it’s simplified – it’s for kids, after all. Can you find the secret entrance?

black hand gang mystery

Actually, these used to be games in newspapers. This book is a collection of these games all put together to form stories. Author/illustrator Press actually is one of the originators of this kind of art puzzle.

me reading black hand gang

If you haven’t figured it out, I just really love this style of art. I mean look at it!

black hand gang art 2

black hand gang art 1

black hand gang art 3

Look at the detail on that last one:

black hand gang art 3 detail

It’s like noir for kids. A wonderful introduction to mysteries as a whole.

black hand gang art 4

the adventures of the black hand gang by hans jurgen press

This book will always have a place on my shelf. If you find anything out there by Hans Jürgen Press, you should pick it up too – it’ll be worth your time!