Enid Blyton - Shastrix Books

Enid Blyton

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The Mystery of the Missing Man

The Mystery of the Missing Man

Enid Blyton

29th July 2019

Book thirteen of the Five Find-Outers (and dog) was an interesting one in that I had very little memory of the plot from when I read it (probably multiple times) as a child.

The case is slightly unusual, in that it’s issued by the police, rather than being randomly uncovered by the children. The story is also unusual in introducing some quite prominent new characters into the lives of the children (who I again had no memory of) and having a lot going on that served as comic relief.

While the solution seemed obvious to me, I am most certainly not the target audience (any more) - and I think a child reading or being read the story would work it out before the reveal, which is the ideal timing for a mystery (although on second thoughts, some of the clues might be too dated for a modern youngster to get).

Probably one of the best in the series actually.

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The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage

The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage

Enid Blyton

4th May 2017

The eleventh mystery about the Five Find-Outers is probably one of the best and most representative of the series.

The language, of course, is incredibly dated, and an attempt to read aloud the opening pages led to much hilarity, but reading silently that can easily be mentally pushed aside and the beauty of the simple mystery story can show through.

This is overall an excellent story, and a great introduction to the world of mystery fiction, which I've enjoyed ever since first reading this story years ago.

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The Mystery of the Strange Bundle

The Mystery of the Strange Bundle

Enid Blyton

10th July 2015

This time out the Five Find-Outers have all been ill in the holidays and it seems they'll be back to school without a mystery to solve, when one suddenly appears just two houses away.

I'm starting to feel that the series has started to lose its way by this point - with some of the lighter elements moving toward absurdity and distancing themselves from the realism that I enjoyed about the earlier books.

There is also a scene that actually shocked me - I had no memory of this book from when I was younger, so I imagine it wasn't one that I regularly re-read, and I'm not surprised if a scene like that can happen - it's the sort of thing that would definitely have major repercussions if it happened today but was kind of ignored here.

Overall, nothing special as far as the series goes, even a bit disappointing really.

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The Mystery of the Vanished Prince

The Mystery of the Vanished Prince

Enid Blyton

4th February 2015

Book nine of the series sees the group of young detectives take on an interesting mystery that once again is solved mostly by coincidence rather than real detective work. One of the things I've noticed re-reading this series as an adult is that it's not as rich a set of stories as I remembered, and the quality of the plots isn't really high enough.

There are some old character moments, but it tends to be the guest characters and only two of the regulars that are made the most of - it's almost as if Blyton has by this point given up on her original creations and needs to bring in outsiders to construct a story.

The worst problem though is that the book hasn't stood the test of time, and features what will nowadays be interpreted as racist stereotyping and not really appropriate reading material for youngsters. Not a massive loss I feel in this book which is hardly as exciting an interesting as some of the earlier stories.

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The Mystery of the Invisible Thief

The Mystery of the Invisible Thief

Enid Blyton

29th May 2014

The halfway point in the Five Find-Outers and dog series - apparently aimed at a younger audience than Enid Blyton's other numbered mystery series, but to me still the best.

The title says it all really - there's a thief in town who is never seen, and the Find-Outers once again find themselves mixed up in events. It's another of the excellent mysteries that Blyton's style developed into, with clues everywhere and plenty of opportunities for the reader/listener to guess who the thief is.

One of the best in the set - a good mystery with good characters, although some of the names have aged a little.

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The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat

The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat

Enid Blyton

5th February 2014

By the seventh mystery for the Five Find-Outers and Dog, Fatty has come to centre stage and Blyton uses him as the point-of-view character for almost the entire narrative. Approaching halfway through the series, it's finally reached the point where all the key elements are in place - clues, disguises, alibis - and it almost feels like the author has been building elements of the mystery story up one by one in the earlier books, taking the reader on a journey into the world of crime novels.

It's a great plot, and Blyton seems to feel comfortable enough with the format to introduce twists away from the norm to keep things interesting. The mystery itself is well written, and there are plenty of opportunities for a young reader (or listener) to spot clues before the characters.

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The Mystery of the Hidden House

The Mystery of the Hidden House

Enid Blyton

15th August 2013

Enid Blyton's mysteries follow the Five Find-Outers, in this book joined by Ern, the nephew of their nemesis PC Goon. Ern takes a leading role in the story, along with Fatty, to the detriment of the other characters who almost blend into the background and lose their individuality.

It's an interesting adventure packed with action, but as a mystery it's not one of the stronger entries in the series, with the plot seeming to come together by accident rather than any real detective work.

I still love the series, and think its a great introduction for younger readers into the vast array of detective novels available.

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Other reviewed books

The Mystery of the Missing Necklace
The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters
The Mystery of the Secret Room
The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat
The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage

Unreviewed books

Five Get Into Trouble
Five Go Adventuring Again
Five Go Off In a Caravan
Five Go Off to Camp
Five Go To Smuggler's Top
Five on a Treasure Island
Five on Kirrin Island Again
Five Run Away Together
Fun for the Secret Seven
Go Ahead, Secret Seven
Good Old Secret Seven
Good Work, Secret Seven
Look Out Secret Seven
Puzzle for the Secret Seven
Secret Seven Adventure
Secret Seven Fireworks
Secret Seven Mystery
Secret Seven on the Trail
Secret Seven Win Through
Shock for the Secret Seven
The Mystery of Banshee Towers
The Mystery of Holly Lane
The Mystery of the Strange Messages
The Mystery That Never Was
The Secret Island
The Secret Mountain
The Secret of Killimooin
The Secret of Moon Castle
The Secret of Spiggy Holes
The Secret Seven
Three Cheers, Secret Seven
Well Done, Secret Seven

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