My discovery of Enid Blyton’s Five Find-Outers books simply adds to the problem that is my TBR, because every time I read one of them I want to sit down and read them all. Sure, First World Problems, but it’s crazy to think how excited I am — and my fourth decade, too — about a bunch of books written by the Faraway Tree Lady.
There’s clearly a Sophomore Clause for youthful detection collectives: Must Involve a Missing Animal. The Three Investigators sought a stuttering parrot, and now the Five Find-Outers are herding cats having solved a case of arson first time out.
January, month of rebirth and self-recrimination. For every resolution to improve there must be some frank assessment of what debilitated you in the first place, and so the month can take on a curiously Jekyll-and-Hyde aspect for some. So my Tuesday posts for this month will be a mixture of what is good and bad in my reading, and where better to start than a celebration of the previous 12 months?
No discussion of children’s literature is complete without at least a passing reference to the 14,762 books Enid Blyton wrote in her career. Somehow I’d heard of this one and its implied impossible disappearance, and it seemed perfect for my Tuesday posts in November on precisely this type of book. Generally you know what to expect from Blyton — a poorly-dated whiff of imperialism, comfortable middle-class adventures, ginger beer — but prepare for a bit of a shock: the rigour of the detection in this is something to behold.
In much the same way that Hercule Poirot, Peter Wimsey, Roger Sheringham, and all other unofficial detectives of the Golden Age were unable to step out of their front doors without stumbling into some criminal enterprise, so The Three Investigators, The Hardy Boys, The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, and all others of their ilk always found themselves embroiled in shenanigans of one kind or another no matter where they went.
Yes! The Tuesday Night Bloggers have returned! And this month’s topic is Children in Crime; be they victims, perpetrators, bystanders, or sleuths, we’re onto it. And with Blyton’s forays into youthful adventure among the most popular of this kind of thing, I thought I’d take a look at one and see what occurred to me.