#330: Highs & Lows – Five Reading Highlights of 2017


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?

Continue reading

#316: Stand Back, Detective Novelist at Work in The Mystery of the Invisible Thief (1950) by Enid Blyton

Invisible Thief

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.

Continue reading

#137: The Tuesday Night Bloggers – Threat Escalation for Younger Readers in Enid Blyton’s Five Get Into a Fix (1958)

TNBs Children

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.

Continue reading