The human mind is obsessed with patterns, because by spotting them we make sense of nature; be it the golden ratio in the seed spirals in the head of a sunflower, fluid dynamics in the formation of sand dunes, or the growing box office returns of successive Fast & Furious movies, patterns are hard to resist.
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.
Man, things were simpler in the 1950s. Back then, the fourth book in a series of juvenile detective adventures could centre around lobster fishing and the series could still run for a further 14 titles. Kids those days, eh?
The Three Investigators had Jupiter Jones, the Five Find-Outers had Fatty, and the Benton and Carson International Detective Agency had Barclay ‘Brains’ Benton. Welcome to the first of their six cases, from the same Whitman stable that brought us The Power Boys from a fortnight back.
This collection is composed of seven fun, light-hearted stories of youthful shenanigans perpetrated in the smalltown Americana of Mammoth Falls. Sure, it’s not strictly detection, but the prospect of actual, y’know, science in the Mad Scientists’ Club’s adventures seemed to warrant investigation.