I was recently moved to suggest that The Secret of Hangman’s Inn (1956), the sixth title in the Ken Holt series by husband-and-wife team Bruce Campbell, was the point at which that series found its feet and jumped to life. Today I’m going to promulgate that The Mystery of the Hidden House (1948), the sixth title in the Five Find-Outers series by one-woman publishing sensation Enid Blyton, is the point where this series finds its feet and jumps to life. Coincidence? Yes, undoubtedly.
In the most recent episode of our podcast, I mentioned how Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger (1942) was the book which made me appreciate how threatening a poison pen campaign could actually be. And four years after Christie used the conceit to drive a town mad, surprise Crime Writers’ Association member Enid Blyton made it the background for some childhood japes. What fun!
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.