Monday, April 29, 2024

The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage (1943) by Enid Blyton: The Five Find-Outers #1

🔥 Every now and then I always allow myself to a nostalgic reading. Enid Blyton's The Five Find-Outers is one of my earlier introduction to novels. Her Famous Five is probably the more well-known series, but I think I like The Five Find-Outers (and a Dog) a little better, as this series involves more mystery than adventure.

🔥 This one is the first in the series, where we are first introduced to Larry and Daisy, Pip and Bets - four teenager (age around eleven and thirteen, Bets is the younger - ten, perhaps?) live in Peterswood village. One night as they are watching their neighbor's cottage burnt down, they meet a rather smug boy who has just moved to the neighborhood with his parents. His name is Frederick Algernon Trotteville, but they nickname him Fatty - not body shaming the rotund boy, but it is derived from his initial (F-A-T). They don't really like the boy who's too much into himself, but they like his little dog Buster. So, they welcome Fatty into the group.

🔥 The burnt cottage belongs to a Mr. Hick, a kind of scientist, who claims that he lost his most precious papers during the fire. People begin to talk that someone burned that cottage on purpose. Fatty happened to notice a tramp hanging around Mr. Hick's garden the night of the fire. Was he the perpetrator? The children decide to play detective and investigate. They call their club the Five Find-Outers and Dog.

🔥 It's delightful to follow the five children's enviable lives; with freedom to spend their days outside school, doing chores, and meals. They usually gather at Pip and Bets' place to discuss any progress on the investigation and to decide their next steps. It's ranging from finding clues to interviewing suspects. But they must solve the mystery quickly before the local police (whom they nickname Clear Orf - his favorite phrase when seeing children around) beats them.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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