The Mystery of the Secret Room
In the cold and foggy Christmas holidays, it doesn't seem as though the Five Find-Outers and Dog will have anything exciting to investigate. Fatty's got some wonderful new disguises, but there doesn't seem to be any mystery for them at all this time. Then Pip stumbles on a single furnished room in an otherwise deserted house.
Reviewed on 23rd November 2012
It's the Christmas holiday, and Enid Blyton's Five Find-Outers are back together again and looking out for another mystery to solve, while continuing to wind up the local policeman.
I must confess to being a little disappointed re-reading these as an adult - as a young child they were some of my favourite stories and my favourite of Blyton's works, but now they seem much more simplistic than I remember and the characters' mystery solving seems much more luck than investigatory skill.
That having been said, this is the book where key elements for the rest of the series finally come into place: Fatty takes charge and introduces a variety of detective skills, including invisible writing, and his impressive disguises. This element alone makes up for the rather tame plot which involves incredibly little detection.
For children, obviously the intended audience, the language is mostly appropriate (although my copy does contain one politically incorrect word), and Blyton drops in the occasional less familiar word to expand the reader's vocabulary. The characters are likeable and the humour stands the test of time.