Taking a trip back to my childhood, I decided to reread ‘The Mystery of the Missing Necklace’ by Enid Blyton. It was one of my favourite books as a child and is still an enjoyable read as an adult.
The Five Find-Outers are made up of Bets, Pip, Larry, Daisy and their leader, Fatty, with Buster the dog tagging along as well. When Mr Goon, the local policeman and foil to the Find-Outers, has a very important mystery to solve, the children are determined to solve it first – whatever the dangers may be.
One of the great things about this book is that it is ageless, in terms of date and audience. There are a few instances which are telling of the time it was written in, but otherwise the story could have taken place today. The writing style is orientated towards children, but the simplicity of it is an endearing quality. It makes it an easy, light read for, say, ill days or busy days. The solution and clues are subtle enough for adults to have to guess the way though while still clear enough to keep a child’s attention.
The character of Fatty does get a little annoying at parts, particularly with his Mary-Sue like qualities, but he does have a few traits that keeps him in the reader’s good books, particularly his interactions with Bets. Despite his clear role of main-character, the other children have their moments in the spotlight and are pivotal in solving the mystery. Daisy probably had the worst treatment, seemingly forgotten about at parts, with only a couple of lines that contributed towards the main story.
I would certainly recommend ‘The Mystery of the Missing Necklace’ and all the other books in this series. It can be read by both children and adults, maybe even a parent reading to a child, and is enjoyable throughout.