#bookaday – 1. Favourite book from childhood


Blogging through June with the #bookaday, and today is…

Favourite book from childhood: The Five Find-Outers – The Mystery of the Secret Room by Enid Blyton



I was pretty pretty much raised on Enid Blyton mysteries and I had such a huge collection of them. Looking back they were all much of a muchness – series and books alike – but as an eight year old they were all thrillingly unique. My favourite series was the Five Find Outers, who were two sets of siblings (one set posh, one a little less posh) and their leader, Frederick Algernon Trotville, known affectionately in this golden pre-PC era as Fatty. There was a dog too, I recall, and an irascible policeman called PC Goon.

This book, the third, was and is my favourite for fairly vague reason. I can’t remember specifics, but it taught me that writing in lemon juice functions as invisible ink and you can escape a locked room with a pencil and a newspaper. Fatty’s mastery of disguises led me to my brief spate of mother-sanctioned cross-dressing, and the Find-Outers general escapades led myself and a school-friend to search for clues when our local corner shop was robbed.

Also in the running: Redwall by Brian Jacques, The Lord of the Rings, The Three Investigators by “Alfred Hitchcock”, Hardy Boys…



11 thoughts on “#bookaday – 1. Favourite book from childhood

      • Ohh, I’m wrong! It was the Tenth Doctor’s story in that anthology “11 Doctors, 11 Stories”, which was written by Derek Landy. They land on this planet which seems to be based completely on this series Martha read as a kid. And one of the people/characters on that planet is called Fatty….

      • No way! I have that book, haven’t read it yet. I’ll dig it out. If it is based on the Five Find Outers I’m going to be so geek-happy!

      • Oh but you have to read it, like, now! Eoin Colfer, Neil Gaiman, Richelle Mead, and so many other awesome authors! Martha says the story is called “Troubleseekers” but I think the name would have had to have been changed for copyright reasons πŸ™‚

      • I googled some interviews with Derek Landy about that story – he said he took ‘what if the Doctor met the Famous Five’ as his starting point. That’s her other series, but if you’ve for one why not chuck in the others :p I’ll dig it out post haste (I’m moving house – every book I own is boxed up!)

      • That is some solid research there, man. The results when Ten meets the characters are hilarious. I’d class the whole thing as meta-fiction, really πŸ™‚

        Oh, God, moving house. I moved four months ago and my books are still boxed up. it makes trying to re-read things almost impossible!

      • Tell me about it! I’ve got carpets coming this week which means I will have an actual office (therefore fulfilling all my writer fantasies) which means I can get to the always-fun task of spreading every book i own across the floor and sorting them out πŸ˜€

      • When I actually own my own place there will be an office with a wall that’s basically a massive book shelf and it will be my life’s ambition to fill it. Totally get it πŸ™‚

        Oh, the book OCD. When I first moved out of home I waited until I had a full day off so that I could organise my books properly (by series and genre haha)

      • Ha, well… I’ve just finished one wall of my new office (the other three walls will JUST be bookcases!) and it looks like THIS:

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