So I failed. I had one job and that was to read the book on my way up to Fiona’s when I was on the train, and I didn’t. On top of that, I’ve just not been reading because I’ve been trying to help with Brodie (he’s got a good pair of lungs on him!) and I have just failed completely in my simple task. So I’m going to review the first half of the book for you. Let’s go!
Oh woe are the Five Find-Outers, they have gone down with the flu, thanks to Bets as she’s managed to get it first over the Christmas hols, and given it around to everyone. When we join them they have managed to be mostly on the mend, and Bets is better and visiting the others faithfully.
After she gets annoyed at Pip, because he’s being mean to her, she decides to go and see Fatty who enjoys her company even when ill. Pip asks her for some bulls’ eyes, so she pops to the sweet shop and buys some for Fatty as well, thinking he’s probably at the same stage as Pip in his recovery.
When she gets to Fatty’s he already has a visitor, much to his mother’s surprise, not to mention that Fatty also appears to be asleep which adds to the confusion. The old lady who is there is apparently known to Fatty and has met the Trottevilles before. Mrs Trotteville isn’t convinced and then the cover breaks when Fatty reveals himself to be the old lady in the chair.
Mrs Trotteville is not impressed, especially given that the cook has given Fatty her aunt’s old smelly clothes. She wants to throw them away or wash them at least and Fatty won’t let her. He convinces his mother that Bets can take them down to his shed before she goes and the clothes are left and the woman forgotten.
Bets and Fatty sit down to talk, Mrs Trotteville having invited Bets to stay for tea, and Fatty tells Bets that he has begun to teach himself to throw his voice and become a ventriloquist. Apparently he’s been inspired by someone visiting his school in the last term and wanted to take it up. How he managed to ‘perfect’ his new skill so quickly, I don’t know, because its a very difficult and precise skill, and it takes people years to perfect it. However this is Fatty, why am I not surprised that he took it on with ease? He’s Blyton’s perfect character after all.
What I do find really distasteful is that he scares Bets with this ‘talent’ so much that she genuinely is trembling with fear. Fiona disagrees with me, saying that Bets is just a big baby, but there’s two sides to this issue. To me they hinge on Fatty’s personality. One is the mature, sensible boy he can be sometimes, when he’s actually in the middle of a mystery and looking after the others, but when he’s bored he can be brutish, and when he’s showing off he is just a pain. He can be so flippant and disregards so many opinions and feelings because he’s the ‘great’ Fatty. Fiona thinks I just don’t like him and that many people would disagree with me about him. Feel free to back one of us up in the comments!
The beginning of the mystery
After the generally recovery from the flu the five and Buster start to explore the village once more much to Mr Goon’s disgust. He’s gotten rather big for his boots since the children were ill because he was able to run after any mystery that may have occurred. He’s as insufferable as ever, back to being rude about Fatty (not that he doesn’t deserve it) but he should at least have manners when dealing with the children and Fatty. When Bets is on her way to visit Fatty, she bumps into Mr Goon, and he tells her what he thinks of Fatty and is quite rude really. Bets then blithely tells Fatty everything who laughs at Goon, but is determined to find a mystery to beat the policeman to solving it.
Anyway, once the children are more recovered from the flu, they are out and about, trying to find a mystery before they go back to school, but nothing appears until there’s a break in two doors down from Larry and Daisy. Again there doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery and it rather feels like there won’t be much of the mystery until the very end of the book again. Still, best to keep going and see where we get with this.
Please tell me it gets better?
Next review: The Mystery of the Strange Bundle part 2