So last week I hadn’t managed to read all of the book, so I only reviewed half of the book. This week I will look at the other half. Shall we begin?
The mystery deepens
As the mystery moves on, the old fellow’s money has disappeared and so has his furniture, which has called for Mr Goon to be investigating. He doesn’t trust Fatty as we know, and this happens to hinder the investigation. It also means that Fatty is incredibly smug at the prospect of solving the mystery before Goon, however he doesn’t really know where to go with this one. He and the others start with compiling a list of suspects who they need to interview while all the time having Larry worry that the leather he left in the Hollies’ garden will be discovered.
To start with there aren’t a great many suspects because everyone who came to visit the old man has an alibi, and has been seen by someone else who can vouch for them. Not only that but there are so few people who actually seem to visit the old man that there isn’t much for the FFOs to chase up. However they do try their best, tracking down the vicar’s sister, the proper window cleaner, and the grocer’s boy to find out when and why they went into the house.
Unfortunately they leave the family of the old man until last, which then leads them onto their biggest mystery to date. It turns out that the old man’s granddaughter has gone missing and now the blame seems to be riding on her because everyone thinks she has done a runner with the money. However, after interviewing the granddaughter’s employer and overhearing a conversation by the maids in the kitchen, Fatty seems to guess that this young girl isn’t the thief at all. So now the options are limited severely to whom the culprit could be.
I won’t really say anymore, just to save anyone who hasn’t read it from spoilers, but lets just say, it’ll surprise you and not surprise you at the same time.
Back on form
Oh my oh my, finally a Five Find-Outers and Dog I can get my teeth into! This actually felt like a proper mystery, an actual Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple mystery. Of course once the clues Blyton dropped were made clear I was almost pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the book. I mean yes, all right, the crime isn’t one that hasn’t been committed before, but Enid Blyton actually makes this an accessible crime for children, and even as an adult this one was a little bit tricky for me. I could see where she wanted us to go, and she has a history with the FFOs with making the culprit obvious!
The Mystery of Holly Lane however was quite good in the respect that she used some red herrings to make us go down the wrong garden path. This is a Blyton I can see writing the Famous Five, and Adventure series, this is the Blyton who was introducing millions of children to the joys of reading, this is the Blyton I fell in love reading.
I know there are those of you out there who will tell me that this proves I was wrong about the FFOs but no, I still don’t really enjoy the characters, especially Fatty, and they can be quite slow on the uptake sometimes, but the actual mystery on this one is worth reading because its very well done.
I think The Mystery at Holly Lane is a contender for my favourite Five Find-Outers and Dog story. Anyone else?