Published in 2008, The Famous Five’s Survival Guide is now, as far as I know, sold out and out-of-print. There may be a few copies lurking in bookshops but on the whole if you want one; you’ll need to go for second-hand.
There’s just one problem with that. The book should come with a code reader – a thin bit of card with holes cut in it, attached to the book by a bit of red ribbon. Unfortunately the second-hand copies often miss this. Either the previous owner has untied it to use it (though it’s long enough to reach without doing so) or it has accidentally pulled free.
I know this because I have had three or four people contact me in the last year or two with the same story. They had bought a second-hand copy of the book, and it was missing the code reader. I’ve sent photos, and more recently scans of my code reader to these people, so that they can decode the letter on page 31. I’m not sure that it’s integral to solving the mystery, but it must be frustrating for readers for it to be missing none the less.
Anyway, I thought that I should just put the code reader on here so that anyone who needs it can save a copy and print it out, without having to wait for me to read my emails and send a reply. It’s taken me this long, though, as I kept forgetting to take it into work, but I now have my own scanner. So here it is! (And as you can see the hole on the left where the ribbon was tied is almost torn through).
When printed the code reader should be roughly 15cm wide and 10.5cm tall, so you may have to fiddle with your printer settings to get it the right size.
I will also include the secret message you are trying to reveal:
Royal dragon of Siam stolen from king of Siam. It is in my possession. You must return the Dragon. If you fail there will be war.
I’ve made the text above white so I don’t spoil it for you, but you can click and drag to highlight and read it if you need the extra help.
Happy code cracking!