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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 August 2003
I've read all of the five findouters series.
It's a pity that this collection of books was never very popular. I believe the reason was that the title 'the five findouters and dog' wasn't very flashy in comparison with the 'famous five' or 'secret seven' and so it didn't sell very well.
I'm aged 20 now, which is rather old for reading this kind of thing but I can squarely say that the Five findouters series was very good stuff. Very much better in quality and entertainment than the famous five. And this would be especially true if you had read this series from book 1 (the mystery of the burnt cottage) as all stories in the series are in chronological order. The children actually age as they go along and have a mystery every holiday they get.
The mystery of the pantomime cat has one of the better plots in the entire series and is a very interesting, hilarious, suspense story to read.
The story begins when the findouters unknowingly stumble onto a robbery by setting up a false mystery for constable Pippin, the new and very inexperienced village policeman (replacing Mr. Goon since he was away on vacation). Constable Pippin unsuspectingly uses the fake clues in his hunt for the criminals. And thus begins a hilarious tale mixed up with suspense and a surprise ending.
I recommend this book to all children up to age 15. But I believe it is worthy of even the adult world, for I sometimes even now, pick up this book and read it for good measure.
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on 5 February 2004
You are never too old to read these books!!! How idyllic life was and how much safer it was then,(yes i KNOW they are only fiction!)But for a little while you can lose yourself in Peterswood with five delightful children and their dog,whilst they fight crime and run rings around the ever imbecelic policeman.
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on 3 October 2015
THE MYSTERY SERIES

THEY ARE THE BEST FOR A FIRST READ!

Enid’s ‘Mystery’ books (The Five Find Outers and Dog) were the catalyst which encouraged me to start reading more than 50 years ago. Thank you, Enid. The BBC, many libraries, local authorities and alleged educational experts have been completely wrong about the worth of the Blyton works. I can remember having substantial difficulty obtaining the original books as so many shops would not stock them but they were wonderful stories! The tales are great to read for their simplicity and straightforwardness.

When one did find copies of the book they were quite expensive all those years ago but great to own. I loved the letter on the back cover from Enid in some editions and the physical appearance of the books as well which I treasured as a youngster with the way in which the books were produced then making them somehow much easier to read.

It’s a delight to read these mystery stories again in middle age although recent editing has diminished some of the memories I have of the original editions and words used then (but I am now getting old).

Never mind… these books remain one of my best friends for life: they began my own reading adventure so do read these special adventures for yourselves.
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on 5 February 2014
By the seventh mystery for the Five Find-Outers and Dog, Fatty has come to centre stage and Blyton uses him as the point-of-view character for almost the entire narrative. Approaching halfway through the series, it's finally reached the point where all the key elements are in place - clues, disguises, alibis - and it almost feels like the author has been building elements of the mystery story up one by one in the earlier books, taking the reader on a journey into the world of crime novels.

It's a great plot, and Blyton seems to feel comfortable enough with the format to introduce twists away from the norm to keep things interesting. The mystery itself is well written, and there are plenty of opportunities for a young reader (or listener) to spot clues before the characters.
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VINE VOICEon 11 July 2007
Definitely one of the better of the series.
I like these "Mystery of" books as the plots vary considerably. Fatty and co. lay false clues to mislead the rather sweet Constable Pippin and in doing so put him on the spot of a proper robbery. I confess I suspected the wrong character of being the villain. Good for Ms Blyton, after all it is supposed to be a children's book. As her story goes there is a maturity and intelligence about Fatty that is far superior to those of the Famous Five and does not insult the adult reader, because strangely enough, most Blytons are read by adults. I have done it all my life.
Constable Goon is as revolting as ever and one wonders why the police tolerate him. The Inspector is the biggest idiot of the series and one can only assume he reached his high position by marrying the Chief Constable's daughter or something like that. He is totally unrealistic. And I do not like how he takes Bets on his lap!!! Definitely not PC for a high ranking police officer.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable and mature book which will have older children delighted.
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on 8 September 2010
My proudest claim in relation to books and reading is that, from the age of about 5, I viscerally hated Enid Blyton and all her foul works. Well, not quite all. I liked The Magic Faraway Tree. What I hated was the Secret Seven and the Famous Five, and for all the right reasons, too.

Firstly, they didn't talk like any children I knew - "I say! Let's all buy ices!" Ices? ICES?? Who calls an ice cream an "ice", apart perhaps from the Queen and time travellers from 1894?

Then there was the way they always just happened to have unspent money in their pockets (to buy "ices" with, of course), and quite often they had chocolate too. They just happened to find complete unopened unmelted unscoffed bars of chocolate about their person, the way kids do, right? Puhleese.

Then there were the generic dogs, whose contribution consisted of "Woof!" A lot of thought went into that one, clearly.

And then there was the way they never had any holiday schoolwork to do, and as soon as they got home from expensive fee-paying boarding schools to their servant-encrusted homes, all they wanted to do was go somewhere else other than home instead. They were also, usually, either desperately thick or desperately goody-goody or indeed both.

And of course they were odiously cliquey. If you didn't look, speak and think like them, you were weird and they hated you.

Of course, some children were actually brought up exactly that way in the 1950s. The result was not happy and well-adjusted adults, but rather, self-righteous, morally incompetent, borderline-certifiable psychotic loonies. Look at Tony Blair: a smug, grasping, overprivileged, delusional, narcissistic, toff public schoolboy, he had exactly the kind of early life Blyton characters have, and as a kid probably closely resembled Julian out of the Famous Five.

I digress. Many of these faults are present in the Find-Outers books, because old Enid was a prolific and formulaic writer. Write 10,000 publishable words a day, as she was known to do, and there's not a lot of time for character development.

So in the Find-Outers books, the kids are indistinguishable from each other. If you called them Kid A, B, C, and D you'd lose little, they are that interchangeable. How she kept the names apart, and avoided inadvertently writing Julian into the Secret Seven, I really can't think. You have to admire her for not accidentally slipping Dick into the Pantomime Cat, if you follow me.

In each Find-Outer story, also, the children usually get together to pick on, exclude, and twit some hapless inoffensive outsider. The outsider has no feelings, deserves to be hated because s/he usually fails to speak in the clipped 1940s BBC accents of the heroes, is less economically fortunate than they are, and thus isn't really human at all. This is not just OK, it is tacitly approved of by the writer. So it's Mr Goon's nephew in one, the obnoxious daughter of a family friend in another, and the new copper PC Pippin in this one.

In other ways, though, these stories are very much better than the average Blyton effort. The children do morally ambiguous things, like setting up the stupid outsider policeman with phoney clues. They break and enter property and they obstruct the police and waste their time, so they aren't the usual goody-goodies. Fatty's constant supply of money is actually commented on, too.

The most surprising character is Mr. Goon, who actually develops (i.e. gets worse) from book to book. In this one he is not just a buffoon, but is also a violent bully who assaults animals, threatens to frame people, and comes over as completely deranged. He's also obsessed with turf, he feuds with and harasses the law-abiding, and he routinely misleads his superiors. In fact, if you were trying to write Life on Mars : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 (8 Disc Box Set) [2006] [DVD] for the under-10s, you'd come up with someone very like Mr. Goon as the archetypal bad copper.

This isn't at all what you expect to find in Enid Blyton. The policemen in the Noddy, Famous Five, Secret Seven, Emetic Eight, Nugatory Nine etc books are completely interchangeable, but not here.

There are other astonishing features too. One character actually reads a book! I nearly dropped this one when I came across that bit. That has to be unique - I've never known any other Blyton character do that. Fatty's approximate age is also disclosed (he's in his teens). The stories are also set in a consistent real geography - Peterswood is somewhere around Marlow, in Bucks, where old Enid herself lived, and the place-names and locations are mostly real.

The titles appear to have been updated recently, though patchily. The bally biffo binky slang has all gone, and the children now have pound coins in their pockets. They still don't have TVs, computers or mobile phones, however, and nor do they listen to music. But they do use the landline and they regularly go for coffee. I don't remember this last point of old, and I'm sure in earlier versions they would have gone for lemonade and eclairs or something equally middle-aged instead, but on the whole it works. For now, they are recognisably up-to-date 1970s kids. If the editors keep updating the text like this, then in about 30 years we'll be reading about the Find-Outer Massive getting inked up, hitting their pipes, smacking up their bitches, and shanking mofo players wid deir blades, innit.

My 7-year-old loves these stories, and she's a discerning reader. These are perhaps directed at an older reader than the Famous Five, and much the better for it. If a child never reads an Enid Blyton book, they have missed nothing, and almost all of them are indeed a complete waste of time. The relative complexity and vocabulary of these Find-Outers books, however, make them a good choice for strong readers aged 7 to 10.
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on 19 July 2014
I really liked the characters of the book and the storey was amazing! I did not dislike any of it and I think any on could read it. this book was one of the best books I have read. it was brilliant!!!!
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on 10 July 2014
Loved this book couldn't wait to read another chapter ! Really exciting going to choose one more so so good
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on 9 September 2014
really good. stayed up till 9:32 i am going to read the next one it was so amazing i could not put it down
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on 21 November 2012
Delivery and condition superb. Would not hesitate to deal with this supplied again. The book is a gift for a nine year old who is an enthusiastic reader of Enid Blyton's books.
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