The Mystery of the Invisible Thief by Enid Blyton
Series: The Five Find-Outers #8
Publisher: Dragon Books Ltd | 1968 (first published 1950) | 158 pages
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I have been a great fan of Enid Blyton while growing up (still a fan now!) but I did not have the luxury of reading many of her books. Though I wished to own the entire Enid Blyton collection, I was only limited to the books I already had. It was partly because some of her books were not easy to find in bookstores.
My favourite mystery-solving group of children was the Five Find-Outers and Dog. Come to think of it now, they really gave themselves such a cute name! This group of friends consists of Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pip, Bets and Fatty’s dog Buster.
I did not get to read The Mystery of the Invisible Thief back then. So that’s why I went on to BookMooch four years ago to mooch for a used copy. Only this year that I’m reading it for the first time!
It starts with the children lazing around on a hot summer’s day complaining about not having a good, juicy mystery to solve. But what’s a mystery book without a mystery, eh? Before the children know it, they find a mystery where a thief who breaks in to houses somehow remains invisible whereby nobody ever spots him escaping the scene of the crime.
The thief does leave some clues behind though – large footprints, large glove prints and a curious print of criss-cross lines on the ground. With those clues and several more obtained later on from a policeman, the friends, led by Fatty, set out on various ‘undercover assignments’ to try to get more clues on the mystery. Oh yeah, Fatty does dress up in disguises a few times. This time, someone else joins him, though not as skillful, in putting up disguises.
Reading an Enid Blyton book at the age of 24 is so different from the time when I was 10 or 11. It would have been much more enjoyable to read it back then but to discover these unread books now is another unforgettable experience altogether. It certainly brings upon a wave of nostalgia of the good, younger and carefree days.
I feel like I’m reading the book through new eyes. Okay, same pair of eyes, different glasses but different take on what I read. I see how the group always listens to Fatty who seems to have the most brilliant ideas and suggestions. He spends more time pondering over the clues, the suspects and possible solutions to the case. The others are merely followers who gladly do what he tells them to do. Especially Bets who, I will say this, has a huge crush on Fatty. I wonder if this has been mentioned outright in any of the books. I do hope Fatty does not take her for granted when they grow up!
Now that I’m older and supposedly wiser, I’m still learning new words while reading Enid Blyton books. One word I learnt from this mystery was gymkhana. Have you heard of it before?
This is what I found on Wikipedia:
In English-speaking countries, a gymkhana refers to a multi-game equestrian event performed to display the training and talents of horses and their riders. The plot of the children’s story “The Mystery of the Invisible Thief” by Enid Blyton begins at a gymkhana held at an English village, testifying to its being a common institution in English society at the time of writing (the 1940s).
Whew. This is some review for a book of only 158 pages. But hey, it’s an Enid Blyton book.