Review: The Mystery of the Hidden House – part 1


hiddenhouseHow much of a bad blogger am I? Having only decided on Sunday evening that I was going to review The Mystery of the Hidden House and committed to that on the Monday blog, things then got mad on Monday and I didn’t manage to do all the reading I planned and suddenly I had to write this blog. It’s going to have to be a two parter, I’m afraid.

I have managed to speed read through half of the book so we’re going to have a look at that, and maybe we’ll get a little more depth to the Five Find-Outers than my previous reviews. So shall we take a look?

A Mystery? No thanks!

We start with the winter holidays, and Fatty has been away and the others go to meet him at the station. Unfortunately and unbeknown to them Fatty has been delayed, so when the train they think he’s on arrives they suspect he may have disguised himself to trick them. They pick on a chap who they suspect Fatty could pull off as a disguise, and follow him out of the station and began to call him Fatty because they wanted him to break character. They are utterly confused when the boy doesn’t break ‘character’, accuses them of being rude for constantly calling him Fatty and then goes into Mr Goon’s house. This really confuses the Find-Outers until they meet Fatty’s mother and Buster the dog to discover that Fatty was due on the next train.

Mr Goon receives a report from the boy who entered his house, who turns out to be Ern, Goon’s nephew. As we progress into the first part of the book Ern becomes very enamoured with Fatty, even though the Find-Outers do not rate Ern very highly, especially as he tells his uncle about their ‘rudeness’ causing Goon to visit their mothers and ask them not to allow the children to lead Ern astray with their mysteries.

The parents of Larry and Daisy, and Pip and Bets, ban them from taking part in any mystery that pops up during the holidays and the children reluctantly agree, so they’re a little stuck when an adventure comes knocking. Let’s now take a little look at that.

Ern, pomes and mysteries

Ern Goon is what we would call a simple person. He’s not good at reading social cues and very good at being taken for a ride. The Find-Outers decide to make up a pretend mystery for Ern to help them with, because he told his uncle about their mistake.

Fatty however isn’t banned by his parents so he can take Ern for a ride with the help of the others, but while they’re on Christmas Hill setting up a mystery for him, he’s gone the wrong way and stumbles across a potential real mystery for the Find Outers to take on.

Another thing about Ern is that he likes to write sad poems because they make him feel ‘deliciously’ sad. His poems aren’t as amazing as he likes to think they are, but they seem to be a big part of his life. I don’t know whether it gets covered in the rest of the book but I would like to find out a bit more about Ern’s backstory as I’m sure it would be interesting.

I think that Ern is one of the only characters I can think of that is portrayed as being a little different from the rest of the children. Usually in Enid Blyton’s books you get evidence of class divides but not necessarily a character who might be a few slices short of a loaf. However I don’t think much of the Find-Outer’s  attitude towards him, even Bets isn’t particularly nice to him, but we shall see if that changes in time.

So far, so good?

Despite my failure to finish this book in time for this blog, it’s not looking like it’s going to be too bad of a book. Its maybe a bit slow to start because of the children being banned from solving mysteries but then you know they will find one anyway, the question is just how! It’s slightly different because a character outside of our main cast actually stumbles across the adventure, which means that they then have to be included in some way. I look forward to finding out what’s going to happen!

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5 Responses to Review: The Mystery of the Hidden House – part 1

  1. Francis says:

    Sounds like you are slightly warming to the Mystery series Stef!
    Thanks for review.
    Francis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fiona says:

    Ern always reminds me of Sid the paper-boy from Five Fall Into Adventure. Sid’s the sort of simple type as well but he doesn’t play as big a part in the story as Ern does.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. chrissie777 says:

    Ern will participate in a few more FFO & Dog sequels. His best adventure IMHO is in “Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage”, a great book and another winter story! I’m sure you’ll warm up to his loyal character and his sad portry/pomes.

    Like

  4. Dale Vincero, Brisbane, Australia says:

    Stef: As a result of your article, I am now about to start reading “The Mystery of the Hidden House”. Have not read it before.

    Liked by 1 person

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