The Enid Blyton mystery series consists of fifteen books Enid started penning in 1942. This series gives delightful insight to life during the 1950’s and have been great reading stories for children for the last fifty years.
The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage was published in 1943 by Methuen publishers. The first in this series this book characterized five children who come across a mystery and make up their minds to solve it, following which they take on the name “The Five Find-Outers and Dog”.
This embarks them on a search for other mysteries making use of the school holidays away from the boarding. Her focus was children in this entire mystery book series the last of which was The Mystery of Banshee Towers, which was the published in during the early 1960’s.
In the Five Find-Outers and a Policeman the five portrayed children of the book who come from typically middle class backgrounds. Fatty or Frederick Trotteville is an only child and extremely spoiled. He has a tendency to take control of situations whatever they may be, and loves to boast about his self-acknowledged intelligence.
Laurence Daykin or Larry and sister Daisy are shown as the stereotype of the 1950-generation of children. Larry yearns to join up with any possibility of adventure with Daisy as society would, has to stay back and remain out of the way when things tend towards being serious.
Philip Hilton AKA Pip and his younger sibling Elizabeth Hilton or Bets manage to get involved with crime solving process despite having very stern parents. The village cop is Theophilus Goon clearly a name chosen for a policemen from another era. He is portrayed exaggeratedly as someone who is extremely pompous but cannot get a single thing right.
The books in this series is typical of her other teenage books. She brings to life groups of small children who fit the stereotype of their gender and social position of that time. They have an affinity for mystery either accidentally coming across it or searching for it. They have to encounter ruffians before the books are worked to nail biting end.
The setting of these mystery books also becomes a good source of history of the years after the war in Britain. Certainly as children they are portrayed as a goodly and carefree time.
You see them cycling off using their bikes without any apprehension for a time out in the woods, or even leisurely having ice cream in a parlor for the larger part of the afternoon or sipping lemonade.
To be walking the beat is the main job description of the village policeman. The books portray a time with many fairs and people who are traveling around with them adding to the sense of adventure of each book.
Economically too they portray good times with each family having their own maids and cooks and kitchen staff. These books will remain thrillers for younger children for ages to come though they do walk into their moments of controversy.