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The Mystery of the Strange Messages

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Mr Goon, the policeman, can't understand it. Messages keep coming to him, popping up all over the place. But who is sending them? Mr Goon thinks it is Fatty, playing tricks on him but this is the first the Five Find-Outers have heard about the messages. It all becomes a remarkable mystery and one which the Five just have to solve. Mr Goon, the policeman, can't understand it. Messages keep coming to him, popping up all over the place. But who is sending them? Mr Goon thinks it is Fatty, playing tricks on him but this is the first the Five Find-Outers have heard about the messages. It all becomes a remarkable mystery and one which the Five just have to solve.


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Mr Goon, the policeman, can't understand it. Messages keep coming to him, popping up all over the place. But who is sending them? Mr Goon thinks it is Fatty, playing tricks on him but this is the first the Five Find-Outers have heard about the messages. It all becomes a remarkable mystery and one which the Five just have to solve. Mr Goon, the policeman, can't understand it. Messages keep coming to him, popping up all over the place. But who is sending them? Mr Goon thinks it is Fatty, playing tricks on him but this is the first the Five Find-Outers have heard about the messages. It all becomes a remarkable mystery and one which the Five just have to solve.

30 review for The Mystery of the Strange Messages

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    Findouters challenge: Book 14. This is the second of the findouters cases to involve mysterious letters, the first being the Mystery of the Spiteful Letters. This time though, the target is not random people around Peterswood but a certain Mr Smith against whom they are directed and Mr Goon to whom all the notes are addressed. The notes are anonymous and composed of words/letters cut out of newspapers and magazines. Nobody is seen leaving the notes but they appear all over Goon’s house. Goon imm Findouters challenge: Book 14. This is the second of the findouters cases to involve mysterious letters, the first being the Mystery of the Spiteful Letters. This time though, the target is not random people around Peterswood but a certain Mr Smith against whom they are directed and Mr Goon to whom all the notes are addressed. The notes are anonymous and composed of words/letters cut out of newspapers and magazines. Nobody is seen leaving the notes but they appear all over Goon’s house. Goon immediately suspects Fatty and goes to warn off the findouters but this turns out to be a blessing in disguise for our five who have no case to solve (as usual) in the holidays. Goon too soon realises that it wasn’t the findouters who are playing a trick and enlists Ern’s help―actually hires him to help. And so the Findouters start off on another exciting mystery, this one with plenty of hidden secrets and also more to it than first meets the eye. Like in the Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage, Ern takes on a more active role in this one and does himself proud. Before I get to my reactions to the actual book itself, I have to rant about the updated eds. Totally my fault, but somehow, I bought a new edition (2011) of this one, something I actively avoid doing usually, and every change they made―pointless in my view (except may be one, but even that didn’t make sense) jarred. For instance, Fatty always called his parents ‘mother’ and ‘father’―which has been changed here to ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’―why? Do children today not know what ‘mother’ and ‘father’ means, or is it so hard to understand that perhaps in the past, people addressed their parents differently? Elsewhere ‘daily woman’ becomes ‘cleaning lady’―again something that needn’t have been changed, anyone can easily look it up―isn’t that the point of books (or one of the points, at any rate) that you learn new things― new words/expressions, new things about other places and cultures, about your own culture/ country, about the past. Such pointless changes simply ruin the book for me, it loses its sense of time and place, which is part of its value. A third change that stood out was all the references to ‘fat boy’ which is what Goon does call Fatty are changed to ‘big boy’―this I get why it was changed but for one, it wasn’t used in the sense that it is understood today (something else that children today can’t understand, apparently―if we go by the changes), and two, it was meant to be nasty, which ‘big boy’ simply doesn’t convey. Grrrr…. Apart from the edition, Blyton herself made a bit of a mistake in this one, with Mrs Trotteville claiming that she’s been living in Peterswood from nineteen years, when she and her family only moved here in book 2 of the series―and if it were indeed nineteen years since then, our findouters ought to have been in their thirties now  But anyway, now finally the story itself. While the updated text, as I said, was jarring, the story itself was interested. The opening was different from the usual (one or the other of the children having to be received from the station, holidays with nothing to do)―this one begins with Goon puzzling over the anonymous notes and takes off from there. The mystery was one of the more interesting ones with as I said a little more complicated than it seems at first and it was fun to see how Fatty worked the whole thing out. Of course, it was him that put together everything at the end. Bets this time has some good ideas but one major clue comes from Ern and his attempts at writing por’try (I always forget that all his poetry begins with ‘The Poor Old’ or ‘Pore Old’ ) and Ern indeed has a very active role in this one, helping the findouters and Fatty when he is needed the most, and proving himself brave, loyal, and clever. The solution was among the more interesting ones and was rather enjoyable. There was disguising of course, though only once, and actual investigating by all the findouters. On the foodmeter, this one was average, there was food, plenty, but not overflowing. Sid and Perce’s antics are brought in, and with it some laughs, though they themselves don’t make an appearance. A fun read though spoiled for me by the edition (which I must get rid of asap and replace with an older one).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ririn Aziz

    3.75 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    The fourteenth entry in Enid Blyton's fifteen-book Five Find-Outers and Dog series, in which a group of British schoolchildren spend their holidays playing detective, The Mystery of the Strange Messages follows Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pip and Bets as they become involved in a puzzling case involving anonymous letters sent to PC Goon, the village police bobby. Who is this Smith that the note-sender seems determined to expose, and why does he need to be cleared out of old Fairlin Hall, once known as The fourteenth entry in Enid Blyton's fifteen-book Five Find-Outers and Dog series, in which a group of British schoolchildren spend their holidays playing detective, The Mystery of the Strange Messages follows Fatty, Larry, Daisy, Pip and Bets as they become involved in a puzzling case involving anonymous letters sent to PC Goon, the village police bobby. Who is this Smith that the note-sender seems determined to expose, and why does he need to be cleared out of old Fairlin Hall, once known as "The Ivies"? The Find-Outers, together with their friend Ern, and Buster the dog, are on the case! This penultimate title in the series was enjoyable enough, although Blyton really seems to be writing on auto-pilot here. In one scene, Pip is the designated look-out, but somehow manages to make a comment, despite being outside the hall! In another, Bets doesn't know what an anonymous letter is, even though the Find-Outers have already encountered them, in The Mystery of the Spiteful Letters . Despite these errors of continuity, and the fact that the mystery wasn't terribly suspenseful, I did enjoy the resolution. It was refreshing to see Ern play the hero for a change!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Krystalin

    I still enjoy Enid Blyton's books for kids. I still get totally involved in the mystery and still love stringing the clues together. Another wonderful adventure with memorable characters. I still enjoy Enid Blyton's books for kids. I still get totally involved in the mystery and still love stringing the clues together. Another wonderful adventure with memorable characters.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gowri N.

    This has all the makings of an Agatha Christie setup and the FFO&D do a good bit of detecting throughout to arrive at answers. Also lots of examples of kindness and fairness. Reminded me just why I love this series so much!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Malin

    This is one of dad's old books and I don't think I've read it before. But I enjoyed it very much and I would love to read more of the books in the series, though I'm pretty sure this is the only one. Enid Blyton wrote brilliant mysterystories for kids. This is one of dad's old books and I don't think I've read it before. But I enjoyed it very much and I would love to read more of the books in the series, though I'm pretty sure this is the only one. Enid Blyton wrote brilliant mysterystories for kids.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ema

    Ok. I'm wondering where is Mr Wilfred's son gone and why Ern won't help his uncle and Buster that's locked. Why he waits until tomorrow? Ok. I'm wondering where is Mr Wilfred's son gone and why Ern won't help his uncle and Buster that's locked. Why he waits until tomorrow?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anshu Sharma

    The more I read these books, the more I detest Fatty. My insistence to complete a favorite series from my childhood is making me dislike them instead. Well at least only a book to go.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kavita

    This story really starts with Goon! He begins receiving a slew of anonymous notes demanding that he investigate a certain Mr Smith and eject him from his home. This makes no sense to Goon. Then he gets a brainwave and wonders if Fatty was behind these notes, trying out one of his disguises. He takes all the notes to Fatty and dumps them in the hands of the Find-Outers. Of course, they knew nothing about it, and Goon has just presented them with a brand new mystery! The delighted five, not to men This story really starts with Goon! He begins receiving a slew of anonymous notes demanding that he investigate a certain Mr Smith and eject him from his home. This makes no sense to Goon. Then he gets a brainwave and wonders if Fatty was behind these notes, trying out one of his disguises. He takes all the notes to Fatty and dumps them in the hands of the Find-Outers. Of course, they knew nothing about it, and Goon has just presented them with a brand new mystery! The delighted five, not to mention Ern, who had been employed by Goon to watch out for the mysterious letter-writer, set out to find the solution to this mystery. They discover Smith, and so does Goon. But they take different views of the matter from thereon. I rather enjoyed Ern's role in this one, where he blossoms on his own. The class differences are stark in this one. Ern is always delighted to be with the upper middle class children and happy to be accepted by them, enough so that he does not bother about the constant lecturing about not lying and stuff that the other children keep giving him. A bit of an eyeroll there! Then, of course, the trope about how Ern's mother can't even remember if he had had an illness or not and just sent him away to be on the safer side. That's literally no mother ever! The story is decent enough, but this was never one of my favourites. But I like all of the Mystery titles by Enid Blyton, some more than others.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Farseer

    In her latest years, Blyton developed dementia, and you can notice her decline in a few of her latest books. Fortunately, there is no trace of that in this, the second to last Five Find-Outers book. This book has a lot of the signature humor involving Mr. Goon, a strong investigation plot and some heart-warming moments. The premise may be a bit forced, but it's kind of explained once we find out the whole truth. Ern takes a stellar role here, despite the exaggerated way he looks up to Fatty, and In her latest years, Blyton developed dementia, and you can notice her decline in a few of her latest books. Fortunately, there is no trace of that in this, the second to last Five Find-Outers book. This book has a lot of the signature humor involving Mr. Goon, a strong investigation plot and some heart-warming moments. The premise may be a bit forced, but it's kind of explained once we find out the whole truth. Ern takes a stellar role here, despite the exaggerated way he looks up to Fatty, and the other children have clearly accepted him by this point in the series, despite some patronizing by Fatty. If there's a fault here is that Blyton doesn't find much for Larry, Daisy and Pip to do.

  11. 4 out of 5

    K.L.

    Goon is getting some rather rude anonymous letters telling him to ask about The Ivies. He accuses the FFO of sending them, but the children are soon on the trail of a mystery. Goon also recruits his reluctant nephew Ern to help figure out how the letters are arriving, but after he treats Ern cruelly one too many times, the boy decamps to Fatty and is put up in his shed. The children follow a trail involving houses called The Ivies, Rangoon, spies, and stolen diamonds before Ern comes to the fore Goon is getting some rather rude anonymous letters telling him to ask about The Ivies. He accuses the FFO of sending them, but the children are soon on the trail of a mystery. Goon also recruits his reluctant nephew Ern to help figure out how the letters are arriving, but after he treats Ern cruelly one too many times, the boy decamps to Fatty and is put up in his shed. The children follow a trail involving houses called The Ivies, Rangoon, spies, and stolen diamonds before Ern comes to the fore and helps rescue Fatty from a sticky situation

  12. 5 out of 5

    Songtsen

    Poorly written, even by Blyton's standards, and riddled with careless mistakes. Blyton has Mrs. Trotteville claim that she has lived in Peterswood for nineteen years. And in Chapter 19, Pip is both inside the kitchen and keeping watch outdoors at the same time. "When you're paid to do a job, it's better to give a few minutes more to it, than a few minutes less. That's one of the differences between doing a job honestly and doing it dishonestly! See?" Poorly written, even by Blyton's standards, and riddled with careless mistakes. Blyton has Mrs. Trotteville claim that she has lived in Peterswood for nineteen years. And in Chapter 19, Pip is both inside the kitchen and keeping watch outdoors at the same time. "When you're paid to do a job, it's better to give a few minutes more to it, than a few minutes less. That's one of the differences between doing a job honestly and doing it dishonestly! See?"

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leena

    This was such an exciting mystery. It was an emotional rollercoaster, full of sadness, suspense, laughter and a LOT more. I couldn’t help feeling bad for Mr and Mrs Smith though. The story of why Mr Smith did what he did (which was give some confidential papers to a foreign government), I couldn’t help but feel bad for the Smiths. I do hope that Mr Smith is ok, because it wasn’t mentioned that he got better. Maybe it did and I missed it, but either way, I hope he is ok.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Saffron Mavros

    For young minds, these books proved to be so thrilling, the zest, the tumble into adventures, cracking puzzles, finding clues and finally putting criminals and robbers behind bars! The mystery series were one of the best series in the Enid Blyton collection. The English highlands, and moors, the prolific city life and the extremely enigmatic children finding their way around, made for some of the best reads as a kid.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nadette Xuereb

    This was much cleverer than some of the latest books. I really liked the plot, it was ingenious.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mariyum Patel

    Amazing

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dhwani

    It's lacked in the mystery part or maybe I've just grown up. It's lacked in the mystery part or maybe I've just grown up.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Saloni Porwal

    Please visit our blog for Quick Book Reviews https://salonivibhi.blogspot.com. We upload fun reviews along with short summaries. You can comment with books that you would like us to review. Please visit our blog for Quick Book Reviews https://salonivibhi.blogspot.com. We upload fun reviews along with short summaries. You can comment with books that you would like us to review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Olive

    Most humored mystery solving

  20. 4 out of 5

    Reubyn Coutinho

    Has a few factual errors which disrupt the timeline

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    I love Enid Blyton mysteries. My class read this at school and I had to read ahead to find out what was happening, and they were so intent on asking me questions about who did it. She writes a good mystery, often a little bit predictable but such an easy read that it took me about 2 hours to read it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    A.R. Collins

    Enid has never quite got the right balance in a Fatty book since the first one (of course, I still have one to read); either the mystery is annoying, or the characterisation is off. In this case, the mystery has its ups and downs, while no characters except Fatty and Ern really get to do anything. Enid is clearly losing it by this point; she has confused Fatty's mother with Pip's, and at one point has Pip say a line while he's waiting outside, only for him to come in complaining of the cold a few Enid has never quite got the right balance in a Fatty book since the first one (of course, I still have one to read); either the mystery is annoying, or the characterisation is off. In this case, the mystery has its ups and downs, while no characters except Fatty and Ern really get to do anything. Enid is clearly losing it by this point; she has confused Fatty's mother with Pip's, and at one point has Pip say a line while he's waiting outside, only for him to come in complaining of the cold a few paragraphs later! The mystery and investigation are okay; the payoff is not, for two reasons. Firstly, the person who has been leaving the strange messages for Mr Goon (obvious from the start, of course) is not confronted or dealt with in any way, once the people driving the whole operation are discovered. Secondly, in the climactic moments when those people are caught, Fatty is incapacitated and Ern does absolutely everything! Clearly Enid enjoys writing about Ern very much, but I was really bored of him by the end of the previous book (he's in the last three running), and he certainly shouldn't be doing Fatty's job.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vinay Leo

    Goon can be an anti-hero for sure, and I don't know why after 13 mysteries, he still doesn't get Fatty's character! He puts the mystery right on his lap, and when Fatty helps him out, he still misinterprets the clues and bungles up anyway! I liked the book because of the helpful nature of the children, and also Ern. There is somehow an element of danger when Ern is in the mystery. And I liked the ending with the big reveal! Goon can be an anti-hero for sure, and I don't know why after 13 mysteries, he still doesn't get Fatty's character! He puts the mystery right on his lap, and when Fatty helps him out, he still misinterprets the clues and bungles up anyway! I liked the book because of the helpful nature of the children, and also Ern. There is somehow an element of danger when Ern is in the mystery. And I liked the ending with the big reveal!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rohan

    Its got all the ingredients for becoming a fine mystery book and it is a book in which the find outers are totally puzzled and have lost hope of finishing this mytery and suddenly out of the blue turns up a clue that brings the Five Findouters back on the trail. Mr.Goon the policwman is getting strange letters.Fatty and the others reach to many ends but finally solve the mystery.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shreya=Drastically Random. Find the emoticon.

    Much better than the other one. Deeper, with more mysteries and more drama. Also has comical parts. I love the part with Fatty improvising the poem =D Although Fatty gets on my nerves. He's so conceited. Much better than the other one. Deeper, with more mysteries and more drama. Also has comical parts. I love the part with Fatty improvising the poem =D Although Fatty gets on my nerves. He's so conceited.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abieffendi

    entertaining as always:D

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I haven't actually read this before, I don't think! Perfectly nice and standard Five-Findouters material, with the addition of Mr Goon's nephew Ern. I quite liked him! I haven't actually read this before, I don't think! Perfectly nice and standard Five-Findouters material, with the addition of Mr Goon's nephew Ern. I quite liked him!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Ty

    It was honestly pretty good. And definitely different from the others I've read. Published in 1957, this story is as old as my parents. Haha! It was honestly pretty good. And definitely different from the others I've read. Published in 1957, this story is as old as my parents. Haha!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Heather

    amazing as always, Fatty.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fay

    A nostalgic tale that takes me back to my childhood.

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