Secret Seven: Mystery of the Skull – Pamela Butchart

‘It had been ages since the last Secret Seven meeting. In fact it had been so long that there was a huge spiderweb right across the door to the shed at the bottom of the garden.’

When Peter discovers an old skull hidden in his bedroom, it’s time for an urgent meeting of the Secret Seven. Setting off to investigate, the friends see a gigantic hole in the grounds of a local hotel. Could there be any connection between the two strange events? The Secret Seven are determined to solve the mystery.

What I thought:

The first thing to note is that this is a new secret seven story, Pamela Butchart has written it in the style of Enid Blyton and it doesn’t feel out of place. The author was given a choice of where to set it, she could have made all sorts of changes but decided to keep it in the same time. To my mind this was the best choice and it didn’t feel like it was a new story or out of place in any way shape or form. And that’s one of the best compliments I can give, Butchart has written it so well that if I didn’t know that it wasn’t an original Blyton I wouldn’t have suspected otherwise. And that’s one of the best compliments I can give this book, it feels the same as the original.

One of the main things I found reading it now, 15 years since I was obsessed with Blyton, was not just how much fun it was to be reading a brand-new adventure for my second favourite dog/human team (sorry guy’s I’m a Famous 5 person) was just how annoying some of these kids are. Seriously these kids are really annoying; if you don’t know the password you can’t come in, even if you can tell who it is by looking out the window. Peter is so ridiculously pious, ‘it has to be done this way because that’s the rules…’. I had always imagined myself being friends with them, solving puzzles and having adventures but I’ve realised that I would probably get along much better with Jack’s ‘annoying’ sister – Susie. She laughs at them and their rules while being sarcastic and doing everything she can to get in their way. She’s just more fun, why can’t we have her and not Peter?

Why I read it

I’d finished Nemesis on the train to work in the morning and needed something to read for the rest of the day. I was planning on reading this one anyway as I was a MASSIVE Enid Blyton fan when i was a kid. My main goal in life was to own all of her books, and then I learned she had 700+ and that just increased the amount that I wanted them all… (never reached that goal but I had about 100)

Final Thought

This is just a fun adventure story, just how Secret Seven and Enid Blyton should be. It’s written brilliantly and if you didn’t know that it was done by someone else you wouldn’t. It would have been interesting if Butchart had updated it or put them in a different setting – as offered – but I’m glad she didn’t, it would have lost its charm if the kids could just use a mobile phone rather than having to across fields to tell someone.

Would I recommend: If you enjoy Blyton stories then this one is worth it, for nostalgic reasons if nothing else.

2019 Challenges 

PopSugar: makes you nostalgic, amateur detective.

 

I’m aware that this is a short review but it’s only a short book and there really isn’t much else to say.

Let me know what you think, if my review has made you want to read it, or if you’re like me and was a massive Blyton fan as a kid but preferred the Famous Five.

Rea

P.S The next review is ‘Blood Moon – Part 1’ by S. Yurvati. Once again it’s a COMPLETELY different genre.

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