Good Old Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Jack is given a telescope, which he shares with the Secret Seven, who notice strange doings at an old castle up on a hill.
Load shedding at 6:00 am, so I read Good Old Secret Seven, and finished it in an hour and a half before load shedding ended. I'd read a few of the Secret Seven books, but even as a child had not been very impressed with them. My main memory of them was the children's encounter with the village policeman who kept telling them to "Clear orf", but he didn't appear in this one. And the only one who seemed to have any character was Susie, the villain of the sub-plot, and she was far more interesting than the rest of them put together.
Perhaps that is because readers are expected to be familiar with the Secret Seven from reading the earlier books in the series, but, on the other hand, Susie is the sister of Jack, who seems to be one of the more prominent members of the group, so she probably makes an appearance in the other books as well.
Perhaps this is may also be because Enid Blyton's kid whodunits, in which a group of children encounter and outwit a group of criminals or other bad guys, are strictly age age graded. The Secret Seven books seem to be aimed at readers aged about 7-9, the Famous Five at readers aged about 8-9, the "Secret of" series at readers aged about 9-10, and the "of Adventure" series at readers aged about 10-12. The ones for older readers seem to have more definite characters.
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