Title: Five Get Into a Fix
Author: Enid Blyton
Age Rating: 7+
Star Rating: 5/5
Five Get Into a Fix, as the cover suggests, is set in the Wintertime: quite unusual for a Famous Five plot. In fact the only other book in this series, set in this season is the second book: Five Go Adventuring Again, and I personally think Fix tops this. The children (also unusually) are ill at the beginning of this book, a more common excuse for a holiday in series’ such as the Barney Mysteries and the Adventure series, and it is clearly expressed how the holidays and Christmas has been very dull, and after coming down with colds and coughs, and now much improved, school is on the horizon, and the children are disappointed their holidays have been seemingly wasted. And then the doctor suggests the children go away for a short holiday to get rid of the remains of their coughs. The children are overjoyed of course and Julian, Dick and Anne’s mother (who’s house the children and their cousin George are staying at) begin searching for a holiday to suit the children and Timmy at once. But it was Jenkins who works in the garden that came up with the solution. Coincidentally he mentions his Aunt Glenys’s home in the Welsh Mountains to the children and how she lets rooms to people in the summertime. And that is where the children and Timmy go!
But before that there is a mysterious Journey (a long journey by the sound of it) and the driver ends up at an old seemingly abandoned house with a notice on the gates to Keep Out. And that isn’t the strangest of it! On the way up and down the hill, the driver thinks there is something wrong with the car because it seemed very hard to move as if he had the hand brake on. An intriguing aspect to the story, quickly (almost) cleared up at the farmhouse, where someone explains to the driver the postman has the same problem with his bike. Anyway, the farmhouse is described beautifully when the children arrive and it seems they have their own quarters! The Five went out of the door and found themselves in a little stone passage, lit by a candle. A narrow flight of stone steps led upwards to a small landing on which another candle burned. The steps were very steep, and the children stumbled up them, their legs stiff after the long drive. The children’s actual rooms sound very cosy, too with log fires, and cosy beds. The children later tuck into a delicious meal made by the kindly Mrs Jones (Jenkins Aunt Glenys) and snuggle up in their warm beds at last.
It is the next day when a happening occurs which has the reader worried for a little while! Timmy is attacked (slightly) by one of the farm dogs and is bitten, only a little, on his neck. George is of course, horrified and demands she is not staying on at the farm in fear of Timmy being attacked further. But then, when Julian and Dick take a walk out later, they discover the farm’s delightful chalet, on the mountainside, usually used by children in the summertime, but the boys decide at once to ask Mrs Jones if they can stay there! The little chalet sounds as cosy as you could wish for and of course it would avoid George having to take Timmy near the farm dogs and they could go tobogganing and skiing to their hearts content! The idea is suggested to Mrs Jones and with her son’s (Morgan) input, they decide that it is fine for the children to spend a few days in the chalet, though Mrs Jones is anxious the children stay warm and well fed.
The children arrive at the chalet and discover they are quite close to the mysterious house on the hillside they paid a visit to the other night on their Journey: Old Towers. They are later told by a passer by (Aily’s mother. Aily is a child the boys met when they first visited the hut.) that a woman lives there and she has cut herself off completely from her social life and locks herself up in that house without wanting any company. And that isn’t the only mystery going on in the seemingly tranquil welsh mountains. Later, the children see strange lights and discover that there is something strange going on. A mystery for the five to solve?
Five Get Into a Fix definitely deserves a 5/5 for such wonderful description, and an excellent plot.
Sorry the review a day late this week, but never mind! Five Get Into a Fix is a fantastic Blyton-classic and I highly recommend you read it to discover Enid’s beautiful description, and of course the outcome to the plot. Next week’s review, as the ‘Coming-Up’ page (new!) suggests, I will be reviewing a horror book by Marcus Sedgewick – Revolver.
My Murder Most Unladylike review got a pingback from the author this week: Robin Stevens, which is excellent news! There is a link to her own interesting website on the Comments Page of the review, so make sure you take a look!