Category Archives: Book Reviews

Five go to Smugglers Top, by Enid Blyton

This is the fourth book that Enid Blyton wrote about the Famous Five.

Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy are staying at Kirrin Cottage again, with their Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin (George’s parents) but on the first night the great ash tree falls down and does a lot of damage to the upstairs rooms.  No one was hurt because they were brought downstairs by Julian, who was looking out of the window.

Because of the damage to the bedrooms, Uncle Quentin arranges for them to stay at his friend’s house, Smugglers Top, which is on the top of Castaway Hill and is surrounded by marsh.

The town of Castaway is surrounded by an ancient wall.  This is probably based on the beautiful town of Rye, in East Sussex, England.  Rye used to be surrounded by marsh land, like Castaway.  Rye and Castaway both have traditional histories of smuggling.

Uncle Quentin’s friend, who is called Mr Lenoir, doesn’t like dogs, so George smuggles Timmy into one of the many secret passages in Smugglers Top.  When Timmy rescues the children from the underground catacombs, Mr Lenoir changes his mind about disliking dogs!

When they arrive Pierre (or Sooty, as the boys at school call him, because of his pitch-black eyes and hair) and Marybelle, Mr Lenoir’s children, tell them about strange lights that flash from Smugglers Top’s tower, they investigate at once.  Does the mysterious deaf servant know a bit more than anyone else?

Buy it here…Five Go To Smuggler’s Top

Five Go To Smugglers Top


Five Run Away Together, by Enid Blyton

When Julian, Dick and Anne arrive at Kirrin for the latter half of their holidays they find the cook from Kirrin Cottage, Joanna, has gone to look after her mother, who broke her leg, and in her place is Mrs. Stick, complete with her rude son and horrible dog, Tinker (who is nicknamed Stinker by George).

When George’s mother takes ill, and her daddy goes to stay at the hospital with her, the Five are left alone with the Sticks.  When Mr. Stick arrives at Kirrin everything starts to get awful.  The Sticks get so annoying that they decide to run away to Kirrin Island.

At Kirrin Island, they find the roof of the one liveable room in Kirrin Castle  has collapsed, but they find a cave to live in instead.

One day, though, they find the Sticks on the island!  Soon it is clear that they are not looking for the children, though.  Then what are the Sticks doing on the island?  When the Five see lights out to sea, at night on the island, they are sure they’re mixed up in smuggling.

Buy your copy here…Five Run Away Together

Five Run Away Together


The Mystery of the Secret Room, by Helen Moss

This is the thirteenth book in the “Adventure Island” series by Helen Moss, and begins when Jack and Scott Carter, Emily Wild and her dog, Drift, are playing Scrabble (not Drift, of course!) in Stone Cottage, and Boomerang the cat chases a mouse into the fireplace and suddenly disappears!

The friends investigate and find a moveable stone in the fireplace!  All there is behind the stone, though,  is a small hiding place from the olden days.  Or is it just a hiding place?  When they shut Jack in to the hiding place for fun they didn’t bargain for him to disappear!  When they discover an old trap door and find Jack has fallen through it they climb down and discover a whole secret room!

They find an ancient chest and expect to find gems and diamonds in it, but all they find is an old scroll. It had strange words written on it:

The Keepers of the Key

We vow to uphold our pledge for the coming year





What does it mean?  And what did Old Bob mean by “beware the hooded man”?

 Get your own copy here…The Mystery of the Secret Room


Five go Adventuring Again, by Enid Blyton

In the second Famous Five book, Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy are all staying at Kirrin Cottage, home of George and Timmy, for Christmas, but Julian and Dick need to have a tutor because they missed so much school the term before. The tutor that Uncle Quentin picks arouses George’s suspicions although everyone else except Timmy like him.   She suspects that he is stealing information from her father’s latest scientific work!

The adventure begins when they find an old linen sheet, with strange Latin words, in a secret hiding place in Kirrin Farmhouse and then Uncle Quentin’s important scientific papers are stolen!

As in many of the Famous Five books, Timmy helps the rest of the Five and plays an important part in this adventure.

It is a very exciting book and I recommend it highly.  So, if you are a boy or girl that likes adventure, this book is for you!

Buy it here…Five Go Adventuring Again



Five on a Treasure Island, by Enid Blyton

Five on a Treasure Island is the first Famous Five book in the Famous Five series.

Brothers Julian and Dick, and their little sister Anne come to stay at Kirrin in their summer holidays when the place that they usually go to, which is a place called Polseath, is already full up.
Their father’s brother called Quentin Kirrin lives at Kirrin and works as a scientist.

His daughter, Georgina, had always wanted to be a boy so she dressed and acted like one.  When her cousins first meet her she is a fiery-tempered, lonely little girl, but as the boys soon learn, she is either far better, or just as good as them at most things like climbing, swimming and especially at rowing around the dangerous rocks dotted around Kirrin bay.

When Georgina, who likes being called George, tells her cousins that the island in the middle of the of the bay, called Kirrin Island which is probably based on one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, which Enid Blyton visited on her honeymoon, belongs to her, they don’t believe her.  Soon, however, they visit her island and get mixed up in a dangerous and exiting adventure in a search for treasure.  George’s dog, Timmy, joins in the adventure too and proves very useful when they are hunting for the dungeons of Kirrin castle, which is on the island and probably based on Corfe Castle in Dorset, England.

But does someone else know more about the treasure than they think?

Buy it here…Five On A Treasure Island