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?