The Enid Blyton Society
The Mystery of the Missing Necklace
Back Book 5 of 15 in this category Next

Book Details...

First edition: 1947
Publisher: Methuen
Illustrator: Joseph Abbey
Category: Five Find-Outers
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Reviews by Imran Patel & Robert Houghton
Further Illustrations


Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Joseph Abbey

1st German edition published by Erika Klopp Verlag in 1954,
illustrated by Walter Born with the title Mystery of the Vanished Necklace
Foreign Titles
German: Geheimnis um eine verschwundene Halskette
French: Le Mystère do Collier du Perles
Dutch: De Vijf Detectives – Het raadsel van het vermiste halssnoer
Spanish: Misterio del Collar Desaparecido
Portuguese: O Mistério do Colar Desaparecido
Swedish: Mysteriet med det stulna halsbandet
Finnish: Kadonneen kaulakorun salaisuus
Icelandic: Dularfulla hálsmenið sem hvarf
Czech: Tajemstvi Ztraceneho Nahrdelniku
Malaysian: Misteri Rantai Hilang

Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: Why is Mr Goon, rushing around Peterswood looking extremely busy? The Find-Outers want to know why, and so ask their very good friend, Inspector Jenks, in the next town. He informs them that Peterswood is the meeting place of a very clever gang of jewel thieves. So the Find-Outers decide to try and help the police, by keeping their eyes open for anyone who looks suspicious. Fatty very cleverly disguises himself as an old man, sitting on a bench in the village so he can observe anything unusual without looking suspicious. The children soon learn a lot more than they'd hoped for, and this exciting mystery with its twists and turns have the children finally hunting for the missing necklace before one of the jewel thieves finds it. Once again Mr Goon is hot on the trail, but is he quick enough to find the necklace before the jewel thief and the Find-Outers?

Full Reviews (These may contain spoilers):

Imran Patel's Review
The fifth book in the Five Find-Outers series is a top-notch mystery, one of my favourites. It isn't actually a whodunnit; however it certainly is a great mystery. The only real issue I had was with the title. The word 'necklace' isn't given till Chapter 17, and throughout the book the emphasis is on jewel burglaries, not really necklaces. Maybe it should be titled: The Mystery of the Jewel Burglaries? Still, it's a minor nitpick. This is a great book!

Yet again, there is talk of 'boring hols.' (Not really something to hook the reader, I feel.) Bets calls them "The boringest hols we've ever had." Hmm, is 'boringest' really a word? Microsoft Word doesn't seem to think so, and it doesn't like it very much as I'm typing this. I seem to remember that this word is used in some other books too, but I can't actually remember which.

As it says on the back cover, "Fatty's disguises are better than ever." Certainly I would agree with that! Little Bets again makes a telling observation. As proved later on, she's the best Find-Outer of the lot!

After some fun with Fatty's disguises in the opening chapters, the mystery begins in Chapter 6. (No surprises there.) Mr. Goon rushes here and there "looking very important" and the Find-Outers are annoyed as he won't tell them what mystery he is working on. Later, they find it out from Inspector Jenks, but really, I couldn't help feeling that this time it was too big for them, and Goon would eventually solve it and get the long-awaited promotion!

As it is, this nearly happens. Certainly Goon was on good form in this mystery. He was just a step behind the Find-Outers, and had the same ideas that they had. He shows that he could use his brains for a change. I was certain that he would solve this mystery for once. And get promotion. Things look bright for him right until the end, as he captures nearly all of the jewel robbers and it is believed that he has got the pearl necklace which was stolen. But right at the end, poor Goon was left feeling deflated. He failed to catch the ring-leader; he failed to get the real necklace. I was with him here. How could he know that Number Three was the ring-leader? And how could he know that the necklace was not the real thing? Actually for the first time, he gets my sympathy for not getting promotion. However, it is necessary to mention one thing. He does not untie Fatty after the latter's capture. Hmm; I thought it was his duty to rescue all citizens of the district? Or maybe it isn't with boys who annoy him? Or maybe Bobbies acted like this in real life? Or maybe they had a relaxed set of regulations? Or maybe...

To recap a little: there have been jewel burglaries right, left and centre, but none in Peterswood. However, it is believed that Peterswood could be the meeting-place of the thieves; where messages are exchanged...

And this is where the Find-Outers enter the scene. They get involved by keeping their eyes open (of course!). They know that Goon is watching the old man. After watching another man give him a message, they know why all right. The old man is the go-between!

At this point the mystery seems rather tame and not going anywhere in particular. The Find-Outers make Plans though, very enjoyable plans indeed. For one thing, they Find Out how many people have bought hooters (the man who passed on the message had a hooter on his bicycle), and Find Out which of those people is the person they want. They quickly cancel out one buyer, and the second who turns out to be the right one they miss, due to Bets not noting down the name or description of the boat in which he once sailed.

A few days pass with nothing really happening, but then comes a day when everything boils up. Fatty, who had disguised himself as the old man and told the real old man (while wearing another disguise, of course) not to come because police are watching his moves, receives a cigarette. It contains a message, the children are certain. So it does, but to ordinary eyes, it's nothing but a grocery list. Of course the Find-Outers know better!

They find out the real message hidden in secret ink. It says nothing much. Well, nothing much except that it gives the place of the gang's next meeting! Of course Fatty will be attending. But then, before further plans are made, there is a great scene.

Two old men, identical? Well, this is just what good old Mr. Goon sees. This is to happen again in the series, in The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage to be exact, when Goon sees two Mr. Larkins. At that time, neither of them is the real Larkin, but this time one of them is genuine. Mr. Goon marches both of them to the police station and demands to know where the cigarette is (he had already asked the real old man; poor fellow); and Fatty decides that it's just going too far. He tells Mr. Goon everything and gives him the message, saying "It's just a grocery list", not mentioning the secret message. No — certainly Fatty intends to solve this mystery himself! And get into trouble, may I add...

There are a lot of preparations for Tuesday night, when Fatty is going to pretend to be a waxwork figure (Napoleon) at the Waxworks Hall at the fair, where the gang are holding their meeting. Now that is a great, genius idea. Fatty's brainwaves are superb, I must say. (Oh no, he's started boasting.) But more credit should be given to Fatty's creator, the one and only Enid Blyton!

Fatty gives his opinion that in features, he and Napoleon aren't really unlike, are they? To which we have the response: "'Well,' said Pip honestly, 'I can't see any likeness at all. Not in the slightest.'" And the response from dear Bets: "'Do you want to look like Napoleon?' said Bets in surprise. 'I don't think he looks very nice, really. And I don't like those men that go about thinking they want to conquer the whole world.'" Nice of her to share her opinion, I thought the same! It's worth noting that Bets, in spite of several occasions where she is shown as a "baby", really has got some good points in her head. I honestly feel that she is the cleverest Find-Outer beside Fatty. And I feel that this cancels her earlier "baby" statements, when she doesn't know what is meant by someone's voice having broken, or what blowing one's own trumpet is.

One of the most exciting scenes in Enid Blyton's books is the waxwork scene, when Fatty and Goon are both pretending they are waxwork figures, an important meeting is going on about the next robbery, and Goon sneezes and Fatty gets captured! Wow, wow; this is superb.

Fatty feels very annoyed at Mr. Goon because of this, and later a similar thing occurs (Mr. Goon interfering with the Find-Outers' plans) and we have Blyton writing: (well, I don't know exactly what she wrote, so I will be writing it from memory): "For one moment Fatty knew what Mr. Goon felt like, when others interfered!" In just a sentence, it is all clear. Great scene, that.

The missing necklace of the story, as I said, isn't mentioned till Chapter 17, leaving only four chapters to find it. Not much of a problem, that; I felt the events preceding this were more interesting! The final chapter is named "Hunt-a-necklace", and it is exactly like that. Once again, it's Bets who hits upon the right place. I was singing her praises after this. Very clever!

It's all rounded up nicely and everyone is happy, everyone that is, except the thieves and poor old Goon, who didn't get promoted. Ah well!

All in all, a very nice read. I would rate this 9/10, one of the best books of the series in my opinion. After Spiteful Letters which wasn't really good (again, in my opinion), this was excellent. A greatly enjoyable title in a greatly enjoyable series, both one of Blyton's best.

I will finish by stating that this was the only mystery in which Goon shone, a rare occurrence as far as I know. Goon, you should use your "creaking" (as Fatty writes in Secret Room) brains more!!

Robert Houghton's Review
It is with the fifth book, The Mystery of the Missing Necklace that the series really begins to find a direction. This is a really good tale with a great deal of mystery and suspense. The scene near the end in the waxworks is one of Enid's best, and has a surprising end when Goon's sneeze actually leads to Fatty being captured by the crooks! To top it all, Mr. Goon, available to free Fatty from the cupboard when the crooks have gone, does nothing of the sort, and leaves 'That Fat Boy' to stew, still tied up, shut in the claustrophobic cupboard! This clearly shows that of all the evil types the Find-Outers come across, Goon is by far the worse!

The Mystery of the Missing Necklace sees the characters of the five children developing further. Larry, Daisy and Pip stay pretty much the same, but Bets is obviously growing up fast, and even answers her brother back a few times in the opening chapter. However, she is still capable of being absurdly childish in other ways; for example, not understanding what a broken voice is, or what is meant by the saying 'To blow one's trumpet'. Despite this, (or maybe because of it) she is one of the strongest characters in the books; surprising really, as she is the one character who is younger than the intended age of the readers, and therefore you might expect her not to be fleshed-out in as much detail as the older members. Once again though it is old Fatty who gets the majority of the story space. He comes back with a 'broken voice' (much to Bet's consternation!) and explains that at last he can disguise himself not just as children, but as adult characters too. This raises an interesting point, as in the first book of the series, the children's ages are clearly stated. Bets is eight, Larry thirteen and Pip and Daisy are both twelve. In book five, Fatty's voice has broken. Yet by the end of the series, fifteen mysteries have gone by and several school holidays (at the very least five years). The Find-Outers would all be well into their late teens, but they are still acting in exactly the same way, still at school and still playing tricks on Goon. Like the Famous Five, it seems that once the series caught on, Enid was faced with the same dilemma as usual, to make the children immortal or to age them with the passing years. Obviously, the first choice could be the only one to take if she didn't want the Find-Outers to become unemployed drop-outs with a childish sense of humour!! These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.