The Enid Blyton Society
The Mystery of the Missing Man
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Book Details...

First edition: 1956
Publisher: Methuen
Illustrator: Lilian Buchanan
Category: Five Find-Outers
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Review by Robert Houghton
Further Illustrations


Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Lilian Buchanan

1st German edition published by Erika Klopp Verlag in 1962,
illustrated by Egbert von Normann with the title Mystery of the Caravan
Foreign Titles
German: Geheimnis um einen Wohnwagen
French: Le Mystère de la fête foraine
Dutch: De Vijf Detectives – De ontsnapte gevangene
Spanish: Misterio del Fugitivo
Portuguese: O Mistério do Homem Desaparecido
Swedish: Mysteriet med rymmaren
Finnish: Karanneen vangrin salaisuus
Icelandic: Dularfulla mannshvarfið
Czech: Tajemstvi Pohresovaneho Muze

Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: Easter time and much to the amazement of Pip, Larry, Bets and Daisy, Fatty is on a diet, as he has been entered for the First Tennis Team next term, and so he takes up cross-country running, which actually comes in quite handy as a good excuse to escape from Eunice, the Trotteville's house guest, along with her father, who is a member of the Beetle Conference being held in Peterswood. The conference being just the place for a man in hiding, and who the police are looking everywhere for, especially as he loves nature, insects and cats! So with permission from Chief Inspector Jenks, The Find-Outers, keep a look out for this missing man, with Eunice as a hindrance and having fun with Mr Goon, who in disguise, is also on the lookout for the missing man.

Full Review (This may contain spoilers):

Robert Houghton's Review
Until The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage (1954) there had been a Mystery story published every year since they started in 1943. Now there was a gap of a year before the next one came out, and although the thirteenth book, The Mystery of the Missing Man is by no means a bad story, it seems to lack some of the ingenuities seen in the earlier books.

Enid repeats several plot points once again in this thirteenth book, although she does introduce a new character in the shape of Eunice, the daughter of one of Mr. Trotteville's friends. Eunice is a great character, every bit as well written as Fatty, and it seems rather a shame that unlike Ern, we never meet her again in any of the books that followed. She is a wonderful, forceful character, almost a feminist before the term was invented. She annoys the Find-Outers to such an extent that Fatty takes up jogging as a way of escaping her, a drastic measure indeed where the cake-loving Fatty is concerned. Wherever they go, Eunice is not far behind, trying to find out what they are getting up to. Like Susie in the 'Seven' books, Eunice is a 'pest', and it is interesting to note that, also like Susie, the reader feels much empathy with her. Enid tries hard to make us feel aggravated by Eunice but she is such a strong character and such a well written one that we can't help rather enjoying seeing the Find-Outers being pestered by her.

The plot, as mentioned before, bears several similarities to other stories. It is also closer in style, maybe, to a 'Barney Mystery' book than to the usual Find-Outer Mystery. There is a travelling fair, suspicious looking gypsies, and Fatty's final kidnapping, being hidden in a caravan, pretty much like George in Five Have Plenty of Fun and similar to Marion in The Mystery of Holly Lane. The plot takes us to a flea circus, and to a nasty old gypsy woman, name of Mrs. Fangio. Enid once again uses the plot of The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat for the main twist ; the escaped convict being disguised as a woman. (In this instance Mrs. Fangio of the strong left hook!) These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.