The Enid Blyton Society
Good Work Secret Seven
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Book Details...

First edition: 1954
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Bruno Kay
Category: Secret Seven
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Artwork
Reviews by Dennis Worley and David Cook
Further Illustrations

Reprints


Spine and front cover from the 1st edition, illustrated by Bruno Kay



Cloth boards of the 1st edition



Endpapers from the 1st edition, the first Secret Seven book to have illustrated endpapers



Title page from the 1st edition, illustrated by Bruno Kay



1st German edition published by Blüchert Verlag, in 1964,
cover by Nikolaus Plump, with the title Good Work Black Seven
Foreign Titles
American: The Secret Seven and the Case of the Stolen Car
German: Gute Arbeit Schwarze Sieben
French: Le Carnival Du Clan des Sept
Dutch: De Grote Zeven en de autodieven
Spanish: Buen trabajo Siete Secretos
Portuguese: Bravo, Valententes Sete
Italian: Buon Lavoro club die Sette
Finnish: SOS ei anna periksi
Norwegian: Det hemmelige gjor en god jobb
Icelandic: Leynifélagiđ Sjö saman stendur sig vel
Czech: Tajna Sedma Sedma a tajemny pan



Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: Bonfire Night is quite near and the Secret Seven are looking forward to it. But an adventure looms when Peter and Janet are in the back of their father's car, which is suddenly stolen. Following the clues they have, the mystery takes them to Sid's Café where Peter has the brilliant idea of watching the café disguised as a 'guy', with a mask, a red scarf around his neck and a wig made of black wool! Will he be able to listen and watch without anyone noticing?


Full Reviews (These may contain spoilers):

Dennis Worley's Review
The sixth book, Good Work Secret Seven starts off with Susie taunting Jack. She has switched tactics now though, and says that she doesn't want to belong to the Secret Seven. If she wants to belong to a secret society she can always start one of her own like she did before. She knows the password again as well, and at the next meeting she boldly knocks on the door and says the password and walks in! She has various ways and means of getting the password. This time it turns out that Jack talks in his sleep and she overheard him say the password. However, knowing the password doesn't make one a member and gate crashing is a punishable offence, so Susie has to sit in the corner and watch the others feast and discuss non-important things. She demands to be set free but Peter will only let her go if she promises not to trick them again or upset their meetings. What a spoilsport he is. Susie is an honourable girl and will not make promises she doesn't mean to keep, so she has to stay.

Then Colin arrives late and has some exciting news to tell so Susie has to be evicted. On his way to the meeting he had an experience similar to the one that Pippin had in The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat a few years earlier. A clump of bushes, a quarrel, groans, and then someone runs off and he discovers a piece of paper containing a list of stolen goods. The note also gives the place and time of a meeting — "5 pm Wednesday".

Using the same strategy as PC Pippin, they go to the garage in good time and wait around for the gang to come for their meeting. Someone is in the shed, but when Peter looks through the keyhole he gets a shock. There is a gang in there all right — Susie and her pals! Come to think of it, if it had been a genuine note it would have been a Tuesday or perhaps a Thursday. As far as I remember, it's not often that things happen on a Wednesday in these books, but we can't expect the Seven to realise that!

The real adventure starts suddenly when two strange men drive off in the car with Peter and Janet in the back seat. This sudden tense passage, following the anticlimax of the pretend mystery, is very well done. It is dark, as in many of these Secret Seven adventures, and the atmosphere is typically 'Secret Seven'.

Peter's father plays down the episode but the children are determined to investigate. Peter has a very embarrassing moment when the trail leads to a friend of his fathers, and has to retreat to the tea-shop for macaroons to recover his composure. They don't often go out for tea like this, and I'm sure it makes a nice change from their usual menu.

Not all meetings were held in Peter's shed. Colin's mother invites them to tea so they hold the next meeting in his summer-house. Enid Blyton uses this to illustrate how dangerous fireworks can be if one is not careful. A candle is knocked over, and before they know it, the fireworks are exploding. Fires started in this way or similar ways happen all too often in real life in some countries. It does make it a dramatic chapter at the same time, and one feels very sorry for them.

When I think of these books I think of dark evenings, sinister happenings under the cover of darkness or fog, and the cosy warmth of the shed. Actually, though, a lot of the books do not feature dark foggy evenings. About half of them take place in the colder months, and snow is mentioned in two of them.

Anyway, after this mishap, things go much better. Peter even dresses up in disguise in order to watch out for the suspects. It's not quite an 'Event' as it is when Fatty disguises himself, because Peter, like the rest of us ordinary mortals, doesn't have the 'Trotteville Touch'; but it is quite amusing and effective. And although I was a bit critical of him in the first article, it is becoming clear that he has good ideas and the ability to execute them.

Pam also has a bright idea and Peter says quite honestly that he's sometimes thought that she's not as good a member as the others, but 'now I know you are'. Praise from Peter is praise indeed, but it does make one wonder why Pam and Barbara are members. Perhaps they are Janet's friends, though this is not obvious.

The police are very impressed at the end when they are handed the case on a plate so to speak. Peter's father is moved to remark, "They certainly have done some good work", hence the title.

In general I have found that it is not easy to remember the storyline from the titles of these books. If a book has a title that refers to a particular place or object (Demon's Rocks, for instance) it seems to be much easier for the memory to make the association with the story.
Review by David Cook
Presumably the Secret Seven all went on individual summer holidays with their respective families as this next adventure doesn't take place until the start of November when they are preparing for Bonfire Night. Once again it takes place during term time and nearly a third of the story involves a successful trick that Susie plays on the Seven. Add to that an accident that results in all their collective fireworks going up in smoke and you are left with quite a small adventure this time.

It finally starts when Peter's father's car is stolen with Peter and Janet still in the back and the Seven try to trace the two thieves. The clues include a spectacle case, a mackintosh button and another overheard conversation that mentions "Sid's Place" and "Q 8061". Two convincing red herrings occur when Q turns out not to mean "Kew" (another rare use of a real place) and the spectacle case proves to have been dropped by Harry Briggs, a friend of Peter's father, who is referred to as "Jack, my farmer friend" by Mr Briggs when, in "At Seaside Cottage" he was referred to as "William". Peter, who had previously referred to himself as "Peter of Old Mill House" rather than give a surname, comes up with the rather unrealistic scheme of disguising himself as a "guy" to be wheeled in a barrow and positioned outside Sid's Place to look out for thieves. Any monies that the Seven collect on this ruse are to be donated to Busy Bees and the Sunbeam Society, two real-life charities of Enid's.

The two thieves, who are trying to lie low as one of them is an escaped convict with very short hair(!), seem to draw attention to themselves by constantly stealing cars! On the second occasion, they take one from near the canal — mentioned for a second time in the series. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.