The Enid Blyton Society
Secret Seven Fireworks
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Book Details...

First edition: 1959
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Burgess Sharrocks
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


Cloth boards of the 1st edition



Endpapers from the 1st edition



Title page from the 1st edition, illustrated by Burgess Sharrocks



1st German edition published by Blüchert Verlag, in 1967,
cover by Nikolaus Plump, with the title The Black Seven Pursue the Thief
Foreign Titles
American: The Secret Seven and the Bonfire Mystery
German: Die Schwarze Sieben jagt den Dieb
French: Le feu de joie du Clan des Sept
Dutch: Vuurwerk Voor De Grote Zeven
Spanish: Los Fuegos Artificiales De Los Siete Secretos
Portuguese: Os Sete e o Fogo de Vista
Swedish: Hemliga Sjuan gor fyrverkeri
Finnish: SOS ja ilotulitus



Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: The Seven are all looking forward to Bonfire Night, and made a super guy. But an awful thing happens when Colin's grandmother's house is robbed whilst she is away and her maid, Greta, was locked in the larder whilst the thieves ransacked the house. Two of the thieves were caught by the police, but the third one got away, and the Seven spot him on the field by the bonfire, before he goes off to hide again. Will the Seven manage to find him before the police do?


Full Reviews (These may contain spoilers):

Dennis Worley's Review
The eleventh book, Secret Seven Fireworks, is mainly about with the battle of wits between the Seven and Susie's new club, the Tiresome Three. There is the investigation of a burglary as well, but the S.S. allow themselves to be distracted by the T.T. so much that Susie is not filler in this story, but a main part of it.

It starts off with Susie teasing Peter, Janet and Jack for not having any meetings. Really, I think Susie is more interested in the society than the actual members. She has a new song as well, a follow up to Binkie's first attempt of the previous book. At this rate they'll have enough material for a greatest hits compilation by the time the series ends!

Susie is so annoying that even Janet loses her temper. Peter turns to Jack and asks him if he can't possibly keep Susie in order, like he does with Janet. Janet doesn't appreciate this and stalks off. Peter and Jack share a male bonding moment here.

"Girls!" said Jack in disgust "They're all the same."

"Except that Susie is worse," adds Peter quickly.

Jack has lost his badge — it was left on his blazer when it went to the cleaners. Interestingly, Susie finds it for him — she knows that things left on clothes are usually put into an envelope by the cleaners and placed in a pocket. Maybe Enid put this in to show that Susie isn't really all that bad; she has her good side as well. She just likes to have a laugh at their expense.

The gardener has been using the shed to store onions, so they have to clear it out before they can meet. While they are loading onions into the summerhouse, Susie takes over the shed and locks herself in. When Peter tries to open the door, she calls out "Password please!" This is the ultimate insult — the Secret Seven being asked for the password to enter their own shed — and Peter doesn't forget it easily as he refers to it in a later book and he misremembers slightly in thinking Binkie was also in the shed.

Their project is to save money for Bonfire night and collect firewood. They vote for a treasurer to look after the money, and Peter is chosen by 6 votes to 1, with Peter voting for Jack. This is the same Jack who is a security risk as far as the password goes, and always seems to be in trouble with Peter for something. I would have thought that he couldn't be trusted with keeping the money, but then Jack and Peter have always been close despite Jack's failings.

They collect wood in one of Peter's fields and come across some nasty looking men meeting in the hedger's shed.

Colin once again has an important role when he discovers some men have robbed his granny, and two of them match the description of two of the men who were seen in the shed.

Susie is a nuisance with her little tricks and when Jack gets home he discovers that it is about to get worse: two other girls have come to stay, Doris and Hilda, and the 'Tiresome Three' club is formed. Binkie missed out here; evidently she wasn't around.

They are in a constant state of alert for Susie and her gang. After one raid Jack gets proactive and when Susie asks him where the bonfire is, he effectively sends them on a long tiring walk up a hill. Peter cycles up first and puts down a few twigs with a suitable note so they will know they've been had. This is a trick worthy of Susie herself, but Susie doesn't take it very well at all and vows more revenge. So it's not just the Seven who don't like having tricks played on them.

The guy's clothes are stolen and also the money for the bonfire. Susie and her friends are the suspects again, but she says they haven't got them. The feud has gone on for so long, and Susie has played so many tricks that they just can't trust her. They even have to guard their bonfire, and it seems as if Peter is about to give up:

"I'm beginning to think it was a great mistake to quarrel with Susie. She's too clever," he says dolefully. Is this the sort of thing the Head of the Secret Seven should be saying? Well, as a matter of fact, even Frederick Trotteville got downhearted sometimes, so it can happen to anyone.

Jack bravely offers to take the girls to the cinema so they can't possibly harm the bonfire. They get a shock the next afternoon when they find it completely destroyed. Janet realises that Susie isn't to blame after all: she would never go that far.

Having eliminated the probable suspects, all that is left is for them to find the real culprits. Having done this, after some detecting and a brainwave, they are rewarded with a bumper box of fireworks from the grateful police sergeant. They plan the firework display for the next evening because it rains.

Peter's conscience is troubling him, however. He feels awful about the accusations levelled against Susie, so they write a very apologetic note and invite her and her friends to the fireworks party. What's more, and this is quite unheard of, they invite her to tea in the shed as well and give her the password (well, she may have known it already of course.)

It's a dream come true for Susie. She is appreciative and waves away the apologies and admits that she did 'awful things' too. Everyone warms to her generous nature. However Janet, in her role as the conscience of the Secret Seven if you like, probably sums it up correctly when she thinks to herself:

"Oh dear — I wouldn't be surprised if Susie's nice behaviour doesn't last very long. Or ours either, come to that!"
Review by David Cook
Once again the Seven must have all gone away for the summer holidays as we now jump to October. It's during the Autumn term time and the Seven are once again preparing for Bonfire Night. We learn that there is a wood across the field at the bottom of Peter's garden, wherein is built a hut used by old Burton, the hedge and ditch man on the farm. Here the Seven gather materials for, and then build, their bonfire in the field. We also learn that Colin's grandmother (presumably not the one who was living with his family in Well Done, Secret Seven) resides in a house around the corner from Colin's, along with her Austrian maid, Greta, and is called Mrs Strangeways. This house is burgled by three rogues whose descriptions tally with three men the Seven have previously discovered in Burton's hut. Thanks to the Seven's observations, two of the thieves are captured, but the third escapes.

The mother of two of Susie's friends, Hilda and Doris, has to go into hospital, and so the two girls go to stay with Susie and they form a rival group, the Tiresome Three, and the remaining story tells how rival pranks between the two groups blind the Seven to the activities of the escaped thief. The story is one with much appeal for young readers but less so for teenagers, with a climax that seems unrealistic when the fleeing thief disguises himself as the Seven's guy and hides by sitting on the bonfire! Surely with his heavier weight he would have crashed right through the bonfire? These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.