Rather than an actual book review, for this weeks Crime Fiction Alphabet I thought I would reflect on something that occurred to me whilst I was considering books to read for the challenge. When did I start reading Crime Fiction? Was it in my childhood or much later? Childhood books automatically mean a mention to Enid Blyton.
I have vague recollection of reading a Nancy Drew book when I was younger but could not begin to tell you much about them as they were American and then I was rather snobby about reading books set in America . Then I suddenly realised what were the Famous Five, Secret Seven, and Five Find Outers books – mystery books but there was a crime normally involved, and always the presence of the police or a responsible adult at some time.
Certainly in the case of the Five Find Outers there are the wonderful conversations with Mr Goon the local policeman who thought the nosey, interfering children and their dog (of course) were a simple nuisance. But his superior Inspector Jenks always praising the thought and results that these children got.
I recently picked up a Famous Five books (Five go off in a Caravan) and read the book, looking for crime within, a different approach than just reliving a childhood book. First of all it had been changed ever so slightly in terms of words used but no matter, this is a post about the crime. Two men from the travelling circus that the children come across are suddenly very upset that they have befriended one of their group and also that they have parked their caravans in a place where they seem to have a rather keen interest.
With a bit of subterfuge, knowing that the men must be up to no good. One of the children watches events, and suddenly discover that their caravans are in fact covering something underground – a cave.
A cave with what looks like stolen goods.
The inevitable, threat and danger looming, the children make an attempt to capture, whilst the men make an attempt at escape. There is the danger of drowning, starving in the cave and even being shot. With Blyton good overcomes evil. The denouement; the police appear and the men are taken away. The children thanked for the police had been interested in these two men for some time but could not find out what was going on. It takes four children and a dog to do that in a matter of days, with ginger beer, ham sandwiches, boiled eggs and cake.
And so without me realising whilst I was growing up, consuming these books I had already started to take an interest in crime fiction. It was many years probably only the last five where I have actually consciously picked up a crime genre novel. Now I read quite a few!
This post is part of The Crime Fiction Alphabet Challenge hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.