Well, I am now five books ahead of my reading schedule (of 100 books this year, though I am thinking that I may not try to exceed that, but then we will see as the year progresses) which means that since I am in front I can now read some longer books (because it is easy to read lots of books if they are all short books, or Ancient Greek plays and philosophical discourses). I still have a few Famous Five books yet to read (and there are also the Secret Seven books, but I don't have a complete collection of them, so it is something that I might have to look into a little later).
Anyway, the Famous Five are on a school break (surprise surprise, why is it that they never have a mystery at school, but then since they do not go to a co-ed school, that was probably not possible, and since we are talking English private schools, or are they called public schools, I'm not sure, in the 1950s, then having them go to a co-ed school is probably not believable, but then being allowed to take your dog to school, at least from where I am sitting, is not all that believable either) and they end up together and, well, suddenly discover that there is a crime going on.
Hey, I'm not criticising this book because, well, I'm not a famous writer, and even though we are getting to the point where the Five have yet to actually have a birthday, and are still all pre-pubescent, yet have been on thirteen adventures, which have always been on school holidays, it seems that we are suddenly getting caught up in some sort of bizarre time loop. Well, okay, Blyton was not writing a Harry Potter series of books where the main characters are actually growing up, so I can't really criticise her on that either. In a way, she found a formula that worked, and pretty much stuck with it.
This time the Five are wondering around some misty moor where gypsies disappear on a regular basis. There are stories about how gypsies in the past have caused problems for people on the moor, and there are caves, an abandoned railway track, and as mentioned, some crime that is being committed. There is also good old Timmy, that giant mutt that is able to take on, and scare, three gypsy dogs (though I get the feeling that they are not actually that big), yet light enough to be carried by George. We also have Henry, or Henrietta that she hates being called, who starts off as a foil too George because she is so like George, but we discover that when courage is needed, unlike George, she caves under pressure.
It is a shame though that the gypsies are portrayed as the villains in this piece, particularly when in a previous book the rather dubious carnies actually turn out to be pretty decent people who help save the day. However, not being European, and my only experience with Gypsies has been on a six week period where I saw them begging outside of the Reichstag in Berlin, I can't really comment too much on them. I guess even in the bigger European cities we never get to see the true gypsy culture that people who live in the country might experience. Maybe I will ask my friend when I am over in Germany next.