Charles Stewart cover of 1963 Armada edition.


I first read this book as a child of the sixties. Or at least a child
in the sixties. I read it again while researching Looking For Enid in 2005, taking particular note of the sentence on page 14: 'I'll get promotion over this or my name's not Theophilus Goon'. Readers of Looking For Enid may remember why I did that. In 2016, I wrote the first version of this essay, which was revised and expanded in 2019 and again in 2020. Will I ever be finished with this odd little novel written for children by the mighty Enid Blyton?


It's autumn, 2016, not fifty years ago, as the above image might imply, and I've two things to say about this time of year.

First, I wrote eight of these Bourne End Forever pieces in summer and autumn of 2012. I wrote two of them in autumn of 2013. And now, after a three-year gap, here is an analysis of the eleventh (the fifth that Enid Blyton wrote) of fifteen Mysteries. If I carry on at this rate, my mind will have gone by the time I get to
The Mystery of Banshee Towers. Just as Enid's mind had gone (or was beginning to go) by then.

Second, though I've written most of these pieces in the autumn, none of Enid's books are set in this mellow season of fruitfulness. Why not? Because the long school holidays are at Christmas, Easter and summer. And its during those times - winter, spring and summer - when mysteries need to be solved in Peterswood.

Here is how
The Mystery of the Missing Necklace begins: 'Pip and Bets sat in their garden, in the very coolest place they could find. They had on sun-suits and nothing else, for the August sun was blazing hot.'

Four of the Mysteries take place in high summer. I've already written about
Disappearing Cat, Invisible Thief and Vanished Prince. After Vanished Prince, which was only the ninth Mystery written, Enid never returned to Peterswood in the summer. Perhaps she didn't feel she could reach that high hot note again. Anyway, because I'm not writing these pieces in chronological order, I'm just glad I've still got one summer story to celebrate, The Mystery of the Missing Necklace, which ought to have been called: Fatty, Master of Disguise. Perhaps that is what the title is in German!


Such a bold cover the first German edition of 1954 was given. It looks as if the artist has come straight from designing the cover of a Franz Kafka novel. By the way, the German title
is an accurate translation of The Mystery of the Missing Necklace. No title tricks have been played on this occasion.

Where in Bourne End is Enid thinking about as the location for this latest fun-fest? Well, she keeps repeating the same information. Page numbers are from the first edition:

'…as they went over the level-crossing to the river-side, where the side-shows were.'

'…a train came thundering in at that moment and the porter had to run to open and shut doors and see to the luggage. The children hastily left the level-crossing and ran down to the river.'

'They came to the side-shows, which made a kind of Fair alongside the river road.'

Now Enid was writing this book three miles away, in Beaconsfield, probably in 1947 as the book was published on November 27, 1947. But it was from 1929 to 1938 that she was exploring Bourne End on a daily basis. Luckily, one of the maps I have was
'fully revised in 1930, with the roads updated in 1947'. So I suspect it can be relied on to show the scenario that Enid was conjuring up both in her own mind and, most importantly, onto the page.

In the map below, the red dot by the triangle of roads in the centre of Bourne End is the station. The railway line coming in from the left is the Bourne End/Marlow branch line. Trains would
not have thundered along there. Any thundering of trains would have been on the main line which sweeps from the south towards the east and then the north. There is no level crossing to the south east of the station, because no railway line. So Enid is locating the Fair along the north bank of the Thames, between the railway lines and the river. Got it?

missing necklace_0003

Having gone through Enid's seasons and her geography, her time and her space, let's go into The Mystery of the Missing Necklace in detail.

By the way, the following section was added in December, 2020.



"A whole month of the summer hols gone already!" said Pip. "And except that we've been away to the seaside for two weeks, absolutely nothing else has happened. Most boring."'

Fatty, Daisy and Larry turn up in the Hiltons' garden and Bets notices how tall Fatty has grown. Not only that, his voice has broken. Which is Enid signalling that Fatty will now be able to disguise himself as an adult. On hearing that there are side-shows down by the river, Fatty suggests that some wet afternoon he meets the Find-Outers down there. Only he'll be in disguise.


The hot days continue. Jewel thieves are operating from Peterswood; there have been burglaries in the wider area. Goon is busy cycling back and forth while the find-Outers eat ice cream in the middle of the village and ponder the situation. Fatty decides to try his first adult disguise.


Fatty has told the others that he will be somewhere around the fair down by the river. But before getting there, on the Main Street of the village, the Find-Outers see a man shuffling towards them. He is stooped and wearing old boots. He has a straggly beard, shaggy grey eyebrows and is wearing an old coat and corduroy trousers tied up at the knees with string. Joseph Abbey drew this for the first edition in 1947, Charles Stewart followed his example in 1963.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947……………………………………. Charles Stewart illustration, 1963.

Mary Gernat waited until the old man had sat down before drawing him.

"That's Fatty! I know it is!" said Bets, is one line from the book. But the illustrator pulls out another line, one from Larry

Mary Gernat illustration, 1967

Mary Gernat's line is so much more fluid than Joseph Abbey's. She loves drawing the Find-Outers, while he finds it almost impossibly hard work.

Anyway, the old man is not Fatty. But Fatty disguising himself as this deaf, smoking, nose-wiping old man will be an essential motif of the book and an important plot device.

Bets thinks a window cleaner is Fatty. Then the porter at the station. Then she thinks Fatty's the man selling tickets for the roundabout. The others are equally confused. Pip is absolutely convinced it's the Roundabout guy.

Charles Stewart illustration, 1963……………………………………Mary Gernat illustration, 1967


The Find-Outers take a look round the fair, wondering if everyone they come across could be their leader. In particular, they visit the waxworks museum which includes models of Napoleon, Nelson, Queen Elizabeth, Walter Raleigh and Winston Churchill. Just a random list of historical celebrities? Not quite. Winston Churchill's history of the First World War was being edited by Hugh Pollock, Enid's first husband, when they lived together at Old Thatch in Bourne End.

The Fattyless Find-Outers enjoy a tea during which they demolish 24 cakes between them. (How many would they have got through if Fatty had been with them?) Then they go down to the river itself, to seek out a cool breeze. It's there that they come across an old woman selling balloons. Bets is impressed. Enid tells us:
'She looked at all the gay balloons, swaying gently in the breeze, and couldn't make up her mind which one to buy. The reds were so nice and bright, the greens were so pretty, the blues were like the sky, the yellows were like sunshine - oh, which should she have?' Joseph Abbey has a stilted old go at capturing this scene. Indeed, the very moment when Bets realises that the woman selling balloons is, in fact, Fatty.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947

It's a lovely moment. The little girl aware of just how much the older boy can give her. For now Fatty is giving Bets beautiful balloons. Later in the book, Fatty will give Bets - and we readers - the full Waxworks experience. But for now let us be content with the scene-setting gift of uplifting balloons.

Below is a diagram showing the location of the fair (those coloured balloons) in relation to the Find-Outers homes. From left to right, Pip and Bets place, Fatty's house and Larry and Daisy's. The locations of which are more or less clearly demonstrated in earlier efforts within Bourne End Forever. (For the location of Fatty's house you need to refer to
The Mystery of the Missing Man.)

Screen shot 2016-10-06 at 11.26.22

And below is the middle of town in some detail. Because the action alternates between the Fair and the main street, which is now called The Parade.

Screen shot 2016-10-06 at 11.28.34


Bets takes a message from Fatty to the rest of the Find-Outers. But she won't tell them who Fatty is. On the way home they meet the Balloon-woman who fools Larry, Pip and Daisy again, and Bets reveals that she identified Fatty by his clean nails. Goon cycles by and wants to see the Balloon-woman's license, but loses patience with her skirt-fumbling ways and cycles off. They then meet the old man on the bench and Fatty (as Balloon-woman) speaks to him and decides that he will be his next disguise.


Next day the Find-Outers cycle to the neighbouring town to speak to Inspector Jenks. He tells them what he knows about the robberies (not much) and gives them permission to collect information.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947

They cycle back to Peterswood and Fatty decides that he'll keep an eye on things from the bench in the middle of the village, dressed as the old man. He suggests it might be an effective vantage point.

'Everyone looked doubtful. It didn't seem at all likely really.' That's Enid's summing up of the Mystery at this early stage. And who could argue with her?


Fatty's next disguise is as the deaf, smoking, nose-wiping old man. Ragged, grey beard, check. Shaggy grey eyebrows, check. The others help by sourcing worn boots from a ditch, and terrible trousers from a scarecrow.

Charles Stewart illustration, 1963………………………………….Mary Gernat illustration, 1967

And when Fatty's sitting on a bench in the middle of the village, sure enough someone mistakes him for the old man who normally sits there. This younger man wants to know why the old man is sitting there in the morning rather than the afternoon. Is something wrong?

Joseph Abbey illustration. 1947.

Goon turns up and Buster starts yapping at him. In the confusion, Fatty slips away, but Goon is determined to interview the old man who was talking to the younger man, and resolves to call on him at his house.


Goon forces the other Find-Outers to accompany him to the house where the old codger is lying asleep. Accused of having been sitting on the bench, the bemused old guy denies it. The kids scarper, and find Fatty in the shed at the bottom of his garden. They suspect that the young man may have been hoping for a message from the old man, and so they work out a plan for Fatty to sit on the bench when the old man usual does so - in the afternoon. This will mean that Fatty has to persuade the old guy not to turn up for three afternoons. And they will have to keep Goon away, which they will do with the help of the same kind of hooter that the young man had on his bike.

That's all quite complicated, and kind of bonkers.


Fatty, dressed as the Balloon-lady, has difficulty getting out of his own garden as Mrs Trotteville spots him/her. Then, when he sits beside the old man on the bench, he waits to find out from the other Find-Outers whether Goon is spying on the bench. He is indeed. Goon is in the lemonade shop dressed in casual clothes. Bets tells Fatty this while buying a blue balloon from him. But when Goon is making a phone call, Larry nips out to tell Fatty the coast is clear, and Fatty slips a note to the old man. This says that the police are watching the bench and that he'd better lie low for three days.

Jason Ford cover, 2003.

Fatty changes back out of his Balloon-woman disguise at Pip's, because Mrs Hilton is out for the day.

Whew! - What a complicated chapter, full of precise movements. And keeping up the blown-up BONKERS balloon aspect.


So the next afternoon but one, Fatty is disguised as the deaf and sleepy old man. Goon is dressed in plain clothes again, ostensibly reading a newspaper, keeping watch from the 'sweet shop'. First Larry is in there, drinking what Goon describes as an 'everlasting lemonade', then the other Find-Outers, who have been checking up on who bought hooters that week, turn up. But no-one approaches Fatty with a message.

On the main road in Bourne End, directly opposite the former site of the police station, there is a cafe called Lee's Bakery.

Screen shot 2016-10-06 at 11.46.00

It was there in 2012 as well, as the image below shows..

Screen shot 2012-09-20 at 15.01.47

Why am I including these modern images? Someone on the Enid Blyton Society Forums once wrote that Bourne End was a dump these days. In my opinion, any horror or delight is in the eye of the beholder. Old men being passed messages by thieves in front of lemonade-sipping kids and clodhopping cops will be going on now, just as much as it was going on in Enid's day!

Was Lee's Bakery there in the 1930s and 40s? Well, I don't suppose it was. But there are/were plenty benches along this street on the other side of the road. And opposite one of them there would have been a bakery cum sweet/tea/lemonade shop. And didn't Enid just love to pass the time of day there, watching the world go by, absorbing details that her under-mind would one day work on in order to come up with a Find-Outers story.


The next day (which we're informed is September 8, though still designated as 'summer' as the boarding schools were not yet open for autumn term), the Find-Outers follow up on the hooters that have been sold. One is traced to a tricycle. The other was bought by a man with odd-coloured eyes, so that isn't much use. It's hot again, so they go down by the river to swim, but Bets gets into trouble in the water and is helped by a man in a rowing boat, the man having one blue and one brown eye.

The hooter sub-plot is half-baked. And the spotting of the odd-eyed man in a boat is decidedly random. Still, it's an opportunity not to be missed by the illustrators.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947………………………………………Charles Stewart illustration, 1963.

These images are all right, but in neither of them do you get the idea that Bets could actually see the colour of the man's eyes.

Mary Gernat illustration, 1967

That's the money shot! Well done Mary Gernat.


That afternoon Fatty (as the old man), with Goon and Larry looking on from the café, is handed a cigarette that he hopes will contain a message. Fatty makes off with it and Goon tries to intercept him, but instead catches the real old man who has decided to go out for an afternoon stroll (he was only warned off from sitting on the bench). Goon puts the old man in a police cell.

Meanwhile Fatty and the Find-Outers make it to Pip's, where the message turns out to be a shopping list, including boot polish, tea, flour, syrup and rice. Fatty runs a warm iron over the cigarette paper to reveal the intriguing
secret message. 'Tell Number 3. Waxworks, Tuesday, nine p.m. - Number 5.'

Could Number Five not have told Number Three this himself? Yes, but where would be the Find-Outing in that?


Then, when Goon bumps into Fatty (dressed as the old man) when looking for Larry at Pip's, he arrests the second identical old man. Fatty reveals his identity to the astonished Goon in order to get out of the police cell he's been taken to. So Fatty then tells Goon everything that has taken place and hands him the cigarette paper, though without revealing its secret message. He is let out of jail. At Pip's, Fatty resolves be at the Tuesday evening Waxworks meeting dressed as Napoleon.


So Fatty decides he will take the clothes from the Napoleon waxwork and stand in its place.


This is big moment, recorded by the book's illustrators on several occasions. Pleasing themselves about what clothes the Find-Outers are wearing.


It's almost as if there were several different camera angles on the same scene!

Charles Stewart illustration, 1963………………………………………Mary Gernat illustration, 1967.

Bets is a bit puzzled: '"Do you want to look like Napoleon?" said Bets in surprise. "I don't think he looks very nice really. And I don't like those men that go about thinking they want to conquer the whole world. Napoleon must have been very brainy, of course, and you're brainy, Fatty. But except that you're fat and brainy, I don't see that you're very like Napoleon."'

The Find-Outers meet Goon outside Waxworks Hall and there is some ridiculing banter.

I should say a little more about the illustrators. In 1947, Joseph Abbey produced nine internal illustrations for the book. In 1963, Charles Stewart was commissioned to draw six for the first paperback edition. All his compositions were new and very sixties. Four years later, Mary Gernat's six illustrations superseded his, and these are possibly the best because of the fluidity of her sketching. (Mind you, Charles Stewart's Armada cover, seen at the top of this page, evokes summer childhood superbly.) Rodney Sutton also illustrated the book for a 1991 edition, but these were all copies of the Mary Gernat and may have been done for copyright reasons.

Let me put it like this:


Joseph Abbey does illustrate the book's key words: 'disguise', 'tramp' and 'bench' more thoroughly than the others. While Charles Stewart and Mary Gernat, perhaps because they were only allotted six images each, keep having to come back to drawings of the Find-Outers.


On the night of the meeting, Fatty dresses up as Napoleon, and is in a great position to overhear what the gang of thieves say to each other. Trouble is, Goon has worked out what the secret message says, and so he turns up as well. He takes the place of the policeman waxwork standing behind Fatty. Which is fairly easy for him to do as he's already dressed for the part!

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947

Napoleon is the third of three great disguises that Fatty inhabits in the pages of Missing Necklace. First, the Balloon-woman who has the gift of coloured balloons. Second, the old man who sleeps all morning and sits on the bench all afternoon. Third, Napoloen Bonaparte, Emperor of France, conqueror of Europe. How does he bring off such a triptych of different people? - honestly, they have nothing in common with each other!

But the point of a disguise is to deceive people as to your identity. First time around, Fatty as the Balloon-woman deceives the rest of the Find-Outers, the old man and Fatty's mother. Then Fatty as the old man deceives Goon and one of the gang of thieves. On her second appearance, Fatty as Balloon-woman deceives Fatty's mother again, the old man and Goon (again). Fatty's Napoleon deceives Goon (the easily deceived) and the thieves. Is that it? I'm not sure. The story is too exciting at this point for me to go back through the book and check.

This third disguise has been imperiously captured by Timothy Banks for his 2016 cover for Hodder/Hachette.

Timothy Banks cover, 2016

So what happens? Goon and Fatty both overhear the thieves plan to steal a string of pearls from a local house, Castleton Mansion, that night. Alas, Goon sneezes towards the end of the meeting.


But it's Fatty who the thieves discover as a result. Fatty gets tied in a curtain and bundled into a cupboard.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947.

The thieves go off to do their robbery. Goon goes off to thwart them without letting Fatty out of the locked cupboard, though he does check that he's all right ,having heard the real Napoleon waxwork fall down in the cupboard.


Larry releases Fatty in the middle of the night, having gone to check on him as Bets was so worried.

Charles Stewart illustration, 1963.

Goon does go back to let Fatty out at midnight, thinking he's foiled the robbery and caught the thieves. He discovers that Fatty has disappeared.

In the morning, the Find-Outers make Goon suffer by coming up to him one after another and asking Goon if he's seen Fatty, as according to them he's gone missing.

Later, the Inspector tells Goon that, though most of the thieves have been caught, one hasn't been, and that the pearl necklace is missing.


Goon is flabbergasted. What's more he has to admit to the Inspector that he left Fatty tied up in the cupboard and that he's now gone missing.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947.

Then Fatty reveals himself to Goonwho falls off his bike thanks to Buster.

Mary Gernat illustration, 1967.

The Inspector, relieved to see Fatty again as was Goon, tells Fatty that the pearls are still missing, as is Number Three. He gives Fatty the go-ahead to try and find the pearls.


Fatty and the Find-Outers return to keep an eye on the old man in the middle of town. And, in fact, he does liase with the remaining thief. Only gross incompetence on the Find-Outers part prevents them from tidying things up there and then. Instead, they follow Number Three who cycles down to Waxworks Hall and peers in several times, though he doesn't enter the place. Unfortunately, Goon sees him, hears the horn on his bike and realises this must be Number Three.


Fatty is also in pursuit of Number Three when he gets
a puncture. So that leaves Goon in pole position on the trail of the remaining thief. But while drinking ice-cold ices with the other Find-Outers, Fatty realises that old Johnny possibly did give Number Three a message, by writing in the dust by the bench.


In the dust, they can make out a W and then a rubbed out letter and then an X. Could it be 'WAXWORKS'? That is the message that old Johnny delivered to Number Three. One has to pause and admire the mode of communication that this gang used. First, they used a deaf old man as their go-between. Second, they communicate with the deaf old man by hooting a horn. Third, the deaf old man communicates with a member of the gang by writing a single ambiguous word in the dust. What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway the Find-Outers have been led back to Waxworks Hall, and it is Bets who realises that the necklaces piled around the neck of Queen Elizabeth are a perfect hiding place for the real thing.

Joseph Abbey illustration, 1947

Fatty explains to the Inspector that all the police need do is keep an eye on Waxworks Hall and nab Number Three when he goes there in search of the real pearl necklace. He might even go straight to the waxwork of Queen Elizabeth if old Johnny has somehow managed to communicate that to him through his uniquely brilliant mode of message-delivery.

OUTRO (2016/2019)

So that's it. But what about the pearl necklace around the neck of Queen Enid in the photo below? Could it be that the photo was taken in 1947, the year that
Missing Necklace was written, and that Enid was sharing the denouement with her daughters? That's Gillian on the left of her mother and Imogen, being smiled at warmly, on her right.

George König, 1949

Let's recall that when the first Find-Outers book was published in 1943, Bets was said to be eight and Daisy twelve. Gillian was born in July 1931, and so she was almost exactly twelve when the book was being written, and, at four years younger, Imogen was eight. The beginning of family holidays in Swanage kick-started the Famous Five books. The pleasure in writing the first Famous Five book, plus Gillian going off to boarding school at Godstowe, seems to have prompted the Find-Outers series.

Four years later, it's Imogen who is the right age for corresponding to Bets. It's quite touching really. Three times during
The Mystery of the Missing Necklace Bets is shown to be especially fond of Fatty. First, when realising Fatty is the balloon lady. Second, in describing him as fat and brainy like Napoleon. And, third, in worrying that something serious may have happened to Fatty the night he was going to spy on the thieves disguised as Napoleon.

It suggests to me a special relationship between Enid and her younger child, Imogen. Adult Imogen does speculate in an article called 'Our Books are Facets of Ourselves', published in the
Enid Blyton Society Journal, following a talk that was given at the 1989 Enid Blyton Day, that Enid was effectively Fatty in the Find-Outers books. She says: 'Is Enid not disguised as that master of disguise, writer in codes; that arrogant French-speaking boy who plays endless tricks on stupid authority, in other words Frederick or Fatty?' I think Imogen is correct. There is no-one who can touch Fatty's cleverness. Just as Enid could run rings around everyone thanks to her quick brain, her imagination and her stamina.

So, decoding Fatty dressed as a Balloon-woman offering different coloured balloons to Bets, what do we have? A mother simply drawing attention to the beautiful mystery of life to her daughter, Imogen. Nice one, Queen Enid, infinitely touching.

George König, 1949

Who do you see in the next photo? Enid, Fatty or the balloon woman? Bets or Imogen? Or all of them, thanks to one of them?

Joseph Abbey, 1947, George König, 1949, and Duncan McLaren, 2019.

Let's turn from Bets to Daisy. Daisy has almost nothing to do in
The Mystery of the Missing Necklace. Larry, Pip and Bets all play an active role in the Mystery, but Daisy just seems to plod along, making up the numbers. Though she is sharp in the bicycle shop. When the sales assistant says he's got a great memory, Daisy immediately asks if he can remember the three people who have bought hooters that week.

If Daisy is derived from Gillian, as the dates suggest she is, then what is going on?

I think this is actually quite complicated. And to explain it I have to introduce the Malory Towers series. It was when Gillian, who had been boarding at Godstowe just six miles from home, went to Benenden on the Cornish coast in September 1945, that Enid felt motivated to begin the Malory Towers series. By January 1946, Enid was already writing the second of the Malory Towers books. We know this because in Gillian's diary, she writes:

Friday, Jan 25, 1946: ‘I read as far as Mummy had got with second book of Malory Towers.’
Tuesday, Jan 29, 1946: ‘After tea Mummy finished Malory Towers, which I read.’

George König, 1949

With Enid writing Gillian a lot of letters in 1946 and 1947 to try and help her settle into the intimidating new school, maybe it was a bit much to ask her to inject much energy into the portrayal of Daisy. No, that's not quite how I think it was. As I try and show in the Malory Towers section of this website, it was in
these books that Enid was effectively providing advice, guidance and inspiration for Gillian.

Okay, let's leave it there.

But hang on a minute, Gillian wants to say something about the end of
Missing Necklace.

missing necklace
George König, 1949

Gillian: "Mummy why don't you make it Buster, not Bets, that discovers the whereabouts of the pearls? After all, he gets to do even less than Daisy in the book."

Enid: "Darling, you're right. Poor old Buster. One badly neglected dog. Laddie, get your paw off my pearls!"

Imogen: "Oh, no, Mum, please. Let it be Bets who tells Fatty where to look. You are the Balloon-woman after all, you can make anything happen."

Enid: "Can I make happiness happen?"

Gillian: "Yes! By writing a note saying that there is to be another meeting at Waxworks Hall. 'Every boy or girl is invited. Please come as a tramp, the Balloon-woman or
a mad dictator.'"

George König, 1949, Jason Ford, 2003, and Duncan McLaren, 2019.

There we must leave the Darrell Waters' household aka Green Hedges. One badly neglected dog. Two badly neglected daughters. Somebody should have called in social services, they really should.

Actually, let's have one more image. Chrissy has just been on the forums on the Enid Blyton Society in November 2019 to say she likes the images at the end of the piece. I suspect she means the two composites. So I think I can get away with adding a third. I want to, because tonight I just noticed that though the underlying photograph (see below) was taken by George Konig in 1949, the Find-Outers book at Enid's feet (the one leaning on the largest book in the pile, which may be an
Enid Blyton's Holiday Book) is The Mystery of the Missing Necklace from November 27th, 1947. How do I know? Because I am familiar with the original dustcover and I have forensic instincts.

Anyway, here it is. Enid flanked by Fatty (in disguise, checking out what she's writing) and Bets (think Imogen), by hydrangeas (is it?) and balloons (courtesy of Joseph Abbey). What more could you want?

Joseph Abbey, 1947, George König, 1949, and Duncan McLaren, 2019.

Note that the typewriter is on the floor. Enid has finished her latest typescript and is writing out a grocery list. Fair words butter no parsnips. Her family must eat and her husband must be well turned out!

'One tin black boot-polish. One pound rice. One pound tea. Two pounds syrup. One bag flour.'

"Don't forget the butter," suggests Fatty.

OUTRO (2020)

It's December 2020, and I've just added the chapter-by-chapter summary to this essay, so I'm adding to the endgame as well. Yes, sir!

I now know that those photos of Enid that I reproduce above were take on the same day, 1 May 1949. And part of the reason I know this is that it's the same copy of
Mystery of Missing Necklace that can be seen first at Enid's feet inside Green Hedges, then on the swing seat just outside the house, where End wrote when it was warm.

In other words,
this book as seen below, a copy of the first edition, published on November 27, 1947…

Joseph Abbey cover, 2016

…can be seen at the feet of Enid on May 1 1949.


…and can be seen when she'd changed her clothes and put on her pearls that same day, May 1 1949


Strip the dustcover off the first edition and what do you get? The cover of the book that was in Enid's older daughter's possession when she died. Bedeck it in pearls to show just how valuable this humble object is.


But where to hide it for safe-keeping? Better put the book (which is not a first edition from 1947 but a fifth impression from 1952) in a dust-jacket. Though the dust jacket that Gillian provided is neither from 1947, nor even 1952, but from between 1957 and 1961, because The Mystery of Strange Messages is listed on its back flap, but The Mystery of Banshee Towers is not.

And better put the book in a jewel case along with the pearl necklace (no longer missing; never to be missed again) and the unforgettable note written on a cigarette paper.

Duncan McLaren, 2020

What does the note say again?

Let's ask the Find-Outers to get the information from Goon.

Fatty: "Are you going to the shops Mr Goon?"

Duncan McLaren, 2020

Larry: "Would you get me a pound of rice?"

Daisy: "Would you get me a pound of tea?"

Pip: "Would you get me a bag of flour?"

Bets (trying not to giggle): "Would you please Mr. Goon, if you can possibly manage it, fetch me
two pounds of syrup? You see the cook is going to make rice scones for our afternoon tea, but we don't want them to be, you know, tasteless."

Fatty: "And just to round things off, Mr. Goon, would you get me a tin of black boot-polish? I'm quite determined that the pair of boots that we picked out of a ditch should shine like the pearls on a certain, very special, necklace."

Bets: "
Necklace. Isn't it a lovely word, Mr Goon?"

Goon: "Garrrr!"


Hachette own the rights to Enid Blyton's books, including the Find-Outers. The current edition of Missing Necklace is here.

Internal illustrations from the original Methuen edition of
Missing Necklace are taken from the Cave of Books on the Enid Blyton Society website, which is the work of Tony Summerfield.

The Charles Stewart illustrations are taken from seriesbookart.co.uk, the work of Ian Regan

Thanks to Google for the use of their mapping facilities.

Getty owns the rights to the George Konig photographs

Note: If any copyright holder wishes an image to be removed from this page then they should contact me and I will do as they ask.