The Enid Blyton Society
The Mystery of the Vanished Prince
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Book Details...

First edition: 1951
Publisher: Methuen
Illustrator: Treyer Evans
Category: Five Find-Outers
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Artwork
Review by Robert Houghton
Further Illustrations

Reprints


Wraparound dustwrapper from the 1st edition, illustrated by Treyer Evans



1st German edition published by Erika Klopp Verlag in 1957,
illustrated by Walter Born with the title Mystery of the Vanished Prince
Foreign Titles
German: Geheimnis um einen enfuhrten Prinzen
French: Le Mystère du camp de vacances
Dutch: De Vijf Detectives – De ontvoerde prins
Spanish: Misterio del Principe Desaparecido
Portuguese: O Mistério do Principe Desaparecido
Swedish: Mysteriet med den forsvunne prinsen
Finnish: Kadonneen prinnsi salaisuus
Icelandic: Dularfulla prinshvarfið
Czech: Tajemsstvi Zmizeleho Prince


The ninth book in the series reverts to a plot similar to the 'Secret' books of the early forties. It therefore fits more easily into the first section of the Find-Outer books, and compared to the two mysteries that preceded it, comes out as being a lot weaker. The Mystery of the Vanished Prince is very similar in plot to The Secret of Spiggy Holes, with a kidnapped foreign prince (with the unfortunate name of 'Bongawah') and the eventual rescue, this time in a deserted farmhouse. However, there is a twist. The prince appears to have been kidnapped at the school camp (why he had no bodyguards isn't gone into) but in fact he was kidnapped earlier, on the way to the camp. (The prince's driver was in with the kidnapping). The car was stopped, and the prince taken off, while a gypsy boy is substituted for the real prince! This gypsy boy is apparently very good at acting — but not very good at keeping secrets. He tells Fatty everything — even down to where the real prince has been taken to. This is the book's very big weakness. Although the plot is rather clever, Enid obviously found it impossible for the Find-Outers to solve without outside help. It is the only time in the entire series where the crime is not really solved but explained. Because of this, the Find-Outers seem curiously uninvolved in the mystery. They search for clues, but they don't really lead anywhere except to the gypsy boy. Then he spills the whole tale out to Fatty and after 128 pages of deliberation the mystery is solved.

Ern makes his second appearance in this story, but really his presence and that of his brothers Sid and Perce, don't add very much to the plot. It just happens that they were camping in the field next-door to the prince, and so are able to give details of the kidnapping. Apart from this, they seem to be there mostly to pad out the story, as a form of comic relief. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.