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The Mystery of the Island - Isobel Knight

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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 16 Sep 2015, 10:10

I have the copy now from Nigel, Robert, and are just about to start reading it.

Pete is going to start reading his on Saturday. :)

8)
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"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 17 Sep 2015, 00:35

I'm glad more people are reading this book! It won't be to everyone's taste of course, but it's always been a favourite of mine since the age of 9. :-)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 17 Sep 2015, 03:09

Moonraker wrote:I am about half-way through, and I think I know how it pans out, but not as sure as I was with books such as Pantomime Cat. I am thoroughly enjoying the book and a big thank you to Poppy for recommending it. (I think it was Poppy)

I'm always surprised when people say The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat has a predictable plot! I always consider it to be one of the most intricate plots in the series. The alibi and the dénouement at the end were a complete surprise to me when I first read it!
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Daisy » 17 Sep 2015, 10:01

Same here Rob. I was puzzled right to the end! Had I read it first as an adult I have no idea if I would have felt or thought differently of course.
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 17 Sep 2015, 10:08

Admittedly, I first read it as a child of about 9 or 10 so I have no idea how an adult would see it when reading it for the first time. Its still one of my favourite Mystery books, even though I can never 'unread' the outcome, lol! ;-). Much less obvious than The Invisible Thief which really only has one suspect all the way through!
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Courtenay » 17 Sep 2015, 10:15

I really will have to read Pantomime Cat one day and see what I think of it — I started it once but was in a bad mood at the time and was put off by the children's idiotic antics in cooking up a false mystery to puzzle PC Pippin! I have run across one or two spoilers — I have some idea of who is accused and how the actual culprit was mistaken for that person — but I still don't know who actually "dunnit" or why, so I hope I'll still enjoy the mystery.

Robert Houghton wrote:Much less obvious than The Invisible Thief which really only has one suspect all the way through!


Oh yes, that was the problem I had with Invisible Thief — it would have been a cracker of a mystery if only Enid hadn't made the one suspicious character so obvious!! :roll: (That said, I absolutely loved Disappearing Cat, which also has a bore obvious villain, but somehow managed to be a more thrilling mystery all the way through for me.)

Back on topic, I didn't guess the ending of The Mystery of the Island until I got to it — it was somewhat less dramatic and exciting than Enid Blyton would probably have made it if she had been the author — but it was still a satisfying enough conclusion to a gripping read, and more realistic overall than a lot of Enid's plots! :wink: I really enjoyed the book overall and will be happy to read it again some time.
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 17 Sep 2015, 12:17

Pantomime Cat is well worth a read - and all the messing about with false clues that you disliked so much actually backfires pretty badly in this book in several ways, so its a good plot element rather than being just annoying.

I agree Mystery of the Island has a less dramatic ending than Enid would have given it maybe...but I think the ending is appropriate, and I disagree with others who have said it was easy to work out. I think Mystery of the Island is more of a 'why done it' than a 'who done it' and I enjoy the slightly creepy mysterious atmosphere. :-)
Last edited by Rob Houghton on 20 Sep 2015, 02:50, edited 1 time in total.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Courtenay » 17 Sep 2015, 13:25

Robert Houghton wrote:I agree Mystery of the Island has a less dramatic ending than Enid would have given it maybe...but I think the ending is appropriate, and I disagree with others who have said it was easy to work out. I think Mystery of the Island is more of a 'why done it' than a 'who done it' and I enjoy the slightly creepy mysterious atmosphere. :-)


Yes, I didn't find it easy to work out either — it kept me wondering till the last few pages! :D I just loved the atmosphere of the book and the characters themselves, and all the beautiful evocative descriptions of the Highland scenery and lifestyle.

I found it especially interesting that the children's parents are so involved in the story as well — another aspect that makes it different from Enid Blyton, who tends to get parents and other adults mostly out of the picture once the adventure begins. The children's father was an especially likeable character, I thought. I love Kirsteen's description of him early in the book:

He turned round, beaming at us all as if we were some precious gems he was proud to show off. But that's just like Dad, he speaks to everyone, and it's simply impossible to stay shy or nervous in his company. "The world is his friend," Mum used to say. It was true too, for few people could resist his smile and easy manner. (p. 32)


The major crisis of the book was quite gut-wrenching, too, with the night-time rescue mission — but I won't go on any more about it until everyone else has finished reading it and so is immune to spoilers! :wink:
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Julie2owlsdene » 17 Sep 2015, 15:07

I started reading this book yesterday and finished it today.

I don't want to give away the plot for those who have it and haven't yet read it. But I guess all along about the plot and did find the ending rather sluggish.

A great read though nevertheless. :)

8)
Julian gave an exclamation and nudged George.
"See that? It's the black Bentley again. KMF 102!"

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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Moonraker » 17 Sep 2015, 17:09

Courtenay wrote:I really will have to read Pantomime Cat one day and see what I think of it — I started it once but was in a bad mood at the time and was put off by the children's idiotic antics in cooking up a false mystery to puzzle PC Pippin!

What a barrel of fun you are! :wink:
Julie wrote: But I guessed all along about the plot and did find the ending rather sluggish.

Oh, I didn't guess the ending at all, but agree that it was a sluggish ending. As you say though, still a good read.
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby John Pickup » 19 Sep 2015, 18:35

I bought a copy of Mystery Of The Island at the York book fair today from Jeff Lawrence who trades as Peakirk Books. It's a lovely copy but there isn't any publishing history in it so I don't know which edition it is. Hopefully, I shall get around to reading it soon.
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Tony Summerfield » 19 Sep 2015, 19:10

I also bought my copy off Jeff Lawrence, but over the phone! He was one of the dealers who used to come to Enid Blyton Days!
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby John Pickup » 19 Sep 2015, 19:28

We were talking about you buying a copy. He told me that my copy was better than yours but I bet it isn't. He must be wondering why so many members of the EBS are chasing this book.
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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Rob Houghton » 20 Sep 2015, 02:45

seems I started something! :twisted:

Hope you enjoy it, John. :D
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Mystery Of The Island - Isobel Knight

Postby Lotta » 09 Mar 2016, 09:17

I noticed Robert's recommendation for this book along with all the other positive comments and decided to buy a copy!

I must say, this book was fantastic. It was obviously a different writing style to Blyton, with the most obvious being the fact that it is written in first person. However, it kept me enthralled and I couldn't put it down.

The most interesting part for me was the exploration of the old ruins.

Another part I loved was the really suspenseful part where Kirsteen has the hanky in her mouth. (I won't say any more for those who haven't read it.) But, this part felt very real as it was so well described. I believe that I was reading with bated breath at this point. And the comment where Kirsteen is actually almost wishing for the worst, as 'anything would be better than this suspense,' was also very clever.

I was somewhat disappointed with the ending, I am not sure what I expected, but it didn't quite seem right to me.

But, overall, a really good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for the recommendation :)
"Fatty - I feel honoured, straight I do! You're a friend - and I can't say more than that, can I?" "No, that's about the best thing anyone can say about anyone else," said Fatty, with one of his grins.
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