The Mystery of Smugglers Cove (The Mystery Series, Book 1)
on Nov. 12, 2012
Paul Moxham, the author, says The Mystery of Smugglers Cove is ‘set in 1950s England and is like the Famous Five’. So I read it in that light – I grew up reading Blyton, and used to recommend her books to encourage a love of reading fiction among the boys I used to teach. So there was a lot for Paul Moxham to live up to! After a rather slow start to the action, I was drawn in by the fast-paced plot. I enjoyed reading the book and couldn’t wait to see how things turned out. Children whose parents gave them complete freedom, crooks, chases through cliff tunnels at the seaside, an empty house and an escape across the channel to France – what more can one ask? This was an exciting mix with an interesting twist at the end.
There are, however, one or two reservations, starting with the lack of an apostrophe in the title. (The teacher in me talking here?) There were a couple of anachronisms for 1950s England – the children would not have been offered ‘burgers’ to eat by their Mum, and especially not ‘veggie burgers’. And I don’t remember any Pancake Parlours, either. There were also a few modern phrases and/or errors in the use of English, for example: ‘way longer’ (much longer), ‘fix up the garden’ (keep the garden tidy), ‘the sun shined down upon them’ (the sun shone down on them), ‘he treaded quietly’ (he trod quietly).
In the end, the interesting plot and diminishing number of anachronisms meant that this turned into a good read, which I enjoyed.