Five at the office Christmas party
(Enid Blyton for grown ups)

by Bruno Vincent
Quercus, UK, Oct 2017

Age group: adult book cover of Five at the office Christmas party
Format: 112 page paperback

I grew up reading the Famous Five, Secret Seven and other Enid Blyton books so it was exciting to see a Christmas book involving the Famous Five!

The story

Now grown up, the four cousins are working together for their cousin (I don’t recall him from the original books) who is potentially a bit dodgy. The four are tasked with planning the company Christmas party on a budget.

My review

So, this book is obviously not written by Enid Blyton and is not aimed at children, so there is adult content (namely alcohol and undesirable character traits) and a different feel to the original Famous Five. And it’s not a mystery. If you’re after a rehash of Blyton’s series, you will be disappointed.

I found some of the characters irritating – Dick being irresponsible and lazy was not as far form the original as Julian being whiny and unreliable, for instance. Anne was the closest to the original, trying to get the others ready for work and so forth, but still not fully recognisable.

I also found it quite  weird to have pictures form the original books in this book with a caption suiting the surrounding text – the children five images don’t fit the story!

Inner pages of the book Five at the office Christmas party

Apparently there are a few of these adult ‘Famous Five’ books, starting with Five on Brexit Island, and they are described as hilarious spoofs of the original series.

Would I recommend it? Frankly, no I can neither recommend it or find much about it to enjoy. It was very disappointing to read and not find something that respected the books so many of us enjoyed as children.