I’ve written before about the long series of Bunkle books, which I enjoy so much. Bunkle Brings it Off is the very last book, first published in 1961 and almost impossible to find except in the Fidra reprint. I missed buying it last year but was able to get it this month in the Fidra Christmas sale, so that was a win. In the penultimate book, Bunkle is seventeen, his sister married and his brother in the army but for this last hurrah he’s ten years old again.
Bunkle is bored because Mrs de Salis needs to look after her sister for a while and has taken the children with her to what Billy considers a very dull place. Naturally, no place can stay dull for long with Bunkle around. He buys a goat (as you do), and the adventure follows on from that. An empty old house with a neglected garden and no apparent way in; a missing heir; a mysterious Greek sailor who sometimes speaks perfect English and a couple of obvious villains on the loose are just part of it. By the time Daddy (Colonel de Salis) arrives, Bunkle has a theory which fits surprisingly with some research the colonel has been doing, so the whole family is involved in solving the mystery (while avoiding being shot).
It’s quite a slight story but I enjoyed it and obviously I want all the Bunkle books: only two to go now! I still prefer the early ones.
I have a spare copy of Bunkle Began It which I’ll send to someone in the UK. A wartime story, 1944 reprint, reasonable condition, no dustwrapper, illustrated by Julie Neild.