The Fourth Key by Malcolm Saville

The Fourth Key by Malcolm Saville lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Childrens section.

London: The Children’s Book Club, 1957, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white drawings; Publishing date unstated, dated from references.

From the cover: This is the sixth adventure of Mike and Mary Bishop and their Scottie dog, Dougal, and it is the most exciting of them all because they have to move from their home in London to an old house in Sussex which was once used by smugglers. Here in the shadow of the South Downs, on the banks of the Sussex Ouse, they find that a stranger is also very interested in Ash House in which they discover a secret room under the roof of ash.

In the village of Ashfield, which is to be their new home, Mike and Mary make two new friends Harry, the boy who has lived in the village all his life and distrusts Londoners, and Clare, the lonely little girl who is staying at Rainbow Farm a few miles away. They make other friends, too. The rector, who loves birds and is interested in the secrets which are hidden in Ash House, is one of them, and all boys and girls who love the country and wild life will be thrilled by the quick-moving adventures of the London children and their friends in their successful hunt for smugglers treasure in their new home, and the way in which they helped to keep an even more important secret.

Nearly all Malcolm Savilles stories are set against a genuine background. In The Fourth Key he is really at home for he writes of the county in which he lives and so obviously loves. In this exciting story we see through his eyes the bare-backed beauty of the South Downs, the red-tiled and flint-walled cottages of Sussex and catch something of the magic of that precious corner of England in which our history is cradled.

Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with heavier tanning to the spine. Leans a little. Edges of the text block lightly spotted.

Blue boards with Black titling to the Spine. 181 pages. 7½” x 5″.

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