I’d like help finding a novel I loved as a child. The points I can remember:

  • It was set and written in mid-20th century England, perhaps the 1950s.
  • Perhaps aimed at schoolchildren of the time - a little older than the average Enid Blyton book
  • A man (an uncle?) laid a convoluted treasure trail for two pairs of late-teen boys that were rivals during their school holidays
  • The trail started with them finding a straw “body” in a rowing boat with a clue on it
  • Rowing and cricket featured heavily (the rivals ended up on opposite teams of a village contest)
  • They had to travel lots around various mid-England towns following clues (clues pointed to the towns such as “Sale” and “Matlock”)
  • Eventually they were mixed up in a greater plot (perhaps some burglars?)

The copy I had was an old small green cloth hardback with the title imprinted in small black letters on the spine. I suspect it used to have a dust cover that was long-lost.

Happy to answer any more questions, though I’m not sure how much more I can remember.

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