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.

  • 1
    This is a really long shot, but there's a novel called "Mapper Mundy's Treasure Hunt" by E.W. Hildick. It involves two boys finding a sketched map hidden in a library book, and comparing it with Ordnance Survey maps to identify locations on the sketch map. There are crooks involved who the boys are racing against. I don't know if an uncle was involved, and it's only really the possibility that the use of Ordnance Survey maps is related to searching the mid-England towns that makes me suggest it. Plus at least one edition had a green cover. Jul 24, 2021 at 12:12
  • The Internet Archive has a copy at archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.462195 Jul 24, 2021 at 18:08
  • That's a fantastic suggestion (and thanks for the direct link), but alas no... :(
    – U W
    Jul 26, 2021 at 7:46
  • 1
    I wonder if it might be one of the "Kestrels" adventures by Stanley Weston Mason. Apr 9, 2023 at 9:20
  • @ClaraDiazSanchez Thanks for taking the time so long after I posted this, but sadly not.
    – U W
    Apr 10, 2023 at 12:40


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