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A classic detective story. <br/><br/>Harold Avery was born in 1869. His life reads like one of his own adventure stories. He was shipwrecked off the coast of Malaysia at the age of ten on his way to Australia with his parents who were drowned. Avery was brought up by the natives who, after three years put him on a Dutch boat bound back to England. He was brought up by an aunt who sent him to Eton and then settled with him in Edinburgh. Avery took a job in the city’s Water Department and in 1894 wrote his first book The Orderly Officer. In the next 45 years he wrote over fifty more books, mainly school stories and adventure stories. In 1941 he left Scotland to travel round the world and the last that was heard from him was a postcard sent to his aunt from Rio de Janeiro in 1943.<br/><br/>It is chosen from his large output as being a typical school story but, it can be argued, it is the precursor of work by Enid Blyton and J K Rowling, dealing with school life, five children who go on an adventure and a mystical wizard who ends the story not with a wave of a wand but with kindness and consideration.