The Big Six

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For other usages of the term Big Six, see Big Six (disambiguation).
The Big Six
The Big Six cover.JPG
Author Arthur Ransome
Cover artist Arthur Ransome
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Swallows and Amazons
Genre Children's novels
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 368 pp
ISBN 0-224-60639-5
978-1-56792-119-9 (David R. Godine, Publisher: paperback, 2000)
OCLC 9647950
Preceded by Secret Water
Followed by Missee Lee

The Big Six is the ninth book of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series of children's books, published in 1940. The book returns Dick and Dorothea Callum, known as the Ds, to the Norfolk Broads where they renew their friendship with the members of the Coot Club. This book is more of a detective story as the Ds and Coot Club try to unravel a mystery that threatens the Death and Glories' freedom to sail the river.

Plot summary[edit]

The Ds return to Norfolk, hoping to enjoy a holiday with their friends of the Coot Club. Unfortunately, they find the Death and Glories coming under a gathering cloud of suspicion of setting moored boats adrift.

Everywhere they go, boats seem to be cast adrift; and they are threatened with being forbidden to sail. Things get worse when new shackles are stolen from a boatbuilder after one of the casting off episodes and some of them are found aboard the Death and Glory. At the same time, the boys seem to be flush with cash, but they won't say where they got it.

The Big Six (Dick, Dorothea, Tom Dudgeon, and the three Death and Glories) get together to investigate the crimes and collect evidence. Eventually a carefully prepared trap is sprung and in a flash (literally, to take a night photo of the real culprits) the villains are discovered and the boys are exonerated. The source of their secret supply of money is uncovered when a local pub unveils a magnificent stuffed pike.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations[edit]

BBC produced a television series Swallows and Amazons Forever! based on Coot Club and The Big Six in 1984.[1]