The Enid Blyton Society
Three Cheers Secret Seven
Back Book 8 of 15 in this category Next

Book Details...

First edition: 1956
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Burgess Sharrocks
Category: Secret Seven
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Reviews by Dennis Worley and David Cook
Further Illustrations


Spine and front cover from the 1st edition, illustrated by Burgess Sharrocks

Cloth boards of the 1st edition

Endpapers from the 1st edition

Title page from the 1st edition, illustrated by Burgess Sharrocks

1st German edition published by BlŁchert Verlag,
cover by Nikolaus Plump, with the title Long Live the Black Seven
Foreign Titles
American: The Secret Seven and the Grim Secret
German: Hoch die Schwarze Sieben
French: L'Avion Du Clan des Sept
Dutch: Drie hoera's voor de Grote Zeven
Spanish: Tres hurras para los Siete Secretos
Portuguese: TrÍs Vivas aos Sete
Finnish: SOS ja area puutarhuri
Czech: Tajna Sedma Tajuphny dum
Greek: To Ainitma Toy Ekoteinoy Anmatioy

Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: Jack's sister, Susie, has a lovely new aeroplane, and the Secret Seven, and Susie go off to fly the new plane. Sadly it flies across the field, and over a wall into the grounds of Bartlett Lodge, which is a very big house but is closed up whilst the owners are abroad. So once the gardener is out of sight, Peter and Jack climb into the grounds of the large house and Peter climbs a tree to retrieve the plane which had landed on a high balcony. Just before he climbs down he sees a gas fire on inside one of the rooms, which he knows is strange as the house is empty. Feeling puzzled, Peter calls a meeting and their next mystery is about to begin!

Full Reviews (These may contain spoilers):

Dennis Worley's Review
The happy ending of book seven seems to have been forgotten by the first chapter of the next book, Three Cheers for the Secret Seven. When Janet says she'd rather read a book (and by this time the reader assumes it is a Famous Five book), than have a meeting, Peter is quick to say that if she has something better to do then they can easily get someone else instead! That brings Janet to heel, though he has to order her to help him to tidy the shed as well for good measure.

Susie has a toy aeroplane that can fly, but she can't fly it herself. Jack brings her along when he comes to the meeting, so they can fly it afterwards. (Presumably she would have come anyway, whether he officially brought her or not.) Peter doesn't like the idea of Susie waiting outside and maybe listening in, but when he hears about the aeroplane he changes his mind. He cancels the meeting and they have a picnic outside instead so that Susie can join in. Peter only allows this because he is interested in the aeroplane. Susie sees through this much to his embarrassment. "What a pity Jack had such a clever sister" is the thought that goes through their minds! They have to admit that she is more than a match for them.

This is a unique scene; the Seven are forced to be nice to her so they can fly her aeroplane. Even Peter is no match for her now he has to watch his Ps and Qs a bit. In fact she takes over for a bit and is as bossy as Peter and twice as sarcastic!

"What food have you brought?" Pam asks Susie. "None," comes the riposte. "I hope you haven't brought those miserable biscuits you bring to school to eat at break!"

She comes down to earth when her precious aeroplane flies off and doesn't return. It lands in the grounds of a large house. Peter takes command again and goes to retrieve the aeroplane with Jack, and once again they are plunged into a mystery because of Susie. In fact, that's how the story ends, giving Susie and her aeroplane the credit for the adventure, which is one of the 'human interest' Secret Seven stories.

Peter comes in for some hero-worship in this book. It is true that he behaves like a leader and gets things moving, but this?

"The members gazed at Peter in real admiration. Here was a chief indeed! Why, he had behaved like a first-class detective" Jack goes even further with his praises and the modest Peter has to stop him. I think a certain F.Trotteville would have let Jack carry on!

I have to say that Peter certainly handles that particular meeting well. And at the end he decides on a new password, simply because they have had the other one 'too long'. That does make a change from "we must choose a new password because Susie knows the old one, thanks to Jack's carelessness."
Review by David Cook
At this point in the series were two major changes. The most obvious one was another change in artist. Burgess Sharrocks took over and held the position until the end of the series but, compared to his predecessors, his work was only adequate.

The other change was that the stories started to be less about criminal activities and more about social problems and, indeed in this story, the Seven think they have encountered a conspiracy and it turns out to be a domestic crisis. Enid cleverly lays us a false trail in her creation of the complex personality of the central character, Georgie Grim, the gardener. This book is a good example of my criticism that the Secret Seven's British titles were often unmemorable whereas, in this case, the American one contains a neat and clever double entendre.

Susie features prominently again as the owner of the superb model aeroplane, which leads the Seven to the mysterious Bartlett Lodge. And the canal features yet again — this time flowing alongside the cottage home of Georgie Grim and his wife. I was amused to note that, on page 80, when Barbara tells Pam she has misspelt the word "absolutely", her name is spelt BARABARA! These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.