The Enid Blyton Society
Secret Seven Mystery
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Book Details...

First edition: 1957
Publisher: Brockhampton Press
Illustrator: Burgess Sharrocks
Category: Secret Seven
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Type: Novels/Novelettes

On This Page...

Reprint Covers
Artwork
Reviews by Dennis Worley and David Cook
Further Illustrations

Reprints


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 Blüchert Verlag,
cover by Nikolaus Plump, with the title A Mystery for the Black Seven
Foreign Titles
America: The Secret Seven and the Missing Girl Mystery
German: Abenteuergeschichten mit der Schwarze Sieben
French: Le Clan des Sept a la rescousse
Dutch: De Grote Zeven op zoek naar een meisje
Spanish: Un misterio para los Siete Secretos
Portuguese: O Mistério dos Sete
Swedish: Hemliga Sjuan far ett uppdrag
Finnish: SOS ja kadonnut tyttö
Czech: Tajna Sedma Falesne stopy



Brief Summary by Julie Heginbotham: "Do the Secret Seven want to make themselves really useful?" Said Peter and Janet's father, to them both, after reading the newspaper. He tells them about a young girl that has gone missing after stealing some money from her teacher's desk. Her parents are abroad and her brother is in France, according to what he'd just read. But the girl, whose name is Elizabeth, has been spotted in the next village of Belling. The Secret Seven think this will be a nice little mystery to clear up, if they can find this missing girl.


Full Reviews (These may contain spoilers):

Dennis Worley's Review
Peter and Janet's father gets the Secret Seven started on their next mystery, simply titled Secret Seven Mystery. Peter's father plays a part in many of the books. They need his assistance usually at the end of the mystery, but this time he is the instigator. A girl has run away from home and he thinks they can keep a look out for her. It's time to call a meeting and this time Janet can't remember the password. Peter gives her a cryptic clue, but also thinks it is time she was taught a lesson and says he won't let her come to the meeting if she doesn't know the password. Janet gets mutinous and Peter has to remind her that he is the head and she must obey his orders. Luckily she remembers in time, but blunders by shouting it out — not once, but three times.

Then Pam can't remember the password and Peter won't let her in. Pam and Barbara invariably arrive together for the meetings; so in theory one of them can afford to forget the password and just wait for the other one to say it. However, as luck would have it, Pam is alone this time. Janet gives her a clue, much to Peter's disgust. Interestingly, he hurriedly changes the subject when Janet points out in her defence that she is only doing the same as what he did for her earlier! He is often like that — quick to blow up, but then he calms down and changes the subject if the other person stands up to him.

Before the meeting can start properly, they have to ascertain the whereabouts of Susie. That is probably written into the society's constitution, under the heading Things To Do Before Starting A Meeting. Jack reports that she has gone shopping.

Peter explains the situation and they discuss it. Pam comes in for some criticism from Peter for asking silly questions, and Colin, who seems to share some of Peter's no-nonsense attitude, also has a go at her. Peter, who is in good form, cuts short their argument with a brisk "Shut up, you two".>p>

They split up and go to various locations. Pam and Barbara fall victim to one of Susie's pranks and are no match for her. She now knows there is 'something up', so it is only a matter of time before there is a face at the window of the shed and Susie is there looking in on their next meeting.

Susie sets up false clues for them, and they fall for her trick, as usual. It's just as well that Fatty and Susie never joined forces against Mr. Goon. He would have had to leave town.

It's a mystery how the missing girl manages to get into her grandmother's house and help herself to food under the watching eyes of the police and the boys. Pam is not impressed when she hears this, and accuses the boys of falling asleep. Needless to say, Peter reprimands her for insubordination. To make things worse, Susie butts in, and claims to have lots of clues. She picked a bad time though, and Peter gets Jack and the girls to get rid of her. As a gentleman, he won't try to fight a girl himself, so he orders the girls and Jack (as her brother), to tackle her. Four against one is too much even for Susie, and she is dragged away and disappears, and they eventually get to the bottom of the mystery, thanks to an inspired piece of detective work by Peter, who seems to be going from strength to strength now.
Review by David Cook
By now, Enid seems to have abandoned any idea of continuity, season-wise, with this series. From Burgess Sharrocks' illustrations we must assume Three Cheers, Secret Seven took place in the summer following Secret Seven Win Through's Easter setting. This latest story takes place in spring term time and the setting is rural, mainly in the neighbouring Belling Village. For once the title is apt as this story uses similar plot ideas to two recent Five Find-Outers stories, The Mystery of Tally-Ho Cottage (Methuen — 29 July 1954) and The Mystery of the Missing Man (Methuen — August 1956) with regard to hiding fugitives.

For the first time in this series Enid uses an equestrian background more usually associated with writers like Judith M Berrisford and the Pullein-Thompson sisters. However, readers forget that she had successfully used a riding school background three years earlier in Five Go to Mystery Moor and, indeed, had personal knowledge of what goes on in a stables as her daughter, Imogen, had her own pony. There are, in The Story of My Life (Pitkin — September 1952), splendid pictures of Action Girl, Imogen, at full run on and with her pony, Lucy Glitters.

We learn for the first time that Peter's farm uses horses and has stables. Susie plays a clever trick on the Seven using a suitcase and boxes, and Peter is again very bossy on individual occasions with Janet, Jack and Susie, but redeems himself by solving the mystery in a manner befitting Frederick Trotteville. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.