We need styles that are quick and easy to maintain without having to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get it right. Inside is very little other than an enormous old chest which Jack is convinced must be full of treasure, but what secrets will be revealed when the friends finally manage to open the box? Once high enough, and level with the window of the house, Pip is surprised to see that the room not only has bars at the window, but it is fully furnished. The Find-Outers embark on an exciting mystery as they try to discover who owns the house, and why is the room fully furnished? The only real Find-Outing in this book is to find the owner of the house which has the Secret Room, and to Find-Out if she knows about the furnished room.
All very suspicious, eh?Fatty disguises himself as the "Frenchy fellow" (I just love the sound of the word 'frenchy', even if it isn't really a word), which, previously, had completely taken in the other Find-Outers.
From here the story is quite similar to The Mystery of the Hidden House, written three years later.

Both of the men are very villainous-looking; and certainly more dangerous than the typical comic stupid baddies.
At the start of the book, Fatty had taught the other Find-Outers a number of detective tricks, and as we all know Blyton will use them in the mystery at some stage.
The getting out of a locked room trick isn't possible where I live, because the locks are completely different. This is sporting: he certainly knew that Fatty was much, much more deserving of the leadership. Still, I would have expected an argument, but of course there is no real quarrelling between the Find-Outers.At the end of the day, The Mystery of the Secret Room comes across as a good read and nothing more. Blyton was still preparing herself for the big one, and that would come two books later, in the great Mystery of the Missing Necklace. Spiteful Letters next, which, if I recall correctly, is another "average" one for me.Robert Houghton's ReviewBook three is also rather on the weak side, but it is this book that seems to provide a 'watershed' between the slightly simpler plots of the early series to the more complicated ones that are to follow.

It is in a way the book closest in style and content to a Famous Five book, with Fatty actually being taken prisoner and a note being sent (as in Five On A Treasure Island) to the others in the hope that the villains can catch them all. As often happened, it is Bets who realises there is more to this letter than meets the eye, when she smells oranges and realises that Fatty has written a secret message between the lines of the 'fake' one.This third mystery is also the first one in which Fatty tries disguises, something that was to feature heavily in all of the rest of the books. Fatty gives the rest of the Find-Outers (and the reader) a few lessons in disguise, teaches us how to write invisible messages and how to get out of a locked room with the aid of a newspaper and a piece of wire! However, the Find-Outers of these early books are still very much children of the nursery and playroom. The solving of mysteries still seems to have a 'part-time' feel to it, whereas in the later stories solving mysteries becomes a much more urgent and much sought after pastime!

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