The Secret Passage

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Author: Fergus Hume
Published: 1905
Language: English
Wordcount: 88,137 / 243 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 83.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,807 3779

The Albany Evening Journal says: "Fully as interesting as his former books, and keeps one guessing to the end. The story begins with the murder of an old lady, with no apparent cause for the crime, and in unraveling the mystery the author is very clever in hiding the real criminal. A pleasing romance runs through the book, which adds to the interest."

Show Excerpt

dress and cap. She laid the table in a handsome dining-room, equally as garish in color as the apartment below. The table appointments were elegant, and Mrs. Pill served a nice little meal to which Miss Loach did full justice. She wore the same purple dress, but with the addition of more jewellery. Her sharp eyes followed Susan about the room as she waited, and at the end of the dinner she made her first observation. "You know your work I see," she said. "I hope you will be happy here!"

"I think I will, ma'am," said Susan, with a faint sigh.

"You have had trouble?" asked Miss Loach quickly.

"Yes, ma'am!"

"You must tell me about it to-morrow," said the old lady rising. "I like to gain the confidence of my servants. Now bring my coffee to the room below. At eight, three people will arrive -- a lady and two gentlemen. You will show them into the sitting-room and put out the card-table. Then you can go to the kitchen and wait till I ring. Be sure you don't come till I do ring," and Mi


Average Rating of 4.3 from 6 reviews: *****

This is an excellent mystery novel, the best Fergus Hume book I have read yet. Detective Jennings suspects nobody, yet at the same time suspects everybody. His interviews of potential suspects are brilliant. The book takes a while to get started - at the beginning many characters are rapidly introduced and not much happens. Persevere through the slow start and you will be rewarded.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1905) Mystery (Murder/Counterfeiting) / Detective (Police/Amateur) / Romance

R: * * * *

Plot bullets

  • A woman is murdered in her home, with only a few curious clues to aid the police.

  • Many characters associated with the woman are revealed and each relationship muddies the picture.

  • A police detective is given the case. Over time he starts to tie, past people and events, together.

  • The detective is aided by a young man, working separately, who gets involved out of curiosity and in the hopes of helping the girl he loves.

  • This mysterious soup of people and events, past and present, can only be solved by some bold independent investigation.

  • Events come to a rapid conclusion, when the young man finds 'The Secret Passage'.


Hume at his best....but what a shame he's put a great big spoiler in the title! Not like him at all. Keeps you guessing till the end though - very satisfying.

Md. Nazmul Hasan

Something magnetic is in Hume's writing style, as I always observed, which pinches the readers to know the solution of the mystery right from the beginning. This plot is wonderfully kept fluent, and the absence of extraneous digression makes the story appetizing for mystery hungry readers. Without hesitation I would ascertain that this book is worth accompanying you at the coming weekend or in future leisure hours.


A good fun read

R. R. Bowker

A servant girl leaves a house where heavy, secret gambling goes on and takes service with a quiet old lady in a retired house connected by secret passage with a large walled estate. The mistress is murdered the first night and the intricate plot is devoted to the detective work on the mysterious case. Gamblers and coiners are the actors and the reader is kept sifting different theories almost to the last page.

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