The Secret Passage

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.3 stars; 185 reviews)

Excellent murder mystery. On September 9, 1905, the NY Times Saturday Review of Books described this book as follows: "That painstakingly ingenious person, Fergus Hume, has devised another of his hide-and-seek, jack-o'-lantern murder mysteries. It begins with a queer and rich old woman found stabbed to death in her chair and not a clue to the murderer. Then so many clues turn up that even the story-book detective is bewildered. Then nearly everybody turns out to be somebody else under an alias, and all the clues lead nowhere..." (summary by Dawn Larsen and J.M. Smallheer) (9 hr 10 min)


The Cottage 22:10 Read by Dawn Larsen
The Crime 18:35 Read by Dawn Larsen
A Mysterious Death 21:16 Read by Dawn Larsen
Details 20:06 Read by Dawn Larsen
Lord Caranby's Romance 23:10 Read by Dawn Larsen
A Perplexing Case 21:49 Read by Dawn Larsen
The Detective 23:17 Read by Dawn Larsen
The Course of True Love 16:53 Read by Shirley Anderson
Another Mystery 16:27 Read by Shirley Anderson
The Parlor-Maid's Story 20:42 Read by Roger Melin
On the Track 24:05 Read by Dawn Larsen
Jennings Asks Questions 22:43 Read by Dawn Larsen
Juliet at Bay 24:17 Read by Dawn Larsen
Mrs. Octagon Explains 19:21 Read by Hoosemon
A Dangerous Admission 25:24 Read by Dawn Larsen
Juliet's Story 19:07 Read by Hoosemon
Juliet's Story Continued 20:20 Read by Becca B
The Unexpected Happens 17:37 Read by Hoosemon
Susan's Discovery 16:27 Read by Becca B
Basil 25:37 Read by redabrus
An Experiment 24:34 Read by redabrus
The Secret Entrance 20:06 Read by redabrus
A Scamp's History 25:53 Read by redabrus
Revenge 18:48 Read by Janna
Nemesis 21:12 Read by Janna
Cuthbert's Enemy 20:48 Read by Janna


A well-written mystery

(5 stars)

An older woman is found murdered in a locked room. Her niece Juliet, engaged to be married to Cuthbert, inherits her fortune. But Juliet's mother, upon learning of the aunt's death says nope, no more engagement, you aren't marrying Cuthbert. What does the one have to do with the other? And how does a group of counterfeiters fit into all of this? Lots of twists to keep you guessing till the last. Enjoy!


(5 stars)

This is an excellent story! Most of the readers did well too. There is criticism of one reader which turns out to be groundless; her only "fault" is an accent.

Lots of Mystery

(5 stars)

M Zane has provided enough details about the story. I agree with his 5 star rating. This is one that I will most likely listen to again. It was very enjoyable with all of its twists and turns.


(4 stars)

An interesting mystery that was read well by the volunteers

Bit too many twists and turns?

(3 stars)

I enjoyed listening to this book, and it does have quite a few twists and turns, but by the end I was a bit dizzy with all the unforeshadowed revelations. Sound quality was good on all the sections, but this is a collaborative project and while some of the readers are excellent - others are not so polished for various reasons. I personally like Lucy Burgoyne's reading - yes, I grant you that her intonation is very level and some may see that as a negative, but her diction is always clear, her tempo is good and I never have to ask "what did she say?" But that's beside the point as she does not read any of the sections on this project. I'm giving this an average rating because I have listened to equally good writing read by a more consistent batch of readers elsewhere on Librivox. So, listen to the book for the story, and if the reading quality leaves you disappointed, check out "The Millionaire Baby" which is a solo project by BeadCrazyDawn - the very same "Dawn in Minnesota" who did such an excellent job reading the first seven chapters of this book.

Doesn't work as a puzzle style mystery: doesn't work as a thriller

(3 stars)

I'm having a hard time nominating appeal factors in this book. There's a lot to not like: racism, banging on about the hook noses and dark eyebrows of Jews. Good people look handsome, bad people look like bad people. Servants are innately stupid as a class, as you the reader are reminded. A lot of carry on which makes very little sense (a woman who loves a man incredibly, but couldn't possibly marry without her mother's consent?) It's sad: he was Australia's first mystery writer and so I wanted to like him, but...this just isn't a recommendable book. Even among Hume's books, this is a weak one.

Good story lots of twists

(5 stars)

This is a good story lots of plot twists, keeps you guessing. Some of the narration was not that great. Could someone please tell Lucy Burgoyne to do some other volunteer work for Librivox. Her narration is truly horrible. There was another reader on this one that was not much better, all the rest were very good. I loved the lady with the accent, normally I don't like accents but she did a great job, her name is redabrus, good work!

I'm sorry to say I found this hard work

(3.5 stars)

I had listened to another Fergus book and thought I would try a second but it was a mistake. the paradigm was identical, a collection of mischief intent misguided individuals all keeping ridiculous secrets, it became painful. multiple readers didn't help the cause although all were good in their own right. similar ending too where privileged men made decisions about poor people and women. I'll leave it a while before I try another.