Travelling on a train, then a bus, four children, the oldest of whom is fourteen go to join Ian (brother of Mirabel and Norman, two of the four) who is hiding because he knows too much about a theft. The journey across English countryside is a long, tiresome one; they finally arrive. Ian shows them the hiding place; all works out satisfactorily, and they return home to a worried mother. The spunky children are enjoyable for a time; the dialogue is natural, sometimes amusing, but there is too much space given to trivial occurrences, and the plot is too slight for the length of the book. The children are miraculously independent for their age, but young readers may enjoy the mystery, although they may want more suspense.