Simon, Jane & Barney are off on their summer holidays with their mum & dad, to a holiday house in the village of "Trewissick" on the Cornish Coast, where they will all stay with Great-Uncle-Merry in a rambling old house overlooking the sea. They are all thrilled to be going to Cornwall, but none more so than Barney, the youngest, who loves the stories of Arthurian Legend and dreams of stories of King Arthur and his Knights. He can't wait to see Cornwall, the land of the Pendragon, the centre of Arthurian myth.
On a miserable rainy day at the beginning of their holiday, the children decide to make an adventure of exploring the house where they are staying. Locked cabinets, chests and personal papers are out of bounds but they are free to explore the rest of the house as they like. In real Enid Blyton style they soon discover a secret stairway hidden behind a large heavy wardrobe in the boys' bedroom... and off they go to explore.... An ancient treasure map soon emerges & the children have found an adventure for their holiday... secrets to discover.
But are they out of their depth? They don't seem to be the only people chasing after hidden treasure. Soon, they find an ally in Great-Uncle-Merry & Rufus, the dog... but can they reach the treasure before the sour Mr & Miss Withers, the rude ruddy-faced boy, Billy and the man they think is the vicar?!!
A good, innocent, Famous-Five-style adventure story (first published In 1965), with just a hint of Arthurian legend & magic thrown in. From reading other reviews, it sounds as though the magic & legend are developed in the rest of the series, so here I guess just the foundations are laid. The children are all very cheery, optimistic, happy-go-lucky, although individual characters aren't developed at all in the story. Well-written, with more depth than an Enid Blyton story, lacks pace in a few places but overall recommended.