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The Name of this Book is Secret
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Author Pseudonymous Bosch
Illustrator Gilbert Ford
Publication date October 1, 2007
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 978-0316113694
Publication Order
Preceded by
N/A
Followed by
If You're Reading This, It's Too Late

The Name of This Book Is Secret is the first book in the Secret Series. It is based on smell, and the "artifact" in it is the Symphony of Smells.

Plot Edit

When Gloria Fortune, a real estate agent finds a mysterious box in a magician's house, she brings it to Cass's grandfathers. One of the things found in the box was a case containing numerous small vials housing ingredients that have distinct scents. Curious, Cass decides to bring the Symphony of Smells (the name of the case) to school.

At school, Max-Ernest finds himself telling Cass one of his new jokes, as she was one of the students that he hadn't annoyed yet. He and Cass have a debate about the logic behind his joke, and later form a 'partnership' after Max-Ernest offers to help Cass get surgical gloves so they can dig the school field without much difficulty. Cass also tells Max-Ernest about the Symphony of Smells.

When Cass and Max-Ernest explore the magician's house, they find a secret room, but Gloria comes down with newlyweds that are looking for a house. Gloria was furious that the duo were trespassing, but Cass and Max-Ernest escape from her and the strange newlyweds. After putting together the secret to the Symphony of Smells, Benjamin Blake is kidnapped from the school by Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L. Even though Cass always thought Benjamin to be strange, Cass decides it's her job to save him. However, during this time, Cass and Max-Ernest stopped being collaborators because Max-Ernest thinks it's too dangerous. Thus, Cass decides to leave on her own as she simply couldn't leave Benjamin to the mercy of Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L.

After leafing through some Midnight Sun Spa brochures collected by her mother, Cass decides to pose as one of the Skelton Sisters, a teen pop sensation, and calls The Midnight Sun spa to pick her up in a limousine. When it arrives, she meets a very tall woman named Daisy (her driver). She tells Cass that she knows who she is and they begin the long drive to the Midnight Sun Spa. The Midnight Sun spa is said to be a pyramid with a "gleaming orb of light at the summit".

While being guided to her luxurious suite, Cass spots Gloria, looking younger and slimmer, lounging out at the pool. Gloria is unaware of what is actually going on, and is too busy enjoying her stay. Cass then meets Owen, a stammering attendant who sets up her room and tries to cater to her every need. Cass finds Owen the most appealing out of all those at the spa.

Cass tells Owen to perhaps take it easy on the butler service, as she intends to buy herself more time to search for Benjamin. Unfortunately, Ms. Mauvais catches Cass in her office, and reveals that she knew who Cass was all along. But instead of taking Cass captive right away, Ms. Mauvais instead treats Cass to an elaborate dinner, claiming that a friend of Cass' will be present as well. Cass was more than surprised to see Max-Ernest waiting for her in the dining room, but was unable to warn her friend that something was terribly wrong.

After hearing Ms. Mauvais recount Pietro's story differently, Cass begins to doubt herself. Agitated, her hand accidentally slammed the table and sent Ms. Mauvais' drink flying, spilling dark red liquid all over Ms. Mauvais' glove. Incensed, Ms. Mauvais berates Cass' apparent clumsiness and pulls the glove off instinctively. Both Cass and Max-Ernest were shocked to see that Ms. Mauvais' hand was that of an ancient woman's, and then they both knew that Ms. Mauvais was indeed the 'Golden Lady' mentioned in Pietro's journal, somehow still young and beautiful even after all these decades.

Dropping the friendly facade, Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L demand that Cass and Max-Ernest hand over Pietro's journal. Fearful of being killed, Max-Ernest hands over the journal to Ms. Mauvais. After Dr.L reassures Ms. Mauvais that the journal is indeed the one they have been searching for, he tells Cass and Max-Ernest that they are trying to find out what the Secret is. But when Ms. Mauvais discovers that several pages of the notebook had been torn out, she accuses Cass and Max-Ernest of withholding the Secret from them. Cass and Max-Ernest are (understandably) confused about why they were the ones asked about the Secret, since they certainly were not the ones who tore out the pages. Ignoring their claims of innocence, Ms. Mauvais imprisons Cass and Max-Ernest.

After Cass and Max-Ernest reconcile, Dr. L appears and once again tries to force the duo to tell them what they know about the Secret. Dr. L gets visibly agitated when both Cass and Max-Ernest insist that they do not know anything pertaining to the Secret, which made Cass curious about something in particular. After testing her theory, Cass and Max-Ernest finally figured out who Dr. L really is: Luciano Bergamo, Pietro's missing twin brother.

Later that night when all the other members of the Midnight Sun were congregating by the pyramid, Owen offers to watch over the two captives so Daisy can watch the entire procedure. Owen then comes into Cass's room once Daisy was gone, speaking with a unfamiliar accent (surfer) and no stutter, a notable characteristic he had when she last met him. Owen frees Cass and Max-Ernest from the room, and tells them to escape as quickly as they can. Cass insists that they save Benjamin Blake first, though Owen was against the idea. Undeterred, Cass and Max-Ernest then leave in search for their classmate.

Back in Ms. Mauvais' office, Cass and Max-Ernest found the Symphony of Smells hidden behind a panel. Deciding to leave the case there for the moment, the duo then found a door that led to the interior of the pyramid. Through the small spy-hole, the duo watched Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L greet the rest of the Midnight Sun and proclaim that they have found the Secret to everlasting life. Horrified by the implications--Benjamin Blake was going die after the entire procedure--Cass and Max-Ernest hurry back to the office to take the Symphony of Smells.

The duo then climbed to the pyramid's skylight and began to empty vials of scents into the room below, spelling out a code that only Dr. L would recognize. Distressed by the code, Dr. L starts calling out for Pietro in Italian, visibly distracted. Dr. L and Ms Mauvais leave the pyramid to investigate, providing a chance for Cass and Max-Ernest to enter the pyramid to liberate their friend. After freeing a very weak and frightened Benjamin Blake from his restraints, the trio cautiously made their way out of the pyramid, wary of being caught.

Daisy notices the three interlopers, and calls for assistance to have the children captured. Cass and Max-Ernest thought that the Midnight Sun limousine was about to run them over, but the vehicle came to a screeching halt just inches before them. Owen then hurriedly beckons the trio into the limousine, and they make their escape. As they flee, the light from the orb atop the pyramid dims and eventually goes out.

On the way home, they come across a truck parked lengthwise across the road, honking all the while. Worried that it was the Midnight Sun, Owen started backing the limousine up, but then Cass realizes that it was her two grandparents after hearing Sebastian's loud barking. Owen then sets off on his own in the limo while Benjamin, Cass and Max-Ernest drive home with both grandparents. Cass and Max-Ernest become collaborators again shortly before the end.

Just a month after this experience, Max-Ernest and Cass find a hidden message inviting them to become a part of the Terces Society. Cass and Max-Ernest are each given things from P.B, (Pietro Bergamo): a multipurpose backpack with plenty of survivalist gear, and a decoder respectively.