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The Secret Tunnel (Mitch Mitchell Mystery #2)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  282 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
The Flying Scotsman, one of the world’s legendary train journeys, has many attractions for Edward “Mitch” Mitchell, from the obliging porter to the mean guard to a troop of rough-and-ready soldiers in easily lifted kilts in the third-class carriage. But Mitch may not have time for them all before they arrive in London. When the train gets stuck in a tunnel, a dead body is ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Cleis Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 686)
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Rosa, really
3.5 rounded up to 4!

I have no idea what to say about this book. I’m fascinated. I’m turned on. I’m horrified. I’m turned on. James Lear has created a fantasy/historical world that definitely touches my inner perv. A world where all men are gay and in possession of a “voracious asshole.”

My opinion hasn’t changed much from my review of the first book, The Back Passage. There’s still an impressive lack of lube. (However, there is exactly one mention of Vaseline. Color me relieved.) Mitch still fuc

The best way to explain The Secret Tunnel:

Take a detective novel of Agatha Christie Murder on the Orient Express, replace the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot with the American amateur sleuth Edward Mitchell who lives and works as a medical doctor in Edinburgh, add a lot of SEX SCENES, make ALL men who perform here gay or at least bisexual (those are in the minority), season everything generously with fun and delicious dialogues and you have it.

Or just imagine a literature professor devoting hi
LD  Durham
Jun 01, 2009 LD Durham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-fiction
Another winner from James Lear. I enjoyed this book immensely. It's been a while since I read the first book, The Back Passage, but from what I recall, this one had tons more sex. And it wasn't the boring kind either! Mitch and his cohorts get up to it all over a train, shoot a blue movie, and investigate an orgy in London.

I enjoyed the fact that Mitch was irritated with himself as he was, again and again, distracted from his sleuthing by the wiles of his libido. I've always liked Mitch's abili
Recommended for anyone who fancies a comically gay porn story inspired by Murder On The Orient Express. The Secret Tunnel is another pervy fun whodunit with amateur sleuth Edward “Mitch” Mitchell. This one has a bit more plot and a bit less porn than the last installment, but still quite good. While you cannot take these books very seriously, I can’t help but notice that the book acknowledges that homosexual activities were not just frowned upon, but illegal, in the 1920s historical setting. Thi ...more
Sep 30, 2014 Chilli rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m
Not quite as outrageous as first book but still a fun read. 3.5 stars.
Josephine Myles
Jun 07, 2010 Josephine Myles rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-fiction, erotica
Amateur sleuth Mitch returns for more erotic adventures as he attempts to solve a murder mystery on the Flying Scotsman. It's impossible to review this novel without comparing it to The Back Passage, as it is a direct sequel, and shares many of the great qualities of it's predecessor. Mitch is an endearing narrator, and the cast of characters are suitably entertaining - and of course, nearly all gay. I have read some reviewers who criticise this as being unrealistic. To them I would say: it's a ...more
Jean Roberta
Jan 08, 2010 Jean Roberta rated it really liked it
In this hilarious erotic murder mystery set in the 1920s, Edward "Mitch" Mitchell, medical doctor and amateur sleuth, rides a fast train from Edinburgh to London to visit an old "friend" (ahem). Despite the highly illegal status of homosexuality at the time, Mitch finds plenty of willing men on the train. He rescues Bertrand, a Belgian youth in distress who has a charming accent and no ticket. After Bertrand has gratefully offered his favors to Mitch, both men meet Sir Francis, who prefers to be ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historic, m-m, humor
Eyebrow raising, somewhat shocking, always funny and very, very dirty. Imagine Hercule Poirot meets slightly clever, completely incorrigible porn star, meets puppy. That is Mitch. This series is not profound, but boy is it memorable and what a palate cleanser. You'll never remember another book you ever read when you are in the midst of his sleuthing. Honestly, like all the other characters in the stories, I like Edward Mitchell. He is unabashedly himself and the world loves him for it. I apprec ...more
May 27, 2015 Karmen rated it really liked it
Found the character hilarious in his efforts to be a detective while trying to keep his pants up.
Oct 08, 2014 Dan rated it it was amazing
I learned Morse code in Boy Scouts but I think James Lear's way would have been much more fun.
Superb who done it on the rails. Loved it!
Sep 10, 2011 Joanna rated it really liked it
This is actually really good. Not life changing, but surprisingly incredibly good. Like a tightly written and entertaining movie that is somehow much better than it has any right to be, like how they made them in the 80s, like Elvira: Mistress of the Dark or Back to School. Like, "Okay makers, make this thing, it doesn't have to be good or anything, crank it out, it'll make enough money" but they didn't listen and made something decent and it's shocking. But I don't really know what else I can s ...more
Apr 02, 2016 Maulik rated it really liked it
Reading this lovely piece required more than your usual dose of suspending disbelief, which was a lust-filled joy on more than one occasion. The fear of having the slight gasps and moans being heard while travelling on public transport (including a variety of trains) was more than a little difficult, rendered as such by Lear's lyrical prose that never misses a beat, unravelling a carefully crafted tale that sings of desires long-thought caged up in the bedrooms of adolescents with raging hormone ...more
Tamara Witika
Jan 11, 2013 Tamara Witika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Trains, sex, murder mystery, hot men every page and it's 1927. What's not to love about this second installment of the Mitch Mitchell series? Best quip would have to be regarding a famous actress' dire need of a drink: 'I need a goddamn cocktail. Sniff me out something gin- based, there's a dear.' (Pg 233)
Mitch and co, you're grouse!
Jun 03, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: give-a-way-win
If Mrs Marple was a man, and gay, and really horny... A funny read with lots of quips. A fun mystery with some gay erotica thrown in. Totally a guilty pleasure read.
Don Bradshaw
Jul 10, 2010 Don Bradshaw rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-sleuth
Very close to a gay,power fucking Murder on the Orient Express as Mitch opens another case along with his pants.
Deanna Against Censorship
I understand why "Little Nick" was so in to this story. Not having a comperable part of my anatomy, I was a little more detached. It was a fun read, a fantasy. I have read the first book in series so that could have detracted from my love of Mitch.

I had problems with the massive amout of cheating by many characters. I understand that the era was not sympathetic to MM love causing many men to feel forced to marry as a protection. But even the men were not true to each other. Mitch gave no though
Jul 31, 2012 Mitch rated it liked it
This was the next entry in my gay book club, after reading "The Back Passage" by James Lear last month. "The Secret Tunnel" is the second book in the Mitch Mitchell mystery series. The first book was a nice mix of steamy sex scenes and interesting mystery plots. The 2nd book is nothing but steamy sex and a not-so-interesting plot.

The following may or may not contain spoilers.

Back in the 1920's in England, Mitch Mitchell is on a train to visit his best friend/occasional lover, the married Boy Mor
Jan 07, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia - Lady with Books
Apr 10, 2013 Patricia - Lady with Books rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
I didn’t like The Secret Tunnel as much as I liked its predecessor, The Back Passage. It was slower to start and we’re only teased with a bit of oral sex for pretty much the first half of the book. As usual, there are a lot of characters and it’s very confusing remembering who is who and what part they have in the story. People have a habit of popping in and out of the book at odd times. The mystery is messy and convoluted. But I don’t read gay erotica for the excellent plot. The sex is hot and ...more
Oct 30, 2012 Charly rated it really liked it
Less realistic and more obviously tongue-in-cheek than The Back Passage

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 7/10

- As twisty-turny a plot as its predecessor. Seriously--Lear is closer to being a contemporary Agatha Christie (with a few alterations here and there, granted) than any other author I’ve encountered. The plot points pile one on top of another on top of another (ad nauseum, it seems on occasion), and there are so many characters as to make
A.B. Gayle
Jul 20, 2011 A.B. Gayle rated it really liked it
The Secret Tunnel transports us into the world of trains, theatre, gay royalty and fascists. It also has to have one of the few instances of the anal sphincter being used to transmit morse code. In this case, S.O.S, but the possibilities are endless as a means to transmit information without detection.

The gay amateur detective, Edward “Mitch” Mitchell, has his mind constantly in the gutter, thinking, dreaming and sometimes even starting to have sex with just about everybody he comes across, frie
Jul 02, 2014 Florebunda rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, medic
Sequel to The Back Passage but I didn't find this one as erotic or engaging plot wise. And I would have liked to see more of Mitch the doctor - certainly lots of people needed medical attention. It did prompt me to Google Tallulah Bankhead, however, and that was interesting reading.
Ohhh Mitch Mitchell books, how I love you. Half erotica, half mystery, all so fun and silly! Mitch seems more self aware in this one than the first book, and several times comments that his obsession with sex is really getting in the way of the mystery-solving.

The main appeal of these books is the freshness and originality of the erotica, no cliches here. My favorite Learism from this book would have to be (view spoiler)
Jan 15, 2016 Kristina rated it liked it
Shelves: yaoi
As expected this has a similar theme to the first Mitch Mitchell story but where 'The Back Passage' was an intimate country affair, this is much more cosmopolitan.
Lee Rey
Sep 01, 2015 Lee Rey rated it really liked it
Hot and addictive.

(view spoiler)
Brian Williams
Apr 19, 2013 Brian Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mitch's trip on the Royal Scotsman train is interrupted by the discovery of a body on the train. This sets in motion one of Mitch's unique "investigations" which brings him in contact with several opportunities for man on man sex - which tend to distract him from the hunt for the killer. It's a fun story, obviously tongue in cheek, meant for pure entertainment reading. A great read!

Jan 12, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Kind of odd to give a book four stars that I wouldn't recommend to everyone I knew, but The Secret Tunnel is intensely niche in its market, and knows that market well. And it definitely did its job admirably. Fantastical in how every man is gay and willing (if only life were that way and I had video cameras set up everywhere). Mitch is horny and amusing, and I was very glad that women don't get visible erections, because I found myself wanting to keep delving into the book, so I'd read it at sch ...more
Shelby P
This book wasn't as good as the first one. The sex wasn't as raunchy as the first either. Come to think of it, the mystery wasn't as good either. There was too much bait and switch with the sexual encounters in the beginning. I wanted Mitch to be the Lothario and not all these other characters. Plus given the time period of the story all these guys being into guys just doesn't ring true.

At least I can say that I read this book in Dubai, U.A.E. Maybe that's why it wasn't grabbing my attention? I
May 26, 2013 WickedVerbatim rated it really liked it
Shelves: men-s-men, mystery
Great campy fun with just enough pathos(he is in love with his very-married best friend) mixed with the silliness(Dr. Mitch films an impromtu porno!) to keep it genuine. Our protagonist Mitch truly cherishes men. He is easily distracted, burdened by excellent gay-dar. The mystery here is complex and complicated with many characters, but has a, er..., satisfying conclusion. Mitch has a committed partner now and heart-warming friendships-with-benefits.
Feb 17, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this the second in the Mitch Mitchell gay detective series. Once again, this amateur detective finds clues and gathers information by having sex with all the suspects, informants and police officers. There are quite a few characters and I had a hard time keeping track of who was who, but that isn't the point of the book. This is a funny, sexy, tongue in cheek romp and I'll be happy to read the next in the series.
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James Lear is the nom de plume of prolific and acclaimed novelist, Rupert Smith. He lives in London and is the 2008 Winner of Erotic Awards "Best Writer".

More about James Lear...

Other Books in the Series

Mitch Mitchell Mystery (4 books)
  • The Back Passage (Mitch Mitchell Mystery, #1)
  • A Sticky End  (Mitch Mitchell Mystery, #3)
  • The Sun Goes Down

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“Tell me, Mitch," said Bertrand, reading my thoughts, "is there anyone on this train that you do not want to fuck?"

"I'm not crazy about the dowager.”
“At first I couldn't believe it. I waited, not moving my cock, which was rock hard thanks to this pulsing grip.
But yes, here it was again. The same pattern, the same rhythm.
I was being signaled by an asshole in Morse code. And it was signaling SOS.”
More quotes…