" The master bedroom is filled with piles of crates and boxes , as lord Aschaffenberg attempts to unpack his own wardrobe and effects, and remove the previous master's remaining articles. A giant four poster bed groans under the weight of the boxes piled onto it . A window looks out over the garden below and the forest surrounding the lodge. On the wall to the right of the window is a book cupboard holding all manner of old and new books"
One thing I'm going to try that might work for you, is have the players make a 'first impressions' check at the beginning of every scene. It works something like this:
The player with the highest observation rolls a 1 purple die difficulty check (you could increase this in very complicated situations) when the group enter a room. (Or a clearing in a forest, or a street in a city, etc. - basically, every time the group arrives at a new scene.) Do this before you give them any explanation or text. Use this roll to guide what you then say to the group - how you describe a scene. Of course, you can really give the players any information you want, and hide anything you want, but the idea is to make the players think that they might be getting some hidden information up front, AND it forces them to specifically ask/investigate if they want to find more clues.
e.g. They walk into the master bedroom. Roll the challenge die and get zero successes. You read the following: master bedroom, full of crates and boxes, 4 poster bed groaning under weight, other furniture and clutter: an armchair, a bookshelf, a window, etc."
If however, they roll the challenge die and get 4 successes, you can read the following: "master bedroom, full of crates and boxes, 4 poster bed groaning under weight, looks like the bed hasn't been used in years, an old armchair, a window overlooking the forest surrounding the lodge and a bookshelf full of both old and new books. The bookshelf looks like it has been moved recently, as it is standing some distance away from the wall."
Note that however badly the characters roll, you still describe the scene. If they roll well, you can give them more information. The idea is to stop PCs getting in to a routine of searching every room for secret doors and traps in a boring and unrealistic way. With this roll you can allow them to investigate further if they think they need to. It also means you don't have no rolls for 3 rooms with no clues in, and 1 roll in the room with a clue so that even if they fail the test, they still know there's a clue in the room. And in this example of them getting a good roll and deliberately drawing attention to the bookshelf they are now suspicious and are sure that there is something there… But they still don't know what. They will still have to roleplay and persuade the lord to leave the room long enough to give them time to explore and find out what the clue is.
You could also do the same then when they meet NPCs: roll once to see what their first impressions are of a character., every time they meet a character for the first time. If they roll well, and the NPC is lying, then give them a chance to ask specific questions and try to trick the NPC into revealing what he knows. If they roll badly, then don't let them notice that the NPC is lying: don't let them keep taking it in turns to keep trying to spot if he's lying until they roll well.