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The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One (P.K. Pinkerton) Hardcover – February 16, 2012
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“This fast-paced and deadpan-funny Wild West adventure is Pinky’s first-person account, scrawled out as “last words” on ledger sheets in a mine shaft while three desperados hunt him down …Wonderfully dry humor, vivid sensory descriptions of the mountain town and a genuinely appealing protagonist make this a stand-out. A rich vein of wisdom runs through this highly entertaining, swashbuckling series debut.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A winning blend of Wild West and classic detective lore, this first book in the Western Mysteries series is a fast-paced, engrossing read, from beginning to end. P. K. is a wonderfully drawn, engaging protagonist—half Sioux, half white, and a self-proclaimed “misfit”—who has difficulty reading others and expressing emotion. But he also has gifts, like exceptional memory, keen observational powers, and resourcefulness. His vernacular, colloquial first-person account vividly brings characters to life …Both settings and events—including exciting, occasionally gory, confrontations—are filled with droll touches and period details, and there’s the occasional poignant moment.”—Booklist, starred review
Praise for PK PINKERTON AND THE DEADLY DESPERADOS:
Amazon Best Book 2012
Kirkus Best Book 2012
Indie Next Pick
Booklist Top 10 Youth Crime Fiction
Booklist Top 10 Youth Western
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
“Curious, clever, and very funny…P.K.'s journey is very much a metaphor for an autistic experience. Lawrence powerfully conveys both the difficulties of living with autism and the autistic mind's distinctive strengths. Any child who's felt like a ''Misfit'' or ''Freak of Nature'' as P.K. does will identify with his despair and cheer him.”
STARRED REVIEW FROM BOOKLIST:
“A winning blend of Wild West and classic detective lore, this first book in the Western Mysteries series is a fast-paced, engrossing read, from beginning to end.”
STARRED REVIEW FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS:
“[F]ast-paced and deadpan-funny Wild West adventure … A rich vein of wisdom runs through this highly entertaining, swashbuckling series debut.”
FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
“[E]nergetic, vividly written series opener… this agile story should keep readers’ attention from first page to last.”
FROM THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS:
“Wild chases, wilder disguises, goofy humor, wordplay, a delightfully gruesome end for Whittlin’ Walt, and a strong hint of episodes to come all provide a passel of good readin’.”
FROM HORN BOOK:
“[A] bang-up series starter, …[this] strongly voiced account succeeds as a rousing adventure that promises more action in another installment just around the corner.”
“[Q]uick paced and engaging, moving from one escapade to the next without ever slowing down.”
Introducing P.K. Pinkerton, Master of Disguise
When twelve-year-old P.K. (Pinky) Pinkerton's foster parents are murdered by Whittlin' Walt and his gang of ruthless desperados, Pinky goes on the run. He's forced into hiding with Ma's priceless last possession: the deed to a large amount of land and silver mines in the Nevada Mountains. But relying on disguises will only keep Pinky hidden for so long, and the desperados are quickly closing in . . .
Narrated by the incredibly lively Pinky, this thrilling high-speed chase through the Wild West will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.
More About the Author
In 2009, Caroline won the Classical Association Prize for her Roman Mysteries series, which comprises over 20 books and inspired a glossy BBC TV series in the UK.
In 2011 Caroline launched a second historical detective series, the Western Mysteries, staring P.K. Pinkerton: a 12-year-old doubly orphaned detective who has trouble "reading people". The Case of the Deadly Desperados was the Sunday New York Times Editors' Choice in February 2012.
"I want to know everything about the past, especially the exciting things. Also the sounds, smells, sights and tastes. I write historical novels because nobody has invented a Time Machine. And I write for kids because 11 is my inner age."
Caroline is also writing a spin-off series of Roman books for readers aged 7+, starting with
The Sewer Demon
Here are the Roman Mystery novels in series order:
The Thieves Of Ostia: The Roman Mysteries 1
The Secrets Of Vesuvius: The Roman Mysteries 2
The Pirates Of Pompeii: The Roman Mysteries 3
The Assassins Of Rome: The Roman Mysteries 4
The Dolphins Of Laurentum: The Roman Mysteries 5
The Twelve Tasks Of Flavia Gemina:The Roman Mysteries 6
The Enemies Of Jupiter: The Roman Mysteries 7
The Gladiators From Capua: The Roman Mysteries 8
The Colossus Of Rhodes: The Roman Mysteries 9
The Fugitive From Corinth: The Roman Mysteries 10
The Sirens Of Surrentum: The Roman Mysteries 11
The Charioteer Of Delphi: The Roman Mysteries 12
The Slave-Girl From Jerusalem: The Roman Mysteries 13
The Beggar Of Volubilis: The Roman Mysteries 14
The Scribes From Alexandria: The Roman Mysteries 15
The Prophet From Ephesus: The Roman Mysteries 16
The Man From Pomegranate Street: The Roman Mysteries 17
Here are the mini-mysteries:
The Legionary From Londinium And Other Mini-Mysteries
Trimalchio's Feast And Other Mini-Mysteries
Plus quiz books, omnibus editions, a travel book and a treasury:
The First Roman Mysteries Quiz Book
The Second Roman Mysteries Quiz Book
The Roman Mysteries Omnibus (Books 1-3) (B) (Feb)
The Roman Mysteries Omnibus (Books 4-6) (B)
From Ostia To Alexandria With Flavia Gemina
The Roman Mysteries Treasury
Top Customer Reviews
So if you want to know why P.K. Pinkerton is going to be killed on September 28, 1862, you need to read The Case of the Deadly Desperadoes. Along the way, you are going to be treated to some things author and historian Caroline Lawrence describes so well. You'll find out what it is like to ride on slippery top of a stage coach, gamble with professionals in a saloon, go inside a Chinese laundry, prowl the streets and back alleys of a lawless town, and meet people who are just as desperate and deadly as the desperadoes out to kill P.K. Caroline writes so you feel you are there...without gore, but without a lot of sugar coating either.
In P.K. Pinkerton, you find a likable kid. He can read, write, and do sums. He can ride a horse with or without a saddle, shoot a gun, skin game, spark a fire, and tell what a horse has eaten by the smell of the manure. P.K. has all the important skills a civilized kid in the 1860's should have. He's honest and principled.
But P.K. also has a major flaw, or as he calls it, 'his Thorn'. He has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition that makes it difficult for people in social situations. For P.K., it means he can't read people's true intentions. He doesn't understand what might be behind a person's smile and so he has trust issues and confidence issues.Read more ›
My biggest complaint with the book however, is the boring and repetitive plot that is filled with far too much description of the town and not nearly enough information about the characters. About one third of the chapters did nothing to move the story forward. I stopped reading the book with the students and finished it myself to tell them what happened. They were relieved to be done with it.
Sam Clemens turns up on his first day at the Territorial Enterprise. Some of his lines are familiar and he fits right into the story line, including one scene where he manages to disappear when a fight starts in a saloon.
Joe Goodman and Dan DeQuille also have
guest appearances, all neatly woven into a fast paced adventure about an unusual but resourceful youngster being pursued by truly menacing outlaws .
There are some surprising insights about poker games, opium dens and body language which are only part of the useful information included in this tale. Sometimes scary, It's still a romp.
My local library already owns the English publication of the work, along with all of her earlier 17 volume series. _The Roman Mysteries_. The US version of her new venture into our West has already been given a positive reception by Booklist. Kirkus and Amazon (where it is a book of the month!) It was warmly reviewed in the New York Times Feb 12.
Written for the juvenile market, it was completely delightful for this adult. I recommend buying it for some young person in your life, but reading it before you hand it over. This is the first of a new series. Her first, Roman Mysteries, taking place in ancient Rome, ended up as a TV series in England. The story line in this one could make a movie!
This all happened in 1862, so it's about 150 years ago. It was mostly in Virginia City. This boy called P.K. Pinkerton (the main character) is getting chased by three desperadoes and they're deadly. They're the most feared desperadoes in Virginia.
It all started in Temperance. It was P.K.'s twelfth birthday, and two important people to him died that day, and he almost died two days later as well!
This is an amazing book with all the action, excitement, shooting, and the killing. This book will shoot you away
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was our first foray into westerns or adventure stories (my daughter is 7, but an advanced reader), coming as recommended reading from our homeschool curriculum provider... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Desert Mom
So many twists and turns! Entertaining enough for a child to share with their favorite adult. (Explores the learning of social cues in a child who has difficulty and could be... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tristan's mom
We own the Virginia City Inn in Virginia City Nevada where the book takes place. A 10 year old guest, with eyes wide opened with excitement, introduced me to the first book when... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Linda Lindsey
My daughter introduced me to the Roman Mysteries of Caroline Lawrence, which our entire family read and loved. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Hearth's Fyre
A fun and intelligent story, this book is an interesting approach to young adult fiction. Although it will be hard to find a kid for this book. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Habs
My 11 year old son loved this book! He can't wait for the next one in the series. Is it a series?Published on January 10, 2013 by Johanna Hibbard
Based on the reviews of this book, we allowed our 9-year-old son to select Deadly Desperados for a school project. Read morePublished on January 7, 2013 by David
I enjoyed greatly Caroline Lawrence's earlier series, The Roman Mysteries, and just finished this first volume in her Western Mysteries. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Fred Mench
Here's my thoughts on Caroline Lawrence's The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One. Read morePublished on August 24, 2012 by Debbie Reese