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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One (P.K. Pinkerton) Hardcover – February 16, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 ". . . it's clear P.K. has what today we would call Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism. Brilliant, touch-averse and reclusive, he 'cannot express emotions easily. Nor read them neither.' But he is endowed with 'keen observation skills' and an excellent memory. The autism conceit also reveals Lawrence's influences, most notably, Mark Haddon's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . . . 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." — The New York Times Book Review

 “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.”
 
 
FROM VOYA:
“[Q]uick paced and engaging, moving from one escapade to the next without ever slowing down.”

Book Description

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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: P.K. Pinkerton (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (February 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780399256332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256332
  • ASIN: 0399256334
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book with a group of 12 year old boys as part of guided reading time. I strongly recommend that this book is only given to much older students. One of the main characters is a prostitute, and there are frank discussions about what she does for a living. There is a scene where P.K. Runs through a hotel room where a man and woman are "bouncing up and down on the bed". The "soiled dove" (prostitute) is called a "filthy whore" by another character. Also many uses of mild swear words but still too much for age 10 as the book recommends.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
It's September, 1862. Why does Whittlin Walt want to kill a twelve-year-old, twice orphaned kid in Virginia City, Nevada? That's the first mystery in the new Western Mysteries children's series by Caroline Lawrence. Her previous Roman Mysteries series took place in the ancient world, but they didn't have guns back then and P.K. Pinkerton is staring down the four-inch barrel of a Smith and Wesson number 1 seven-shooter.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
If you'd be interested in knowing how Virginia City sounded, smelled, and looked when Mark Twain was there in the 1860s, read Caroline Lawrence's new book, _The Case of the Deadly Desperados_. She has a talent for bringing vividly to life the place (above AND below ground) and the odd assortment of people in 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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 autistic...) My fourth-grader loved this Wild West adventure!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed greatly Caroline Lawrence's earlier series, The Roman Mysteries, and just finished this first volume in her Western Mysteries. I was equally impressed here with her excellent writing, meticulous attention to historical detail, fast-moving action and good character portrayal. Given the 12-year-old series hero, that seems the likely mid-point age of its main readership, but adults who like a good story should read the series also. I'm looking forward to reading more about P.K.
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