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02 The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse (The P. K. Pinkerton Mysteries) Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Children's Books (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444001701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444001709
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Million-selling author Caroline Lawrence writes detective stories with the double aim of entertaining children and teaching them. Combining fast-moving plots with historical accuracy means her history mystery stories are beloved of children, parents and teachers.

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 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. P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified man was shortlisted for an Edgar Award in 2014. The UK title of the same book is The Case of the Good Looking Corpse. P.K.'s third mystery was The Case of the Pistol-packing Widows. The final and fourth book in the series is The Case of the Bogus Detective.

Caroline has also written a book for Barrington Stoke, who specialise in books for dyslexic and reluctant readers. The Night Raid is a re-telling of the story of Nisus and Euryalus from Virgil's Aeneid.

Caroline says: "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


Product Description

Review

I reckon Caroline Lawrence's second Western Mystery may well be better even than her first P K Pinkerton case. I enjoyed myself tremendously from the start. (BOOKWITCH)

...such a pleasure to read in so many ways. (FOR WINTER NIGHTS)

You must read this book, if only to find out how a spittoon can save your life! It is thrilling, well-written and utterly engrossing, and it cannot be recommended highly enough...superbly good...you will not want to put it down until the final shot has rung out and the murderer is revealed. (THE BOOKBAG)

...there is much to commend in this book that makes it worthwhile for child readers. But they will want to read it - and should read it - because it truly is a cracking read that they can happily get lost in. (THOUGHTS FROM THE HEARTHFIRE)

the plot is a high-octane, roistering, cliffhanger-filled ride through the Wild West and P.K. the most interesting and unusual protagonist in Junior fiction. (BOOK MAVEN MARY)

It's a terrific story, very pacey, full of danger and cliff-hangers, with an intricate plot and masses of atmosphere. But for me the best thing is the characters...The P.K. Pinkerton Mysteries are original, they're page turners - and they're very funny. I'd recommend them very, very strongly for readers of eight and up. Fun to read aloud, too, with each chapter the perfect length to read at a sitting. (Sue Purkiss AN AWFULLY BIG BLOG ADVENTURE)

pacy and full of period detail. (Nicolette Jones SUNDAY TIMES)

...there is something precious about this book...The story is a gem. Not that you would expect less from Caroline Lawrence...A wonderful story with a wonderful character by a wonderful author. (JE TOWEY)

A fun-totting, rip-roaring tale (DAILY RECORD)

I've learned so much about American history from reading these books, and in a thoroughly enjoyable way. This second volume is exciting, entertaining and intruiging ... highly recommended. (FANTASTIC READS)

With plenty of Wild West slang and an engaging cast of colourful gunslingers, gamblers and cowboys, Caroline Lawrence brings a mid-19th century frontier town vividly to life in this intricately-plotted and very funny page-turner. P.K. makes a compelling and unique hero and readers will delight in following all the entertaining twists and turns of this great fun adventure. (BOOKTRUST)

With plenty of Wild West slang and an engaging cast of colourful gunslingers, gamblers and cowboys, Caroline Lawrence brings a mid-19th century frontier town vividly to life in this very funny page-turner. P.K. makes a compelling and unique hero and readers will delight in following all the entertaining twists and turns of this fun adventure. (BEST BOOK GUIDE)

Book Description

In the second in this adventure series, Virginia City's newest detective, P.K. Pinkerton, takes on his first case - finding the killer of a murdered girl before he strikes again!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ML Jensen on 9 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
PK Pinkerton is back with a new mystery to solve. Someone has brutally murdered Short Sally. Her slave girl, Martha, the only witness and on the run, begs PK to find the killer. But there are all too many suspects and it isn't just Martha the killer wants out of the way. Life quickly gets dangerous for PK too. He (or she?) is swung at, shot at, nearly kissed, nearly burned alive and he is imprisoned. He climbs over rooftops, disguises himself and interviews all manner of people in order to find Sally's killer.
It was hard to imagine that the Case of the Good-Looking Corpse could be as good as The Deadly Desperados, but it really is. It has the same brilliantly recreated world, the same skilled narration and flawless voice. As well as this, it's a thrilling mystery that keeps you guessing almost until the end. Really, really impressive writing. I highly recommend this to readers young and old. You won't be able to put it down once you've started.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's been my pleasure this weekend to become reacquainted with P.K. Pinkerton, a 12-year old detective in 1860s' Virginia City, a Wild West town where `folk either want to kill you or kiss you' and a nom de plume isn't just something you wear in your hat. There's barely a nation in the world or a colour of skin that doesn't have a representative in this town of poker, Soiled Doves, saloons, spitoons, fast-drawn guns and billy-goat beards. Life is short and if the wagons from the local quartz mine don't cut you in two then its just as likely that the opium pipe or a bullet fired in hasty anger will get you. And when they do, the local paper will cover it (the Enterprise) and P.K. Pinkerton will make it his business to discover The Truth.

Caroline Lawrence has a gift. Actually she has (at least) two. She is not only hugely knowledgeable about daily life in the past, whether it be in the Wild West for the P.K. Pinkerton Mysteries or in 1st century AD Rome for the superb Roman Mysteries, she is also able to impart that knowledge in the most accessible, informative and fun way. Both sets of mysteries may be aimed at kids (teens and a little younger) but, if age sets no barriers in your reading, as it doesn't in mine, then you will soak up these worlds and you will learn stuff. Some years ago, I travelled around some original old ghost towns in the hills of California and when I read the P.K. Pinkerton Mysteries, I can hear the creak of the saloon swingdoors and I can feel the menace in the glare of the stranger from out of town.

In this second mystery for P.K. (Pinky) Pinkerton, and I will hazard a wager that it's even better than
...Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. B. S. Kemp on 19 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book does a fabulous job of bringing the Wild West to modern kids without shying away from unpleasant details, at the same time not overloading them. Having P. K. narrate means that we get a child's eye view which is at once naive and realistic. There are shootings, men of extremely dubious morals and prostitutes in this story, set against a background of Civil War, slavery and crime. And yet, this is a children's book which I would happily read to/with my 8 yr old in a year or so. There is nothing grisly or gratuitious, P. K.'s matter-of-fact narration avoids any glorification or romanticisation of the less savoury aspects, and it's all done subtly enough for the younger readers to remain blissfully unaware of some of the detail.

P.K.'s voice is so compelling. I really haven't read another book like it. It's been compared to Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" because both narrators seem to be on the autism spectrum (P.K. refers to having a "thorn" which makes interpreting non-verbal cues difficult, and also means being touched is unwelcome), but there are key differences. I would say that Haddon's book is more 'about' Christopher being autistic, whereas here it is just one aspect of P. K.'s character. Caroline Lawrence also uses P. K.'s naivety as a narrator to more humorous effect - this naivety coming as much from age as it does from the 'thorn'.

The plot works well as a mystery, with a satisfying conclusion which is set up effectively through the story. As with all good mysteries, there are subplots and side tracks to confound the reader as well as the detective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Heppel on 20 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Barely has PK Pinkerton surfaced from extreme danger in The Case of the Deadly Desperados than he's back in it, thanks to a plea for help from a terrified servant girl, Martha, to find whoever murdered her mistress, Sally Sampson. PK makes a hilariously unlikely detective, by character unable to conceal his thoughts he questions people openly, shares his list of suspects with anyone who asks and is easily duped by people `pranking' him. In no time at all he has a dozen enemies on his trail....

This is a cracking good story that gallops away so fast it gives the sensation of being caught up in the Virginia City `Zephyr' (aka hurricane) until one emerges at the end, breathless and blinking the desert dust away. Caroline Lawrence brilliantly stands our preconceptions of mystery-solving on their head: it is PK's dogged persistence, honesty, courage and attention to details other people don't bother with that count in the end. And I loved the key role played by Sam Clemens (Mark Twain), whose wildly inaccurate news reporting causes PK so much irritation.
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