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Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1) Paperback – 7 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (7 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444001485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444001488
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. At 11, she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm and game reserve, the subject of her acclaimed memoir, and she grew up surrounded by animals, including eight horses, two warthogs and a pet giraffe. After nearly a decade as golf correspondent to The Sunday Times, followed by a sojourn in the US, riding the tour buses of alt. country stars like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, she wrote the bestselling White Giraffe series. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her new mystery series about 11-year-old detective, Laura Marlin, won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards.

Product Description

Review

I strongly believe that this is a book everyone will love. It is full of adventure and mystery. It's one of those books that you really don't want to put down and you really have to force yourself to stop reading (THE GUARDIAN ONLINE)

A charming novel (TEENAGE FICTION FOR ALL AGES)

Book Description

Blue Peter award-winning mystery adventure series from the author of THE WHITE GIRAFFE quartet, about Laura Marlin, an 11-year-old ace detective.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sheila L. Beaumont on 16 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
A truly outstanding, totally enthralling mystery set in Cornwall, this is one of the very best children's mysteries I've ever read. The heroine, 11-year-old orphan Laura Marlin, has been rescued from the children's home by her mysterious uncle, Calvin Redfern. Laura loves books, especially detective stories, and wants to become a detective like her favorite fictional detective, Matt Walker.

After she arrives in St. Ives, where her uncle lives, she finds all sorts of mysteries that call out to her to be solved: What is her uncle's real occupation? Why does he forbid her to go to Dead Man's Cove? Why has the silent boy Tariq, who lives with an Indian couple who run a grocery store, suddenly rejected her friendship? Who has been leaving her messages in a bottle? These are only a few of the puzzles that Laura's curiosity won't let her leave unsolved.

There's plenty of adventure here, plus a twisty plot, quirky, believable characters, and a satisfying, surprising ending. One of my favorite characters is a lovable, brave three-legged Siberian husky who becomes Laura's soul mate. It's a wonderful tale that will appeal not only to kids, but also to grown-ups, even those who don't usually read children's books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fish on 28 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a child who is 8 and I have finished this book. It is very exciting because it contains a ruthless gang, a mysterious uncle and an orphan. I especially liked the thrilling ending. It would be best read to children in year 3 or over. Year 6 and over should understand it and be able to read it by themselves, so get reading!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Lauren St John is the author is a series of books for older children set in Africa. The White Giraffe and its sequels are heartwarming and well-loved, although I admit we've not read any of them (sadly, my daughter is not a fan of what she considers `animal tales'). However her latest book, the first of a new series, sounded attractive: - it features an orphan, Laura Marlin, who goes to live with her uncle in Cornwall and becomes a detective like the hero of her favourite books.

Laura, like Jacqueline Wilson's Tracey Beaker, lives in a children's home. She is delighted to find out she has an uncle who lives in St Ives who wants her to come and live with him - she knows nothing about him at all, but he seems genuinely interested in her and happy to have her there once she's moved. The only problem is that she hardly sees anything of him - his work keeps him very busy and he's often out in the small hours, Laura has no idea what he actually does. She spends more time with Mrs Webb the slightly strange housekeeper who is usually on hand to cook her dinner. However Uncle Calvin does encourage Laura to be independent and to explore St Ives - he just cautions her - don't take the path to Dead Man's Cove.

Laura soon gets to know the town, it's hills and beaches and then one day she finds a message in a bottle on her path to school - `Can I trust you?' it asks. Laura is intrigued and thus a mystery begins to find out who is wrote the message. She makes a friend, Tariq, the `son' of the Mukhtars who run the North Star Grocery. He can't speak English yet and Laura is sure there's a story to him as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liberty Gilmore on 31 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
What's Good About It

It's a charming little detective story, without being cutesy. There's real threat and real danger, and serious issues explored within the narrative. Laura is a great character - very relatable, and admirable. She's independent, intelligent, brave and loyal, but she has her flaws too, making her rounded and believable.

The progression of the mystery - starting with Laura trying to figure out her uncle, escalating to the grand plot behind everything gives the reader a nice sense of immersion into the story. The suspense and fear builds throughout the book slowly, leaving you on tenterhooks as the closing chapters approach.

Of course, we can't ignore the fact that this is a children's book - and with a main character aged 11, it is probably targetting 8-10 year olds as its main audience. One of the best things about Dead Man's Cove is it manages to do everything I've mentioned above, keeping the prose simple enough for an 8 year old, yet without being condescending. I can't say exactly what issues are being dealt with within the book without giving too much of the story away, but they are serious and complicated issues. Dead Man's Cove challenges its audience, confronts them with some of the stark realities of the world, and it's all the better for it.

What's Not So Good

Some of the characters were a bit stereotyped, but they were mostly minor characters, and the main characters were developed and rounded enough for this to be easily forgiven.

Rating: 4.5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CatR on 26 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a really good mystery book and you feel yourself coming up with lots of your own situation in your head. Being a fast reader I was determined to make this book last because I had been told it was really good but it was so good I couldnt put it down and ended up sitting and reading it in a day. laura Marlin is a 11year old orphan who dreams for adventure and gets one when her uncle comes and takes her home to Cornwall. There Laura Marlin meets friends and with her curious nature discovers a mystery in her home town surrounded by her Uncles job. This book is a brillant read. I would recommend it for 9+ but I am 12 and still love them. The other ones in the series are brillant as well.
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