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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling children's mystery that grown-ups will love too
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...
Published on 16 April 2011 by Sheila L. Beaumont

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting issues
Dead Man's Cove is deceptively simple. The prose makes this an easy 'read alone' for children of 9 and above, yet it deals with the topical and sensitive issue of people smuggling. However, even children may find the characters one-dimensional, and I can't help comparing this with the superb writing of, for example, Susan Cooper
Published on 6 Sep 2010 by A. Fisher


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling children's mystery that grown-ups will love too, 16 April 2011
By 
Sheila L. Beaumont (South Pasadena, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars This is great book!, 28 July 2012
This review is from: Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1) (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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tracy Beaker meets the Famous Five, 3 Oct 2010
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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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. Then there is Skye, the three-legged Husky dog who needs a new home - needless to say, Laura falls for him and he makes a wonderful animal companion for her on her subsequent adventures.

Although the plot of this mystery is totally up to date and there is real peril for Laura, there's a real charm to this story that reminded me of the spiffing adventures of the Famous Five, Laura being a definite `George' type. The setting in St Ives is spot on - and having been there recently, I could remember the gorgeous Porthmeor beach amongst places mentioned - I don't know if Dead Man's Cove is real or not though. The Cornish history of smugglers, hidden coves and wreckers adds that slight hint of romance and makes it a definite adventure rather than ordeal, until the heroics are needed at the end. Laura is a great character, and her Uncle Calvin is rather exciting being so mysterious.

I know more Laura Marlin mysteries are in the pipeline, and I hope they're as fun as this one was to read. I'd thoroughly recommend it for 9-11 year olds who prefer less gritty reads, and my daughter is interested in this one now I've auditioned it for her!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1) (Paperback)
I go to school in St. Ives and think this book is really good. I have read loads of books and my nickname is bookworm. This is one of my favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books for 8-9 year olds, 3 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1) (Paperback)
My daughter was recommended to read these books by a girl in her class who is an avid reader. I hadn't heard of the author, but on the wishes of my then 7 year old, I bought them. Wow they are great. We have been reading together and she has been reading some on her own - have found myself dashing upstairs when she is at school to catch up with where she is in the book!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 27 Mar 2014
By 
G. Cook (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1) (Paperback)
My 7 year old grandson loved this book and has all in the series. I read it too and enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Mans Cove, 21 Jan 2014
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The story wad mysterious and gripping. I just wanted to keep reading more.
I would well advise you to read this
Katie age 10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laura marlin mystries1:dead man's cove, 19 Dec 2013
So far this has been one of the greatest books I have ever readin year 2013.
Lauren st John is AMZING…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead man`s cove, 30 Nov 2013
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Get this book! It is written brilliantly and is a modern day child's detective story! Great for children aged 8-13, my guess but it could be a wider circle! All I can say is get this book because you will love it!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Man's Cove, 21 Nov 2013
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S. Panesar - See all my reviews
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Amazing!! Great start and makes you want to read on. Well worth the price. This is a must by!!!:) Brilliant book.
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Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1)
Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries 1) by Lauren St John (Paperback - 7 Mar 2011)
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