Most helpful positive review
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An enthralling children's mystery that grown-ups will love too
on 16 April 2011
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.