The Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence

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The Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Another rip-roaring tale from the Wild West with our favourite young detective, P.K. Pinkerton, full of danger, excitement and fun.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781444010336

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Howdy folks! Welcome to Virginia City, bustling and busy home to prospectors, dancing girls, lawyers, gamblers and newspapermen. It's 1862, and our twelve-year-old pal Pinky is continuing the quest to become a successful detective and eventually join Uncle Allan in the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency in Chicago. But for the moment there's so much crime right here in Nevada, thanks to the untold wealth being found daily in the nearby silver mines, that Pinky and financial partner Ping are soon busy day and night, chasing desperados, solving crimes and righting all manner of wrongs.

Pinky still suffers from the Thorn – an inability to read people's faces and tell what they're thinking – but Poker-Face Jace's training is definitely beginning to help. Did you know you can control your face and hide your emotions, but your feet usually give you away? And then there's The Secret, carefully kept since babyhood, but which is destined to be revealed in the most abrupt and uncomfortable way, leading the young detective to flee friends, home and business. After all, in a world where risk and danger are ever-present, who's going to trust a person who's lied to everybody, friend or foe, never mind employ them?

This book (sad to say, the last in the series) opens with Pinky contemplating imminent death once again, this time at the hands (well, paws) of a couple of grizzly bears. But how did a skilled detective, with all the training and instincts of a half-white, half-Sioux background, end up in such a dreadful fix? Again? Well, it's like this. See, a few days previous, something happened in Virginia City which went beyond Pinky's wildest hopes, even in this colourful little melting pot built on the Comstock Lode which has more than its share of get-rich-quick dreams. Allan Pinkerton's long-lost brother Robert - the man reputed to be Pinky's father - turned up out of the blue and claimed the young detective as his own dear child. What could be more wonderful? Unfortunately, Pinky's happiness is short-lived. Pa's plan to catch the bandits who are robbing the stagecoaches with their shipments of silver goes badly wrong, and he's soon lying in a cave, close to death, with only Pinky nearby to defend him. And then them ol' bears turn up . . .

As is usual in this splendid series, things get worse, then better, then worse again. Readers will share in Pinky's confusion and outrage at the cheating, crooked ways of some adults, and rejoice as old and new friends come together in a dramatic finale that takes the breath away. It's exciting and utterly engrossing - and you can't say better than that, now can you? Excellent series like this deserve to be read from the beginning. You can certainly enjoy this book as a stand-alone because you're given enough information to follow the plot, but Bookbag highly recommends The Case of the Deadly Desperados and The Case of the Good-looking Corpse. Ms Lawrence has also written another entertaining series of mysteries, set in Rome this time. Bookbag particularly liked The Prophet from Ephesus. For more recent historical mysteries, join the crowds of young readers who enthuse about the 1930s adventures of Daisy and Hazel in Murder Most Unladylike (Wells & Wong Mystery 1) by Robin Stevens and the sequel Arsenic for Tea.

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Buy The Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Case of the Bogus Detective by Caroline Lawrence at


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