The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence

The Case of the Deadly Desperados

Written by Caroline Lawrence
Part of the The P. K. Pinkerton Mysteries Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

July 2012 Book of the Month. Fast, furious and funny, meet 12 year old P K Pinkerton who believes he can be a Wild West Private Eye and a good one too. With the help of his newly found friends in Virginia City he takes on the gunmen of the city to prove that he can become a detective. Caroline Lawrence, author of the hugely successful Roman Mysteries series knows exactly how to create an utterly entertaining mystery adventure in order to grip and thrill her readers.


The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence

Virginia City in 1862 is a mining camp sitting above a rich vein of silver in America's Wild West. It's a dangerous place, full of gamblers, cowboys, hurdy girls and gunmen - all of them on the make! When twelve year-old P.K. Pinkerton arrives there, homeless, penniless and hunted, things don't look good. But P.K. soon finds allies in Sam Clemens, a newspaper reporter, Poker Face Jace, a gambler who can tell when someone is bluffing, and Ping, a Chinese photographer's apprentice. With the help of these friends - and armed with a Smith & Wesson seven-shooter and a knack for disguises - P.K. takes on the tricksters and desperados and tries to become a detective.


I Love, Love, LOVE it!!!! Pinky is a wonderful creation - authentic and lovable. It's exciting (I love all the cliffhangers) and funny and sometimes truly moving. Sophie McKenzie, author of Girl, Missing

Scalpings, six shooters, saloons and stage coaches. Clear your calendar because you'll want to read this in a single sitting! Robert Muchamore, author of the Cherub series

What we have here is a rip-roaring tale of the Wild West, with tons of credible local colour, a bunch of villains every bit as wicked as those to be found in Ancient Rome, and a likeable lead character... Original, intriguing, and a lot of fun, this book is well worth reading. THE BOOKBAG

Lawrence swaps Ancient Rome for the whip-cracking Wild West in a new historical series. The Western Mysteries is set in an 1860s mining camp, which sees 12-year-old P K Pinkerton determined to outwit the outlaws and become a detective. The Roman Mysteries have an outstanding track record. THE BOOKSELLER

We were only saying the other day that it is about time the Wild West came back into literary fashion, and blow me, ace historian and writer, Lawrence, inspired by the brilliant grown-up telly series Deadwood fires off the first of the PK Pinkerton mysteries, featuring a short gunslinger with a long list of disguises. -- Bookseller Crow FAMILIES SOUTH EAST

I enjoyed this rip-roaring, yee-hah adventure and I particularly liked the characters... I really liked this book! -- Delilah Ferry-Swainson, age 11 FIRST NEWS

I felt like I had stepped instantly back into Virginia City, right into the middle of a gun fight. I could almost hear the gun shots... this book is extremely detailed and keeps you on your toes the whole way through. The chapters are short, sharp and each one is finished off with an excellent cliff-hanger. All the characters come alive... SERENDIPITY BLOG

A gripping yarn, ideally suited for boys or girls aged 9+ WE LOVE THIS BOOK

Pinky is one of the most engaging heroes I have come across. TELEGRAPH

... a fast, funny adventure that cracks along as smartly as a cowboy's whip -- Amanda Craig THE TIMES

...vivid, alive and detailed... the book is full of humour... This book is quirkily different, fast-paced and great fun and I recommend it. THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

The story moves along at a pace, is very exciting and is full of twists and turns BOOKS FOR KEEPS

the action hurtles along at break-neck speed... It's fast, action-packed NATE CLASSROOM

Recreating life in the 'Wild West during the time of the American Civil War, this series is all set to be another triumph! GOOD BOOK GUIDE

Featuring real historical characters, as well as convincingly portrayed fictional ones, you get the feeling that Lawrence had a whale of a time immersing herself in the lore and ephemera of the era. Her enjoyment leaves you exilherated and throroughly entertained. CAROUSEL

I really enjoyed this rip-roaring, yee-hah adventure. I really liked this book! -- Delilah Ferry-Swainston FIRST NEWS

I have a great fondness for first person narrative and for books with a really clear and unusual voice, so I was hooked o this story from the first page! ... I can't wait to see what PK does next. FANTASTIC READS

About the Author

Caroline Lawrence

Caroline Lawrence was our Guest Editor in September 2102 - Click here to see her selections.

Caroline Lawrence was born in London. Her American parents returned to the United States shortly afterwards and she grew up in Bakersfield, California with her younger brother and sister. Her father taught English and drama in a local high school and her mother was an artist.

When she was twelve, Caroline's family moved to Stanford University in northern California so that her father could study Linguistics. Caroline inherited her father's love of words and her mother's love of art. She subsequently studied Classics at Berkeley, where she won a Marshall Scholarship to Cambridge. There, at Newnham College, she studied Classical Art and Archaeology.

The books in the series are:
The Thieves of Ostia
The Secrets of Vesuvius
The Pirates of Pompeii
The Assassins of Rome
The Dolphins of Laurentum
The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina
The Enemies of Jupiter
The Gladiators from Capua
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Fugitive from Corinth
The Sirens of Surrentum
The Charioteer of Delphi
The Slave Girl from Jerusalem
The Beggar of Volubilis
The Scribes from Alexandria
The Prophet from Ephesus
And finally…
The Man from Pomegranate Street

THE ROMAN MYSTERIES have sold over 1.1 million copies since its introduction in 2001 and in 2009 won the Classical Association Prize for 'a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics' THE ROMAN MYSTERIES has been recognised as having an exemplary combination of entertainment and education.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Caroline Lawrence
More books by Caroline Lawrence

Author's Website


Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

5th July 2012




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