Teen Review: Dead Man's Cove

Dead Man's Cove (Laura Marlin Mysteries #1) by Lauren St. John
Release Date ~ September 15, 2010
Orion Children's Books ~ Hachette UK Canada
ISBN13: 9781444000207
Review copy received from HUKCanada

When orphaned Laura Marlin moves from a children's home to live with her uncle in Cornwall, she longs for a life of excitement just like the characters in her favourite detective novels. A real life adventure is on hand as she is deposited at her uncle's spooky house ...Why does her uncle, Calvin Redfern, forbid her to go to Dead Man's Cove? What's the truth about Tariq, the silent Indian boy who lives with the flamboyant Mukthars? Who is J? Who has left the message in a bottle for Laura to discover? Mysteries abound and who better to solve them than Laura Marlin, ace detective? Accompanied by her trusty companion, Skye, a three-legged husky, the dog she's always wanted, Laura's adventures begin in this first captivating mystery, winner of the 2011 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award.

 Even though this book was meant for a younger audience, I enjoyed it.  It made me really nostalgic of when I was younger, and I wanted to be a detective.  Even though that's no longer my ambition, I could still relate to the main character nonetheless.

  1. Writing Style:
    I really liked the way that St John wrote the novel.  It flowed really well; nothing was too awkward about it.  I also found it was really easy to read for younger audiences, without making it too young sounding.  Each character definitely had their own manner of speaking throughout the entire story that made it easy to know who was speaking at different parts. This book dealt with a lot of things like abuse, slavery, gangs, and poverty-causing debt.  All of the subjects, I thought, were kind of mature for a book written for ten-year-olds, but it was written in a very tasteful fashion meant for a younger audience.
  2. Plot:
    The whole plot was really good and the ending was really well done.  I won't spoil it (it being a mystery book and all) but all of the loose ends were tied.  I didn't figure out the mystery before the end of the book, which was really nice because that can be really annoying.  All of the clues did actually connect to the mystery.  I can't really say much about what the plot is, but it really is an exciting adventure from start to finish.
This book did take me a bit to read even though it's only 201 pages.  I think the reason for that is because I just haven't really been into reading lately.  Besides that, I think it would be a fairly short read.  Some of the secondary characters were a bit flat, but I think that if the author had expanded on them it would be  longer book that probably most ten-year-olds wouldn't want to read.  Other than that, this book was well done.

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm reading this book in school, we're up to chapter 14, it seems like a really good book so far where there are so many investigations and puzzles Laura has to solve. its really cool, cant wait to read on.

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