Friday, August 10, 2012

The Case Of The Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence

Looking for a kid-sized western.mystery with tons of voice, a young male character who finds his way, some treacherous suspense just right for a pre-teen reader who would much rather be living in the 1800's than now? Add in the high likelihood of the main character being labeled these days on the autism spectrum, some dirty scoundrels trying to steal everything away from him, and some good adults to help support him in a very round-a-bout way, and you come up winning. This one swallowed me whole, and it was just the summer read I needed to disappear into a book. No stress, just a good solid story line, some fabulous character development, a collection of interesting details involving playing poker and reading body language, and some crazy old West .... all that and a cold drink were all I needed to simply be consumed by this book.

Pinky Pinkerton has had a tough go of it recently. His foster parents die a gruesome death, Pinky walks in right as his mother is dying, hears his mother's dying last words and figures it all out: the killers are actually out to find him and a certain "make you a millionaire" paper that PK has in his medicine bag. Yea, PK is part Lakota and part white. So the chase begins. The story wanders and races the killers' chasing him, with PK only occasionally choosing the right people to trust. The paper that is so important (seems it is a deed to a mine of silver-rich land!) changes hands several times, but PK never gives up. A card shark kindly takes PK under his wing, and ends up being a good guy in the midst of his cheatin' ways. True to pre-teen form, it all ends well in this one, but PK had to do some fancy footwork to make it happen.

This is a keeper, for sure!  A western mystery: who knew?

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