Thanks to Vivienne over at SERENDIPITY REVIEWS I was lucky enough to win a copy of .........
THE CASE OF THE GOOD-LOOKING CORPSE by CAROLINE LAWRENCE.
My name is P.K. Pinkerton & I am a Private Eye operating out of Virginia City.
At the moment I am in Jail in the shadow of a hangman's noose.
It is all because I tried to solve the biggest mystery here in Nevada Territory & protect a girl who witnessed a terrible crime.
If I write an account of what happened, then maybe I can convince the jury not to hang me by the neck until I am dead.
....... Inner front cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Ledger Street 1): My name is P.K. Pinkerton & I am a Private Eye operating out of Virginia City, Nevada Territory.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 184): And just now I had stopped two desperados from shooting me by flinging a nearly full spittoon at them.
MY THOUGHTS: Billed as a book for children, of what age range I can only hazard a guess (one site puts it as low as ages 5 to 9) though I'm pretty sure it must be for older children children aged 11+.
I don't know perhaps I'm out of touch as to just what is suitable reading material for this age range or perhaps I'm just shying away from them reading unpleasant details BUT there were several elements to this particular novel that concerned me ..... various gruesome descriptions, men of fairly doubtful morals, the mention of prostitutes and what seemed like the continuous mention/pen and ink images of guns to name but a few.
Reading it as an adult though ...... I loved the maps and the little sketches that headed each chapter and whilst I thought the plot was lacking a certain something, I thought the characters were fairly well written, the fact that the main character, P.K., was a 'half Indian' commendable, the fact that he had so many obsessions and foibles interesting.
What really annoyed me however was the author's constant use '&' instead of the word 'and'. Trendy? Making a statement? I don't know BUT I think that in the battle for good grammar, punctuation and spelling the author did no favours to children in overusing what I consider a sloppy alternative.
The second book in a series from an acclaimed author, though I haven't read the first instalment myself I know many consider this, if anything, a better read.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Sadly not one for the shelves.