The Explorer's Code

( 19 )

Overview

Award-winning CNN journalist Kitty Pilgrim turns her talents to print in The Explorer’s Code, an exciting international thriller that revolves around the quest for a land deed valuable enough to kill for. When the renowned young oceanographer

Cordelia Stapleton receives an invitation to accept an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer, she has no idea her life is about to change dramatically. John Sinclair—a dashing, wealthy ...

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The Explorer's Code: A Novel

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Overview

Award-winning CNN journalist Kitty Pilgrim turns her talents to print in The Explorer’s Code, an exciting international thriller that revolves around the quest for a land deed valuable enough to kill for. When the renowned young oceanographer

Cordelia Stapleton receives an invitation to accept an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer, she has no idea her life is about to change dramatically. John Sinclair—a dashing, wealthy archaeologist and philanthropist—presents Cordelia with the award at the glamorous Oceanographic Institute Ball in Monaco. He also gives her a journal that her greatgreat- grandfather wrote in 1908. An orphan with very few family belongings, Cordelia is amazingly touched to have this precious heirloom. Once the journal is in her possession, Cordelia learns that she is heir to the land on which the Global Seed Vault in Norway sits. The valuable deed for this land, or at least a clue to its whereabouts, may be hidden in the journal.

When the journal disappears from Cordelia’s stateroom on the Queen Victoria and Cordelia receives threatening e-mails, it becomes clear that she is in danger. John Sinclair comes to Cordelia’s aid, helping her search for the missing journal and land deed, and capturing her heart. As they race to find the deed, Cordelia and Sinclair encounter a team of British virologists trying to decode the genome of the 1918 influenza pandemic, but unearthing infected tissue samples may prove more lethal than curative. Cordelia and Sinclair sail through the Mediterranean from Monaco to an archaeological site in Ephesus, Turkey. They travel to a beautiful old Parisian home and a lavish estate in the British countryside. Their search culminates in the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, not far from the North Pole. Behind them every step of the way are a consortium of Russian underworld criminals, religious fanatics from Texas, a sinister botanist, and a sexy American spy, all hunting for the deed, all pursuing Cordelia.

The Explorer’s Code is a satisfying blend of historical detail, fast-paced action, scientific discovery, and the thrill of exploration that informs as well as entertains. The breathtaking ending in the high Arctic is as chilling as a polar breeze.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
CNN correspondent Pilgrim's entertaining debut focuses on a classic theme: the search for missing treasure, in this case the lost deed to untold acres of invaluable Arctic land granted to Victorian-era explorer Elliott Stapleton by the Norwegian government. Since many believe Stapleton's great-great-granddaughter, the stunning Cordelia, a feisty, brilliant oceanographer, has the deed (she doesn't), Cordelia is soon pursued by flamboyant evangelists, fanatical ecoterrorists, and some nasty Russian thugs. Even the CIA gets into the act. Determined to find the deed herself, Cordelia sets off on a whirlwind hunt from one exotic locale to the next—Monaco, Monte Carlo, a luxurious cruise ship, and a lavish estate in the English countryside—along with ally and protector playboy archeologist John Sinclair, who's totally smitten with her. While everything is over the top—a storybook romance; odious and loathsome villains; Hollywood settings—it all works, providing a heady and highly engaging mix. (July)
From the Publisher
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE EXPLORER’S CODE:

“An intelligent thriller based on discovery, exploration, and real scientists….Wonderful characters lead us on a merry chase through some of the most glamorous and sophisticated places in the world. I learned a lot, and couldn’t put it down." —Paula Zahn

“What a page turner! I always knew Kitty Pilgrim could write down and report the facts. Now she has turned her journalistic skills and keen understanding of the world to pen an exciting novel. The Explorer’s Code takes you on a wild ride to exotic places filled with greed, intrigue, suspense and colorful characters — rich, beautiful people and villains worth hating. Oh - and the heroes are science geeks! There’s nothing more I could ask for from a thriller.” — Miles O’Brien, Science Correspondent, PBS New Hour

"Captivating characters, scientific intrigue, polar exploration, and romantic tension all wrapped up in a mad dash around the world that will leave you breathless! Only Kitty Pilgrim could so deftly bring together this story of Russian oligarchs, the 1918 flu epidemic, St Paul's letter to the Ephesians, the twisted roads of the Cote D’Azur, and the rarified air of the well-heeled into such a vivid and unforgettable novel. I could not put it down.".

— Christine Romans, CNN host and author of Smart is the New Rich

“Kitty Pilgrim crafts a rollicking good read in The Explorer’s Code, an intelligent thriller that races from one romantic and exotic dateline to the next, propelled by characters who are smart, sexy and sinister. A must read for anyone who loves adventure with a brain. Guaranteed to leave you chilled, breathless and demanding a sequel!” — Martin Savidge, International Correspondent, CNN

“By land, by air, by sea...Kitty Pilgrim spins a fast-paced mystery packed with roller-coaster ups and downs and an irresistible heroine like no other — Cordelia Stapleton.” — Nancy Grace, Television host and author of Destiny on the D-List

“I love a journey filled with adventure, intrigue and twists and turns. In The Explorers Code, Kitty nailed it. Her character development is flawless and in Cordelia Stapleton is an irresistible intellect and strength that draws you into each moment, page by page. You are just waiting for her to fall in love. This adventure surely doesn't disappoint! I'm already looking forward to what's next from Kitty!” — AJ Hammer, "Showbiz Tonight" CNN Headline News

"A masterful debut sure to appeal to fans of Iris Johansen and Sandra Brown." Carol Haggas, Booklist

"CNN correspondent Pilgrim's entertaining debut focuses on a classic theme: the search for missing treasure…(There’s) a whirlwind hunt from one exotic locale to the next…a storybook romance, odious and loathsome villains, Hollywood settings—it all works, providing a heady and highly engaging mix." Publishers Weekly

“By land, by air, by sea...Kitty Pilgrim spins a fast-paced mystery packed with roller-coaster ups and downs and an irresistible heroine like no other — Cordelia Stapleton.” Nancy Grace, Television host and author of Destiny on the D-List

Library Journal
Pilgrim, a former award-winning CNN correspondent and news anchor, applies her investigative skills to an exciting debut novel—an action/adventure thriller layered with history, a diverse array of characters, international intrigue, a potential epidemic, and romance. Oceanographer Cordelia Stapelton receives an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, an Arctic explorer, as well as his personal journal, which alludes to a concealed deed for a small plot of frozen tundra—sought after by Russia, Britain, the United Nations, the United States, and Norway. With assistance from wealthy archaeologist John Sinclair, Cordelia travels to Britain, France, Turkey, and the Arctic isles to find the deed. VERDICT Pilgrim captures the tension and suspense typical of a globe-trotting search for a hidden treasure; however, in the concluding chapters many of the characters reappear unexpectedly and in a bizarre manner that undermines the plot's believability. Pilgrim signed a two-book contract with Scribner. One hopes her next effort omits the theatricality. [See Prepub Alert, 1/24/11.]—Jerry P. Miller. Cambridge, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Former CNN anchor Pilgrim's debut novel takes readers from Turkey to California to Monaco to London and even more exotic places in dizzying, but very luxurious succession.

Cordelia Stapleton is magnificent, with dark hair and the body of an athlete. An orphan whose illustrious ancestor was a great polar explorer, "Delia" has been invited to receive an award on her ancestor's behalf in glitzy Monaco. Delia, who doesn't want to leave her job with an oceanographic institute even to take a short vacation, has the time coming to her, and, as her co-workers point out, it's a great opportunity to break away from her workaholic daily life. She goes, but first stops in New York to see her lawyer and family friend, Jim, who breaks the news that her only living relative has died in London and made her a very wealthy woman. Meanwhile, in Turkey, hunky and almost sinfully handsome John Sinclair leaves his archaeological digs to make it to Monaco in order to hand out the award Delia is coming to accept. John, an international playboy, is wealthy in his own right. The two become enamored of one another faster than a Ferrari takes one of those dangerous, curvy Monte Carlo roads, and soon they're off in pursuit of a land deed—yes, a land deed. But not just any old land deed. This one is where the vault that houses the world's emergency supply of seeds sits, and everyone, from the Russians to the Norwegians, wants it. And, it turns out, would kill to obtain it. Pilgrim throws in little bits of science along the way, but most of the novel is weighted down with expensive brand names, luxury hotel rooms and descriptions of the lives of the very rich and pampered. If knowing the pedigree of a rug in someone's Paris apartment is what trips a reader's trigger, then this brand-dropping tale is just the thing to make them forget just how much gas went up at the pumps today.

The kind of read that will fade from memory the second the last page is turned.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410438935
  • Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 7/6/2011
  • Series: John Sinclair & Cordelia Stapleton Series , #1
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning CNN correspondent and anchor for CNN news Kitty Pilgrim traveled to the farthest reaches of the world on assignment. After twenty-four years as a broadcast journalist, Kitty has taken on an exciting new assignment—writing novels. Pilgrim is the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award, a Peabody Award, The New York Society of Black Journalists Award, and is currently on the U.S. advisory board of Reporters Without Borders , and a full member of the historic Explorer’s Club. She is a single mother of two sons and lives in New York City and Rhinecliff, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Hotel Metropole, Monaco

John Sinclair leaned over the balustrade of the Hotel Metropole. It was a gorgeous day. The breeze was blowing, the megayachts were bowing to one another in the marina, and the sunlight was sprinkling the sea with diamonds. At 1 p.m., Sinclair was still in his robe and unshaven. His head was pounding from a massive hangover, and the sunlight was searing his corneas.

God damn it, Shari. He remembered how she had looked last night. The breathtaking beauty of her as she walked into the terrace restaurant. Her white silk dress flowing around her magnificent body. She was ethereal. Golden hair was piled on top of her head, wound around with silver ribbons like an ancient Greek deity. He had become accustomed to her beauty. But last night he had been staggered.

What a fool. He had been kidding himself for months. Actually, he should have known it wouldn’t work out a year ago, when she turned up at the dig wearing those ridiculous shoes. Shari had teetered on four-inch heels along the ancient marble street, trailed by paparazzi. It had been a surprise visit. He had been supervising the excavation with Karl and Fabian. The three of them had been thunderstruck when she turned up. Fifteen screaming photographers kept shouting, “Look this way, Shari!!!! Look this way!!”

Sinclair was disgusted with himself. He had always been annoyed by the headlines: “Beauty and the Geek,” “Supermodel Digs Archaeologist.” He had lied to himself about it. Told himself it wasn’t all that bad. He had ignored the telltale signs the whole time.

At first she had seemed to like the way he lived. She even tried to read his archaeological articles and academic papers. After all, she wasn’t stupid. He was flattered. So he had made the effort to adjust to her world. Gradually he had become used to the idea of her celebrity. He had come to enjoy going out with her, spending time on a friend’s yacht or lounging by the pool and having lunch in one of the lavish Côte d’Azur villas. Her friends were silly and amusing. It was always perfectly pleasant, and a great diversion—even if he sometimes felt he didn’t always get the jokes, or didn’t seem to enjoy them as much as the others did.

Sinclair turned toward the beautiful coastline. The view was lost on him. He was consumed with introspection—trying to be realistic, and honest with himself.

He leaned on the railing of the balcony to ease his back. Come to think of it, being with Shari hadn’t been all that great lately. They had been irritable with each other. Not always, but plenty of times. And she did demand a lot. Of course, the sex was incredible. He could put up with a lot to keep that going. He closed his eyes, remembering her lithe body under his, her gold hair splayed all over the pillow.

But last night had been the last straw. What an awful scene. Never in his life had he fought in public like that. He had lost all control. And God knows she did too. Sinclair winced at the thought of it.

He could see where he had made his big mistake. It was thinking he was in love with her and would eventually marry her. He had believed she was going to tell him good news when she had called yesterday.

“I have something very important to tell you,” she had breathed over the phone in that tiny little voice. He had been in the middle of the dig, but he had left immediately at her call. No questions asked.

He actually thought that when he got to Monaco she would tell him she was expecting his child. He had spun quite a pretty picture as he sat on the plane from Turkey. Sinclair shook his head in disgust. He had even been hoping for a boy.

Well, that conversation had turned into a disaster. Oh, she had a new baby all right, but the Brazilian Formula One driver wasn’t quite what Sinclair had in mind.

© 2011 Kitty Pilgrim

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    Excellent

    I have traveled on a cruise to the places talked about in this book and I can picture everything I am reading. It makes me feel like I'm right there. It's a book you just do not want to put down and go to sleep. I am so interested in the story and just can't wait to read more. I really am enjoying every single page. This is such an interesting book !!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2011

    A BRILLIANT NOVEL- SO MUCH MORE THAN SIMPLY A GREAT THRILLER!!

    "Award-winning CNN journalist Kitty Pilgrim turns her talents to print in The Explorer's Code, an exciting international thriller that revolves around the quest for a land deed valuable enough to kill for. When the renowned young oceanographer
    Cordelia Stapleton receives an invitation to accept an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer, she has no idea her life is about to change dramatically"


    When one reads a debut novel, especially one by a public figure, there is always a feeling of the unknown. Is this book published due to its merits or the fame of its author? I am happy to report that The Explorer's Code by former CNN anchor Kitty Pilgrim is very much falls into the latter category. The Explorer's Code is quite simply a magnificent book, one that rockets Ms. Pilgrim into the upper echelon of novelists.

    It would be easy to pigeon-hole The Explorer's Code as just a "thriller" but that would be greatly unfair. This is a book that certainly is a superb international thriller, with the reader glued to the action, but it is so much more. The plot, sub-plots and array of characters and locations that Ms. Pilgrim expertly paints with words transports the reader into a veritable literary journey. While Ms. Pilgrim has certainly traveled extensively during her CNN career, it is one thing to visit a place and quite another skill to be able to put that location into such exceptional words that the reader feels as if they are actually there- in Monaco, Turkey, England ect.
    There is little doubt that Ms. Pilgrim has this "word picture" skill in abundance!

    Cordelia Stapleton and David Sinclair, the main protagonists in the novel are far from your stereotypical characters. Each has been made so real, with all the human strengths and weaknesses that we all have, courtesy of the superb literary skills of Ms. Pilgrim. We, the readers, feel a real connection to them and their plights, something few authors can attain. The many other characters, Russian Criminals, Texas Fanatics and especially a fascinating and quite intriguing botanist are all equally well done. This is a novel with many characters- yet the reader is never overwhelmed because Ms. Pilgrim is able to make each an individual- another rare and quite amazing feat for a debut writer.

    The main plot- a deed for a Global Seed Vault in Norway- contained in
    a long ago written Journal- which disappears- and places Cordelia in peril (I do not want to go into too much detail as the plot contains so many ingenious twists and turns- I fear saying anymore will spoil it for the reader!!) and which brings David Sinclair into her life, is so very original. The subplots, British Virologists, Genomes, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,the previous mentioned characters and a sexy American spy - all in search of that mysterious and missing deed,make this a true page-turner in every sense of the word. Why is the deed so terribly sought? That I will leave to the reader to find out- needless to say- the conclusion is a knockout!!

    Kitty Pilgrim should be quite proud of this achievement. After reading The Explorer's Code - she will never only be thought of as a former CNN journalist- her resume will read KITTY PILGRIM- FIRST RATE WRITER!!

    AN OFFICIAL JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ

    RICK FRIEDMAN
    FOUNDER
    THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Bad Use of Language

    Sounded like a good summer read, exciting story and looked to be well told. So I downloaded the preview. But, by page 48, Ms. Pilgrim decided to use God's name vainly, for no purpose. She's fallen into the same trap as Hollywood, not being able to tell a story without being profane. Too bad Kitty, I would have thought you had the potential for something much better than that.

    After filing this review, I will delete this book from my library.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    Started out strong, but towards the end it went flat.

    I really liked this book at the beginning, I was really into the characters and setting of the story and everything seemed to be moving along at a great speed. Then around the last hundred pages, the story to me seemed to change, I lost focus on the story and it seemed like the author was running out of ideas. It seems she just throw anything in there to finish it and she forgot to give an ending to a main point of her story. And I started to lose the love I had for the two main characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This was a great read. Suspenseful,romantic and great history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

    Excellent Read

    I never write reviews BUT I do read them and this is a greaat book.
    I have been to these places over seas and also on a cruise and that's why I bought the book. I did enjoy it very much .... I really am very
    careful buying a book ..... I want lots of pages and a page turner .... that's what I got and I am pleased I bought it and I think others will enjoy it also. Read the sample then make up your own mind. Good Reading

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Strong Locales and Sense of Place Undone by Poor Plot

    Author Kitty Pilgrim does a terrific job setting up the locations within her debut novel " The Explorer's Code". While I've never been to Monaco, Turkey or the English countryside, Pilgrim is at her best in establishing the locales for mystery-adventure, and connecting the reader to these beautiful locations. One will pick up a strong sense of the mystery and allure of a Turkish bazaar, and the outrageous wealth and glamour of the Monaco coastline.

    Unfortunately, the thin plot and inconsistent characterizations weaken a promising book.

    I really wanted to like it. The story was right up my alley and it seemed like a terrific summertime beach-read. Pilgrim spends a lot of time on vapid dialogue, without providing strong enough emotional associations between characters and readers. The plot is interesting, but 1/3 through the book feels more tv-movie-of-the-week rather than blockbuster, and it was clear 2/3 of the way through that there would be no strong finish.

    If you're looking for something very lightweight, this might not be a bad choice. The book really isn't terrible.it's just not very good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2011

    INCOMPLETE

    Writer did not bring closure to the story line about the 1918 flu panademic. Was it still out there? Disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    Perfect for my book club!

    Kitty Pilgrim really got this one right! (perfect for my book club) The action never stops. Reading at night, I had to MAKE myself put it down and turn out the light. The ending at the Global Seed Vault is so breathtaking, I read the last 50 pages all at once! When is the next one coming out? Can't wait.

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    Posted March 22, 2012

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted August 19, 2011

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    Posted July 27, 2011

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    Posted August 14, 2011

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    Posted July 31, 2012

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    Posted October 15, 2011

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    Posted November 30, 2011

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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    Posted July 6, 2012

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