P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man (P.K. Pinkerton Series #2)


Author Caroline Lawrence returns to the Wild West with another action-packed adventure starring Master-of-Disguise, P.K. Pinkerton.

After escaping the ruthless desperados, P.K. finally feels safe in Virginia City and is ready to set up a new private eye business. But all the mysteries in town seem to be pranks—until the day P.K. meets a young maid named Martha.

Martha's employer has been found dead . . .and now the killer is after her. The ...

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P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man (P.K. Pinkerton Series #2)

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Author Caroline Lawrence returns to the Wild West with another action-packed adventure starring Master-of-Disguise, P.K. Pinkerton.

After escaping the ruthless desperados, P.K. finally feels safe in Virginia City and is ready to set up a new private eye business. But all the mysteries in town seem to be pranks—until the day P.K. meets a young maid named Martha.

Martha's employer has been found dead . . .and now the killer is after her. The mystery takes a grave turn when Martha disappears, so P.K. consults Poker Face Jace, an expert at people-reading. With his help, PK inspects saloons and billiard rooms, and even tries sneaking into the coroner’s office. But time is quickly running out for P.K., and Martha’s life has never been in more danger. 

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Here's a book with flair, style, and a sense of place. Welcome to Virginia City, Nevada, in the old west, where twelve-year-old P.K. Pinkerton, a half Indian boy, has a hankering to be a detective. P.K. obsessively collects "clews," keeps scrupulous lists of suspects, and assembles odd collections of doo-dads from buttons to tobacco. P.K. also has an aversion to human touch, which, along with his other behaviors, leads the contemporary reader to the conclusion that he is on the autism spectrum. However, like animal expert temple Grandin, P.K. has learned to make his peculiarities work to his benefit. In this book, he is searching for the killer of a "soiled dove," named Short Sally. There are many references to "soiled doves" and their "cribs," but an actual explanation of this term for prostitutes is made only briefly in the glossary. These references may move this book, from middle reader to a young adult novel. P.K. pursues the killer based on Short Sally's Black servant, Martha, and produces a laughable sequence in which P.K., a master of disguise, dresses up as the female servant to protect Martha's anonymity. In the process of searching for the killer and disguising himself, P.K. discovers a truism of the west; that it is a place of reinvention for many people starting a new life after the Civil War. The rhythms of the book bring to mind Charles Portis' classic, True Grit, though this book will likely not have the staying power. It also will make (older) readers nostalgic for good western yarns of the past. With true-life characters like Sam Clemens playing cameo roles, this is a knee-slapper of a story and a nice, twisty detective yarn. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
K. Pinkerton, a half-Lakota 12-year-old sleuth (purportedly related to the famed detective), opens up shop as a private eye in the rough and tumble mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. His first case gets off to a rocky start when a creepy stone doll is delivered with a cryptic message. Next, a frightened young servant who witnessed the murder of "soiled dove" Short Sally Sampson implores him to find the killer. Meanwhile, P.K. fears retaliation from his two enemies from The Case of the Deadly Desperados (Putnam, 2011). P. K. proves to be an endearing main character (and a surprisingly good detective) because of his "thorn"-a form of high-functioning autism that gives him a heightened sense of smell (he collects tobacco samples) and the ability to remember everything he sees. Prompted by his difficulty reading facial expressions and remembering what he hears, he records the details of the case using "ledger sheets," forming chapters. Western fans will especially appreciate the cast of colorful characters that includes gamblers, gunslingers, ladies of the night, Civil War deserters, and even a truth-bending rookie reporter named Samuel Clemens. Infused with humor and fast-paced action, this slightly gritty mystery has a satisfying resolution, making it an enjoyable historical romp.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
In this quick-on-the-draw funny follow-up to The Case of the Deadly Desperados (2012), 12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton still roams the seedy streets of Virginia City of 1862…and he's still up to his eyeballs in trouble. The good news is his dream of setting up shop as a private eye has come true, even if the "eye" in his newspaper ad does look more like a potato. His first client is a runaway slave girl who witnessed the strangulation of a Soiled Dove named Short Sally Sampson and thinks Sally's killer is stalking her. P.K. is so absorbed in the case it's easy to forget his foster parents were murdered just two weeks before. As in the last Wild West adventure, our half-Lakota hero records his suspenseful story on ledger sheets and struggles with his "Thorn"--his inability to show or read emotion that today might be called high-functioning autism. P.K.'s straight-shooting personality, integrity and good heart make readers want to follow him to the ends of the Earth…if not directly to Short Sally's killer. Run-ins with the truth-twisting Sam Clemens and Civil War references tether this lively mystery to a colorful, if grisly time in U.S. history. A warm, wise, wild and woolly second offering in the Western Mysteries series. (1862 maps of the Washoe and Virginia City, glossary) (Historical fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399256349
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/18/2013
  • Series: P.K. Pinkerton Series , #2
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 498,484
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Lawrence is an English/American author who was born in London and grew up in Bakersfield, California. Caroline currently lives in London, England.

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