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Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove
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Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove

3.8 10
by Audrey Penn, Philip Howard (Illustrator), Joshua Miller (Illustrator)

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Set on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, approaching Halloween festivities find Billy, Daniel, Stephanie, and Mark exhausted from their trip to sea to give their eccentric friend Mrs. Nemmish the pirate burial she insisted on. But now they are trapped in a tunnel, locked in by Zeek, local scoundrel and direct descendent of Israel Hands, who is


Set on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, approaching Halloween festivities find Billy, Daniel, Stephanie, and Mark exhausted from their trip to sea to give their eccentric friend Mrs. Nemmish the pirate burial she insisted on. But now they are trapped in a tunnel, locked in by Zeek, local scoundrel and direct descendent of Israel Hands, who is racing against them to find the hidden treasure. Is the treasure's location on the map that Zeek took from them, or could it be in the very tunnel where they are tripping over skeletons and struggling to find another way out? Luckily, they have allies - ghostly allies of Blackbeard and Mrs. Nemmish herself, who has been taken on board the ghost ship Queen's Anne's Revenge. This rollicking tale magically combines this unruly group of youngsters, Blackbeard's ghost, secret tunnels, skeletons, hidden treasure, a very mysterious inheritance, the Bermuda Triangle, the Underground Railroad, and a hurricane hitting the Outer Banks in a page-turning delight, full of mystery, laughs, suspense, and adventure.

This book also captures much of the essence and rich history of this fascinating location. After 30 years of regular visits to Ocracoke Island, the author has come to know the place and the people, and has enriched this fun tale with real characters, locations, lore, and legends passed down through the generations of residents from the days when Blackbeard had his hideout there. This book is a history lesson of the greatest kind - with the past and the present wonderfully and entertainingly intertwined.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
When Mrs. McNemmish, distant relative of Blackbeard the Pirate, dies on a small island, she sets in motion a great adventure for local children Billy, Daniel, Stephanie, and Mark. Before her death, Mrs. McNemmish asks the children to bury her at sea and hints that she knows where Blackbeard's treasure is hidden. Once they do that, they may look in a chest she bequeaths to them. After stealing her body from the local church and burying it at sea, the children open the trunk and find a tunnel. They begin exploring, but are locked in the tunnel by Zeek, who also seeks Mrs. McNemmish's treasure. However, Zeek soon encounters the ghosts of Mrs. McNemmish and Blackbeard himself. Once the children are rescued from the tunnel, they find the true treasure Mrs. McNemmish bequeathed to them. Penn's attempt to create a grand pirate adventure falls flat. Mrs. McNemmish request for the children to bury her at sea defies legal, moral, and common sense (she very easily could have put that request in her will). Sadly, the body stealing scene is the most proactive scene the children have in the entire book. During the rest of the book, most of the action is taken by adults. The three male children have few defining characteristics and Stephanie is a very stereotypical female. Mrs. McNemmish is an interesting character, but shows up far too little to redeem this banal adventure. 2004, Tanglewood Press, Ages 8 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck

Product Details

Tanglewood Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This book is a middle grades version of Pirates of the Caribbean mixed with some Indiana Jones. It is a chapter book for middle grade children who love adventure, pirates, with some supernatural mixed in. On Ocracoke Island in South Carolina we meet our heroes and their mentor/friend Mrs. McNemmish, who is a descendant of Blackbeard. She makes the children, Stefanie, Mark, Billy and Daniel promise to bury her at sea. They will then get a key to unlock Blackbeard's treasure. Of course they comply with this request but not with their parents agreement. They break into the church, steal her coffin, accidentally set fire to the church, fall of the bellfry almost drown and that is just the beginning of their adventure. Finding secret tunnels, skeletons, bats, getting bit by spiders and finding treasure chests are all part of the adventure. It is told in a way that catches your attention and you want to keep reading to see what happens. While all this is going on, we meet up with Blackbeard and his crew on the Queen Anne's Revenge as ghosts on a ghost ship. There is a fun sequence in the book where they actually get to attack another boat but I will let the reader find out about that part. The reason why I did not give this book 5 stars were the character of Stefanie. She was whiny, actually rather mean to the boys and they placated her and constantly told her how brave she was. It really gave the one female character in the book a rather sad personality which gave me a bad taste. There were not a lot of illustrations in this book but the ones that were in it were black and white and contained just enough detail and information to support the story and give people some vision of the characters and their situation. I recommend this book to elementary school libraries as well as junior classroom libraries. A fun, adventurous read. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
When you have pirates,treasure,ghosts and hidden tunnels and then add 4 children to the mix you get a fun-filled and whimsical story. Widow Nemmish asks the children to bury her at sea when the times comes and they agree thus sending the children on a wondrous ans at times dangerous adventure. I would recommend this book to young and old readers. The characters are well-written and believable, and the legends and folk-lore were well researched and quite interesting. Although this is a children's book I truly enjoyed reading it. Thank s to Net Galley and Tanglewood publishers for letting me read this entertaining book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Four children, Stephanie, Mark, Billy, and Daniel, set off from a small town near Ocracoke Island seeking Blackbeard¿s legendary treasure. Their search begins when Mrs. McNemish, a beloved relative of Blackbeard, leaves them a letter outlining her last wishes, namely to have her remains buried at sea and for the children to find Blackbeard¿s treasure. Unfortunately, this requires them to break into a church and almost die at the hands of one Zeek Beacon. Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove had a wonderful plot that kept this reader on the edge of his seat. The characters in this book were fantastic. Stephanie, the lone girl of the foursome, provided humor during tense moments, while her friend, Mark, was a strange character who communicated silently with gestures. Billy, a third member of the group, was a caring friend to all. Mystery at Blackbeard's Cove was loaded with suspense. The skeletons that scared Stephanie had the same effect on this reader. In addition, Zeek Beacon was an effective villain because he seemed evil, scary,and capable of harming any other treasure hunters. The appearance of the ghost pirate ship of Blackbeard was another frightening part of the book, especially when it opened fire on Zeek¿s sailing ship. This book is loaded with great adventure. The ongoing search for the treasure is action-packed. Episodes such as breaking into the church, and the boys getting caught in a whirlpool were exciting. In conclusion, Mystery at Blackbeard¿s Cove is a very enjoyable book that is highly recommended! J.Barton
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this up to read to my kids and couldn't put it down myself! What fun! Mystery, history, humor . . . I laughed and laughed and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. We have also read the second installment and are eagerly awaiting the third. An added bonus is that Ocracoke Island is a real place which adds an interesting element to the entire story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so fun with sufficient mystery and suspense, but not exceptionally dark. It was extra entertaining because we had visited the real setting, Okracoke Island, N.C.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent beginning is wasted on the rest of the book. The four youngsters do nothing but argue and the arguments do nothing to move the plot along. The whole book is mean-spirited and very disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 11 year old daughter loves mysteries and this seemed like a throwback mystery of the type I used to love when I was a kid. It is more than that. Both my wife and I have read it, my oldest has already read it 3 times and it is the first bookshe always recommends to friends. Any book that can inspire that is tops on my list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book . It had a lot of adventures in the book.It was also somewhat funny. Kids who love mystery books will love this book.It is very excitnig.You never know whats going to happen next .I 'll read this book over and over because I love it.You will like this book so much you will want to read more Audrey Penn books.This book will blow you away I give it a way thumbs up!!!!:)