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The Explorer's Code: A Novel (John Sinclair Mystery #1)

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
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 expl
Kindle Edition, 452 pages
Published (first published June 28th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Elizabeth Edwards
Sep 11, 2012 Elizabeth Edwards rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well then. A VERY watered down international mystery/murder meets VERY watered down romance. I actually bought this at the grocery store on a Sunday (library is closed!) prior to heading out to a water park with my teenaged daughter and a friend. I knew I’d be on my own for the day so was hoping for a fast-paced, mindless, international crime/murder page turner. Mindless, check. The rest, not so much.

To be honest, I was ok for a hundred pages or so. We’ve got characters in Ephesus, Norway, Mona
Jul 06, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Cordelia Stapleton is an Busy Oceanographer whose work is interrupted when she is invited to accept an award to be given posthumously to her great-great-grandfather. Her friends convince her to go and she heads of to Monaco to accept. At the ceremony she meets the head of the foundation presenting the award and there seems to be a connection between them. John Sinclair is a bit of a playboy and an archeologist and along with the award he gives Cordelia a Journal that was kept by her G_G-grandfat
This summer , while in an air port I noticed this book. It totally caught my interest so I put it on my list. Well, I just finished reading it and I have to say it did not meet expectation. The book is about a young female scientist who lives on a submarine. She has dedicated herself to her work. Being an orphan, she has learned how to depend on herself until her great grandfather (who was a polar explorer in the artic) is honored for his life's work and she has to go to Monaco to accept the hon ...more
Jason Golomb
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 ch
Follow Cordelia Stapleton on her personal quest to recover and claim the deed to the land left her by her great-great-grandfather. That is the premise of The Explorer's Code.Obviously it i not that simple.This is an international thriller, with locales and characters in Monaco,England,Turkey, America,Paris,Russia and Norway.And let's not forget the high seas!
There is a variety of characters interested in Cordelia's inheritance, most of them nefarious.Hence the thriller part.Unfortunately, the

I like the idea of the plot and the various locations that were used. The author had strong writing in a few points and it appears that she definitely did research...

However, this book had luke warm writing overall and the characters were a bit off putting. For maybe the first 100 pages I had hope it would be a good one, but it turned out false.


The main characters are somewhat likeable and have a little bit of depth. The various locations appeared to be well researched and it's al
Rick F.
Sep 06, 2011 Rick F. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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 figu
Oct 24, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, thriller
This inaugural book by Kitty Pilgrim was filled with adventure, suspense, intrigue and romance. Oceanographer Cordelia Stapleton finds that her life is turned upside down when she accepts an award posthumously for her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer. The award is presented by handsome and dashing John Sinclair at the Oceanographic Institute Ball in Monaco. Along with the award, she is given a journal that her great-great-grandfather wrote in 1908. Cordelia discovers t ...more
Kathy Davie
A romantic suspense involving an archeologist and an oceanographer when she inherits a family legacy.

My Take
The concept and the characters are great. Unfortunately, the story's execution, in so very many senses of that word, is too surface and immature.

It's---eventually---a sweet romance that finds Cordelia and John entangled in international intrigue with numerous attacks. The odd thing is that the attackers are all so inept and it's a good thing that Pilgrim keeps telling us what everyone is f
Sep 13, 2011 Joanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have actually debated posting this as I find it very difficult to denigrate an author's hard work. Having said that, know that I am considering every word before I post.

This book looked so promising. Just my sort of thing. Adventure, an oceanographer, archeology, the opportunity for romance, some science thrown in...

Unfortunately, The Explorer's Code fell sadly flat. A good story should have an organic feel to it--*This* is the way it happened. This is the way it *had* to happen... Not so in
Kelly Robinson
Oceanographer Cordelia Stapleton is contacted to receive an award on behalf of for her great-great grandfather, a famous arctic explorer, at the Oceanographic Institute Ball in Monaco. She reluctantly accepts but is surprised with her great-great grandfathers journal at the ceremony by the suave archeologist John Sinclair. Unfortunately, the journal holds the key to the location of a land deed to an internationally desired piece of the arctic that now belongs to Cordelia - if she can find the de ...more
Sophie Schiller
Cordelia Stapleton is thrust into a high-stakes Arctic land grap when she reluctantly accepts an award for her great-grandfather from the Herodotus Foundation, whose founder and director are none other than dashing Archeologist John Sinclair. What follows are increasingly sinister complications that result in inexplicable deaths while a rag-tag group of mercenaries chases Cordelia and John in their race to find the mysterious Arctic land deed. The plot is exciting and engaging, the characters ni ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was initially intrigued by the cover because I have been to Ephesus and loved Turkey. And I did just want a light read - but this was too light. Thin plot, stereotyped characters, poorly written scenes, sloppy details, vague or generalised descriptions. Everyone was too rich, too beautiful, and their muscles were not only toned but described ad nauseum. All in all, pretty boring.

Feb 14, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This is a debut novel for Kitty Pilgrim, a former CNN broadcast journalist. I enjoyed her foray into writing an international thriller set in exotic locales and full of international good guys and bad guys, sparing nations vying for land rights, and ties back to the early 20th century when the Artic Circle was the new frontier. While many characters are the type of 'stock characters' you expect to find in a thriller, she throws in come curve balls to keep the reader on his/her toes. The book mov ...more
Barbara Ell
A relunctant oceanographer accepts an honor on behalf of her great-grandfather, she also receives a family legacy. This is now her only tangible link to her family, but it holds secrets that others want and show no mercy in attaining it. Jumping from archeological digs in Ephesus to the glitz of Monaco to the serenity of the English countryside and finally to the arctic tundra in Norway, the explorers try to solve the mystery surrounding the journal.

I enjoyed this book, and the only thing I real
The plot and characters are pretty ridiculous, but set that aside and it was a fun, fast read. Exotic settings and some interesting historical facts enhanced the story. I'm curious to see how Pilgrim evolves as a writer, so I'll likely check out the next book soon.
Marty Mayer
Good story. Interesting characters. Decent writing. Two plot flaws: I never did find out why the land was so important (was it really for minerals!?) and, just because I am who I am, I wanted definitive happy ending.

A GREAT find from my Dollar Tree!!!
Mar 19, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How good was it? Let me put it this way, I'm a speed reader, and the last 44 pages took less than 10 minutes. I liked the character development on the main characters. The "bad guys" were a little cut out for me, but the mains... wow. Well done, Miss Pilgrim. The story runs the gamut of chase novel, detective story, and puzzle mystery. Although the actual code was pretty easy to recognize as the clues started lining up, the usage of Victorian Codes was well done, and very much appreciated by thi ...more
Received this through a Goodreads giveaway. I really wanted to like this book. The overall plot was interesting enough although at times a tad implausible, and this could have been a really good book - in fact, it started out as a really good book. Then I had to push myself to plod through the rest of it. I wasn't invested in any of the characters. They were poorly developed, and there were too many of them that had no bearing on the storyline. Relationships between characters seemed to be way t ...more
Oct 05, 2014 T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of action, Thaddeus Frost was a favorite. A little ridiculous with all the people who were after Cordelia. Everyone should have a Jim Gardiner.
Jan 18, 2016 Nancy rated it did not like it
Did not get more than 1/3 through this book before giving up on the poor writing. The best thing about it was the chapters are short.
Oct 16, 2011 Kammie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
I'd rate this closer to 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the story and loved the descriptions of all the different places the characters went. I tend to gravitate toward any story where the characters are traveling the globe in search of historical documents. The story moved along pretty quickly. I thought the romantic angle was a little distracting and cheesy. I also got a little bored of the author always having to throw in brand names to prove the characters were wealthy and sophisticated. That could hav ...more
Sandra Alderman
Apr 04, 2015 Sandra Alderman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this booked ! A very intriguing mystery! I will read it again in the future.
Mar 03, 2014 Laurie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
a whimpy dan brown version. wanted to be better than it was...
Apr 06, 2014 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really fun. Actually, much better than I expected.
Betty Davey
great book. fast pace couldn't put it down
Piepie Beuttel
Loved this book!!! Simple writing at times, but I loved how all the action and chasing and circling the globe appeared in my mind's eye. Cordelia is like my spirit animal- she's intelligent, beautiful, and knows her own mind and knows what she wants. What she wants is the heart of ladies' man/archaeologist John Sinclair- rugged and chiseled. This book is like a freakin' "Indiana Jones" movie, and I'm so glad I discovered this series. Need more Sinclair and Cordelia in my life :)
Aug 28, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of two books about Cordelia Stapleton and John Sinclair. I read the second one and came back to this one. Cordelia accepts an award for her great-great grandfather and is swept into a search for a deed to land in the North. She knows little about her family and nothing about a deed. She and John are coupled together to figure out what is going on as they approach an archeological dig of his. Suspense and great characters combine to make this a fantastic book.
Mom gayheart
This book could have been a lot better than it was; but I think for a first novel it's a success. Pilgrim's writing strength is in her details - what the characters had for lunch, etc. Excellent in that respect. I think where she falls short is in her characters - they are just a little too stereotypical. I would definitely read another novel by her because I think she will have, by then, found her "voice" as a novelist! This is a light, fun book to read!
Jul 28, 2011 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a summer beach book with adventure and glamorous destinations.
The hero and heroine are two dimensional, beautiful, kind and noble, with
not a flaw between them. Not very real. The story line has a detective
part that i enjoyed, very Sherlockian and it takes the reader from Monaco
to Ephesus to London to Norway with suspense and action. I am also reading
Henry James Wings of the Dove, and he is a much more subtle writer.
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Goodreads Feedback: What to do about copy not received 3 59 Oct 17, 2011 05:09PM  
female protagonists 2 7 Sep 15, 2011 06:28AM  
science as a sub plot 1 4 Sep 10, 2011 01:22PM  
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