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The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse (The P.K Pinkerton Mysteries #2)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  175 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
P.K. Pinkerton is back in the second book of this whip-cracking series set in America's wild west. The death of sadistic desperado Whittlin Walt has created an opening for 'Chief of the Comstock Desperados'. Several young gunfighters are battling it out in the saloons and streets of Virginia City.
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Orion Children's Books
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I loved The Case of the Deadly Desperados so couldn't wait to catch up with our young detective P.K. Pinkerton as he goes about solving his latest mystery in The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse. I mentioned in my review of the first book that I wasn't sure of P.K's gender and now having read the second book I have to admit that is still the case so I'm going to continue to refer to him as male as that is the way he spends most of his time acting. I have to applaud the author for making me change ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Cameron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man is set in the wild west in Virginia City. P.K. Pinkerton, an orphan twelve year old child, is recruited to find the murderer of Short Sally. P.K. finds that this will not be an easy task as many men look the same.

This book was a very easy read, about three hours, but it was very fun to read. It makes up for length in it's invigorating storyline. I would recommend this book to people who want a quick, entertaining read.
Mar 19, 2013 Jeannette rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story with a wonderful character by a wonderful author. MY full review is here:
Oct 26, 2016 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just me but I can't see that this book was meant to be read by children, even though it stars a 12 year-old child. It contains the violence of the Old West with shootings, saloon fights, murder, and references to "soiled doves".

12 year-old P.K. Pinkerton opens a detective agency in Virginia City in the West. It's 1862. First case involves the murder of a lady of the night and the young negro girl who served her witnessed it. Now Martha, the girl, is missing and someone (the murderer)
My daughter and I enjoyed this just as much as the first one. How often can you say that about a sequel??
Victoria Hooper

You know how there are certain authors whose books you feel sure you’re going to enjoy, because you always do? Caroline Lawrence is one of those for me. She just gets stories. And this one didn’t disappoint.

Pinky was a wonderful character in the first book and he/she continues to be a great narrator in this one. Pinky is a twelve-year-old, half-Sioux, autistic child living in the American Wild West in 1862. The first book had some deliberate confusion as to whether Pinky is a boy or a girl, whic
Jul 25, 2014 Liviania rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The random books Penguin sends me makes me happy. None of the other publishers tend to send me off the wall stuff. But Penguin does and I've found some real gems that way. Let's be honest, a middle grade western mystery? Pfft.

But P.K. PINKERTON AND THE PETRIFIED MAN was terrific. Let's face it, mystery series live and die based on the personalities of their detectives. P.K. is most definitely a personality. He's twelve years old and recently orphaned. He's started a detective agency where he use
Beth Kemp
Jun 19, 2012 Beth Kemp rated it it was amazing
Great story, told in an amazing voice. Strongly recommended for 10+

This book does a fabulous job of bringing the Wild West to modern kids without shying away from unpleasant details, at the same time not overloading them. Having P. K. narrate means that we get a child's eye view which is at once naive and realistic. There are shootings, men of extremely dubious morals and prostitutes in this story, set against a background of Civil War, slavery and crime. And yet, this is a children's book which
Zachary Rit
Jun 29, 2016 Zachary Rit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man is set in 1862 out in the wild west. It’s the second book in the series and has thrilling shoot outs, mystery, and comedy. Theres many reasons why this book is exciting and tells a great story beyond itself. P.K. Pinkerton is a 12 year orphan, and detective with asperger's, he has trouble reading people's faces and still a really good detective nonetheless.

It was mid-day in Virginia City, Nevada, and Pinkerton was encountered by a former slave girl named Mar
Rachel Hamilton
Oct 05, 2013 Rachel Hamilton rated it it was amazing
If anyone wants a lesson in world-building, they can’t get better than a Caroline Lawrence book.

Her Roman Mysteries are so well-crafted they’re used as part of the ‘Romans’ curriculum in many junior schools, and her PK Pinkerton Mysteries paint an equally compelling portrait of the American West of the 1860s.

I read ‘The Case of the Good Looking Corpse’ on a warm afternoon in the United Arab Emirates, sitting on the terrace, gazing out over scrubland and scorched earth, and as I turned the pages
Tracy Terry
Aug 21, 2012 Tracy Terry rated it it was ok
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
Lana Jackson
1862 Virginia City. Twelve-year-old P.K. Pinkerton has just launched his detective business. His first client is the ten-year-old servant, Martha, of recently murdered Short Sally. Martha is hiding from the killer because she can identify him. P.K. must protect Martha's whereabouts during this investigation.

This is a delightful mystery with lots of action, bad guys and disguises. Poker Face Jace continues to teach P.K. how to read a person's body language, and P.K. is able to use these skills no
Jan 06, 2014 Mrs.Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one! It's a western mystery, something that I think will have good appeal to kids, especially boys. In 1862, after killing one desperado and ridding Virginia City of two others, twelve-year-old P.K. Pinkerton opens up a detective office and waits for a mystery to solve. One enters in the form of young Martha, a maid who witnesses her employer's murder. Afraid of being found by the murderer, Martha leaves before giving P.K. one small clue that makes no sense. Undaunted, P.K. carries on ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Pbean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1862. Follow the “clews” as 12 year old child detective P. K. Pinkerton tries to solve the mystery of who killed Short Sally Sampson, a “Soiled Dove” in Virginia City. Martha, Short Sally’s maid, is a witness to the murder. She describes the killer as ”tall & slim & blond with a billy goat beard”. Do you know how many men in Virginia City fit that description! Trouble lurks around every corner. Poor P.K. can’t trust anyone. Fairly short chapters are written to keep you guessing. ...more
Miss Pippi the Librarian
P.K.'s trouble does not rest. He escaped the deadly desperados, but soon is placed under arrest for the murder of Short Sally. P.K. wants to solve the crime, but surprisingly is arrested for the crime. Now he sits in jail and writes his story before the trial.

What an action packed sequel to The Case of the Deadly Desperados. P.K. did set up his detective business and found a client, but his adventure turns foal. P.K. remains strong under the pressure, mystery, and disguises of his profession. I
Apr 22, 2016 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Though Thieves Of Ostia was an assured and confident debut, this, the second in the PK Pinkerton series of western mysteries, is the delightful, well-crafted work of an experienced author. After all, I guessed the culprit early on in Thieves, but The Petrified Man kept me guessing till the final showdown.

Hired by by a terrified serving girl to find the man who murdered her mistress, a Soiled Dove ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo, the redoubtable, indefatigable but far from invulnerable PK cuts
Jul 25, 2014 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fiction
After dispatching three deadly desperadoes in The Case of the Deadly Desperados, 12-year-old detective P.K. Pinkerton is again on the trail of the next villain to come to the hot-blooded Wild West town of Virginia.

Young Martha, a maid in a house of Soiled Doves, witnesses a murder and hires P.K. to find the killer. Enlisting such oddly matched skills as identifying more than 100 types of tobacco, brilliantly assuming a number of disguises, and speaking with a dry, clever wit, P.K. hunts down cl
Jenn Estepp
I don't think it's quite as strong as the first book, but it could be that it's just not as novel. Nor quite as funny. But it's still incredibly entertaining and I still find P.K. to be such an interesting character. And, for *so* many reasons, I think it's pretty ballsy (sorry, crude, but it's the best word I can think of) for Lawrence to be writing a series like this for kids - and for Penguin for publishing it. (What am I referring to? It's spoilery - which maybe I don't care that much about ...more
Jul 24, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton - Master of Disguise, has vanquished the Desperados in the first book and has now set up business as a Private Detective in Virginia City, Nevada - 1862. His first real client has witnessed a murder and fears for her life! Can “Pinky” solve the case before he kills again? This second book in the series stands easily on its own. The old west feel is still there; gunfights, saloons, jail and a deputy marshall. The seedier aspects of the western experience are told ...more
Penny Peck
Aug 30, 2013 Penny Peck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya
So much fun and a real page-turner, this second book in the series takes up right after the first. Tween detective P.K., a boy who is half Lakota and half white living in Virginia City, NV, in the time of the Wild West, tries to find the killer of one of the "soiled doves." Hearing him describe how he puts together his list of suspects, uses observation and deduction to find clues, and the distinctive characters and setting, combine for a mystery novel with thought. The narrative uses archaic ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
A decent story, though some of the affected style ("I thought blah blah blah. I said, 'blah blah blah.'" or the silly use of ampersands for most of the occurrences of "and") starts to wear thin in this sequel. Another sore spot is the "could of" or "would of" in dialogue. No one ever says that or hears that. It's "could've" or "would've." Even with vernacular, doing it correctly would hurt no one ("Who could've took it?"). Also, "clews" instead of "clues." And no, I refuse to believe in the ...more
Jun 21, 2016 Sonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boys have enjoyed these two books by Caroline.
This one had a lot of tie backs to the first mystery, so I'm glad we read them in order.
There is some profanity, but also references to the Bible and how it relates to life.
Had Soiled Doves---but did not elaborate only inferred of their life-style.

The processing of the twelve year old detective makes me laugh, because it is so true...the obvious sometimes eludes them, yet the mystery still continues even for me.
Sep 25, 2013 Clare rated it it was amazing
This is the first of the Pinkerton series I've read and I loved it! I think this is just the sort of book I'd have loved as a child - slightly naughty (though moral) and with lots of crime! Brilliant setting.

One thing - it's wasted on children. Hey Caroline, I think you should write an adult novel!

(One other good thing - too many books end too soon after the killer is unmasked, but this tied up all the ends in a satisfying way.)
Melissa Mcavoy
The second installment in the P.K. Pinkerton mystery series. P.K. has set up as a detective and lands his first case, but when he is fingered as the prime suspect and threatened with hanging, the pressure is on. Lawrence delivers another exciting mix of historical detail, unique characters and frontier-town grit.
not as riveting as first but still great. Love the setting but could wish for a better map of Virginia City. Caroline Lawrence's books are full of period color and grit and remain too good for just kids. Keep 'em coming!
Ashlynn Carpenter
Oct 08, 2015 Ashlynn Carpenter marked it as to-read
I'm still reading first book but I so far love it! Hopefully there will be more from where that cane from ! Also wondered if the roman mystery series was for children I'm 10 and I love mysteries action and some romance...
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
P.K. certainly has his hands full with this second case . . . and he's only been in business as a detective for a few days! This series continues to be full of shoot-em-ups, outlaws, and guest star historical figures. The Nevada Territory is no place for the faint of heart.
Oct 22, 2015 Terah rated it did not like it
Shelves: graveyard
I really did enjoy the first one in this series but this got churchy really quick and wasn't feeling it.
Lee Anne
Jan 25, 2016 Lee Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I enjoyed this book, I'd be cautious recommending it to younger readers as it is rather gory (as was the first in this series).
Jun 10, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
Excellent follow up to The Case of the Deadly Desperados, in fact, I'd wager it's even better. Review going up on For Winter Nights.
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Caroline Lawrence won a scholarship to Cambridge to read Classical Archaeology, then did a degree in Hebrew and Jewish studies at University College London. She now lives in London with her English husband and teaches Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Art and French to children.

* Roman Mysteries
Western Mysteries
More about Caroline Lawrence...

Other Books in the Series

The P.K Pinkerton Mysteries (4 books)
  • The Case of the Deadly Desperados (The P.K Pinkerton Mysteries, #1)
  • P.K. Pinkerton and the Pistol-Packing Widows (The P.K Pinkerton Mysteries #3)
  • The Case of the Bogus Detective (The P.K. Pinkerton Mysteries, #4)

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