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Dead Man's Cove

(Laura Marlin Mysteries #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  718 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Blue Peter award-winning mystery adventure from the author of THE WHITE GIRAFFE quartet.

'What I want,' Laura declared is to have a life packed with excitement like some of the characters in my books.' And Laura Marlin's favourite character is ace-detective Matt Walker. When she is sent to live with an uncle in St Ives, Cornwall, she's convinced that a life of adventure is
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 5th 2010 by Orion Children's Books (first published 2010)
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Showing 1-30
4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  718 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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L.H. Johnson
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to be terribly unprofessional here for a moment so please do humour me.


*Puts Critic hat back on*


Oh, this will never do. Okay, I'll have to do my best to restore some sort of professional overtones to this review.

Laura Marlin is brilliant.

Wait, it's not improving is it.

She has a three legged Siberian huskey as a sidekick. Which is brilliant.

Oh, I give in.

THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT. It's the Famous Five meets Nancy Drew. It has the wonderful Laura Marl
Liberty Gilmore
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What’s Good About It

It’s a charming little detective story, without being cutesy. There’s real threat and real danger, and serious issues explored within the narrative. Laura is a great character – very relatable, and admirable. She’s independent, intelligent, brave and loyal, but she has her flaws too, making her rounded and believable.

The progression of the mystery – starting with Laura trying to figure out her uncle, escalating to the grand plot behind everything gives the reader a nice sense
Robin Stevens
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great mystery and a lovely, determined heroine. A real treat!
An orphaned girl with a big love for detectives finds herself thrown into mystery when she moves in to live with her uncle.

I bought this one during my vacation in 2018, so almost 6 months ago, but never was in the mood to read this one. Oh boy, past me, why why? Because as soon as I started this one I was totally in the story. I wanted to read on and on and on.

Meet Laura, an orphaned girl with a bit of a case of pickiness. She has had so many chances with new families and none of them worked. A
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
1. I decided to read this book because a family member recommended it to me and said that it was very good. I also liked the themes of the book.
2. A character I found interesting was Mr. Calvin Redfern who was the uncle of Laura Marlin. In the story he was described as a “disheveled one-eyed tyrant who arrived into town in the dead of night”, and I thought what this means was that nobody knew him well and that he just appeared from somewhere one day. Later on, in the story he is revealed to be a
Sheila Beaumont
A truly outstanding, totally enthralling mystery set in Cornwall, England, this is one of the very best children's mysteries I've ever read. The heroine, 11-year-old orphan Laura Marlin, has been rescued from the children's home by her mysterious uncle, Calvin Redfern. Laura loves books, especially detective stories, and wants to become a detective like her favorite fictional detective, Matt Walker.

After she arrives in St. Ives, where her uncle lives, she finds all sorts of mysteries that call o
Jade H
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and felt that the characters were very interesting and developed further as you read the book. There were a lot of ins and outs in the books which made it even more exciting to read. I would like to read the others in this series
Miriam Halahmy
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this and I loved it. Great mystery, good characters and the setting was magical.
Stacey (prettybooks)
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacey by: Caitlin
Dead Man's Cove was the first book chosen for my monthly book club. I had been wanting to read it for a while because it sounded like a perfect middle grade adventure and mystery in the vein of Enid Blyton, plus the cover is stunning! Dead Man's Cove is the first story in the Laura Marlin Mysteries series, following 11-year-old Laura as she works on becoming an ace detective, inspired by her favourite fictional detective Matt Walker. Laura is living in Sylvan Meadow's Children's Home when she is ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Even though this book was meant for a younger audience, I enjoyed it. It made me really nostalgic of when I was younger, and I wanted to be a detective. Even though that's no longer my ambition, I could still relate to the main character nonetheless.

Reasons to Read:

1.Writing Style:

I really liked the way that St John wrote the novel. It flowed really well; nothing was too awkward about it. I also found it was really easy to read for younger audiences, without making it too young sounding. Each c
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I'd have read Kat Wolfe Investigates after reading this, instead of the other way around, I think I might have felt a little cheated. They are similar in a lot of ways, and while Kat Wolfe feels a lot like a more current and updated version of Laura Marlin, it left me feeling this book was a little left behind and forgotten, but I think I enjoyed it more than Kat Wolfe.

Laura's an orphan who has spent most o her life in a children's home, dreaming of long-lost relatives coming to find her. Whe
Empire of Books
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
11 year old Laura is an orphan. Her father, an American soldier, disappeared long before she was born, and her mother died during childbirth. All her life, Laura has lived at the Sylvan Meadow's Children Home. Always hoping and dreaming of finding a home where she can stay longer than half a day because she is fussy. And then finally, such a dream comes true. Her uncle, her mother's brother, is found, and agrees to take her in. She moves to Cornwall to live with her uncle and immediately falls i ...more
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book reminded me very much of the Famous Five books I enjoyed as a child but brought right up to date and given a social conscience. The book touches on some serious issues, such as the human slavery trade, illegal immigation and child abuse, but in a very child-friendly way. I love the strong female character who would give any of her male counterparts a run for their money, and the supporting cast of characters add some humorous moments.

Even as a grown-up, I found it well written and excit
Ceri Hughes
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is phenomenal, no joke! I read this in 1day.

It follows a girl called laura marlin, who lived in a children's home, because her mother died and her father was unknown to her and fellow people. Laura is then told that she has a long lost uncle who has offered to adopt her, and lives in st Ives. Laura's uncle, Calvin redfern is a mysterious character at first but toward the end of the book he is possibly one of my favourite characters.
This book is a mystery and quite funny at times also
Lindsey Blake
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really cracking younger (8 to 12) kids adventure novel very much in the Enid Blyton mood but brought right up to date with a daring female lead, traffic'd children, criminal gangs, hidden messages and shady characters. However it still contains lots of cake, hot chocolate and yummy food (albeit pescatarian)

Beautifully written and well paced with excellent main characters and pitched perfectly for the audience - a roaring adventure with just the right amount of peril. It never talks down to th
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I LOVE this book!!!!! It's soooooo good!!!!! I'm going to Cornwall in the summer and my sister and I (who also loves this book) are going to see Dead Man's Coves together, and go to 28 Ocean View Terrace because we love it so much!
Jenna Mills
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It was lent to me by one of the kids in my class who thought I would like it since I enjoy The Famous Five. He was right! I really enjoyed this. Loved the characters and the tale kept me guessing.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book 3 years ago and it was really good, the plot was amazing and the characters were realistic but imaginative .I would recommend this to anyone who likes mystery books.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was younger, it was beautiful. The three legged husky just ahh
Katie Drummond
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
LOVE THIS BOOK! If you are a fan of Enid Blyton, you will like this book!
Dane Cobain
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is the first in St. John’s Laura Marlin series of detective novels, and I get the feeling it’s aimed at older children, maybe around the age of 11 or 12. I decided to read it because I saw this for sale in a charity shop and I remember interviewing Lauren way back when I’d just started, and so I thought it would be nice for me to take the opportunity to read and review one of her books.

Unfortunately, I found it hard to get into it, although I did at least power th
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
Bought this yesterday as I’m on holiday in Cornwall and it seemed like a fun idea to read something set here. I was drawn in by the review on the front recommending it to Enid Blyton fans, I loved the famous five books as a kid so I picked it up. Really enjoyed it. It’s a fun little mystery, very famous five-esque (except it’s just Laura) with a nice modern twist. It was fun reading about places I’ve been to recently (Bodmin Moor and St Ives) and Laura was a smart but not annoying protagonist. I ...more
Pippa Wright
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay, so four out of five because it was a tiny bit predictable, however a really good read for someone who wants something like Enid Blyton Famous Five/Secret Seven but a bit more up to date.

Dan Jon (10, nearly 11) loved the book but again finds that he is at least five steps ahead of Laura.
Ben French
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
A book in which there is no mystery untill the last 30 or so pages. Which menas everything up untill that point is all a red herring, which leads to this strange 180 at the end
3.5 stars
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-2012, reviewed
Die Todesbucht war mal ein ganz anderes Buch, als meine normalen Lektüren. Als ich mich Damals auf BdB für dieses Buch beworben habe, war es mehr ein Versuch. Nachdem ich dann eure positiven Kommentare bzgl. des Buches gelesen habe, war ich mir relativ sicher, dass das ein wahrer Lesegenuss wird. Ist es auch geworden, das Buch hat wirklich Spaß gemacht!


"Laura Marlin, ein 11jähriges Waisenkind, erfährt eines Tages, dass sie scheinbar noch einen Onkel hat, welcher sie bei sich aufnehmen wir
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was written by Laura Marlin. She was born in Berkshire, England. She 19s born the first of February 1990. The name of the book is the Dead Man 19s cove. This is a fiction book with adventure in it. I chose to read this book when I was in a market where they sold books in english so I took this book.

This book is about a girl named Laura, she is an orphan that wanted action in her life. The story takes place when the social services discover that she has an uncle. She will go live with h
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Lauren St John grew up on a farm and game reserve in Africa, the inspiration for her acclaimed memoir, Rainbow's End, and her award-winning White Giraffe series for children. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her Laura Marlin mystery series, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2011. Her bestselling One Dollar Horse trilogy for teenagers was followed by The Glory, a breathtaking YA adventure a ...more

Other books in the series

Laura Marlin Mysteries (6 books)
  • Kidnap in the Caribbean (Laura Marlin Mysteries, #2)
  • Kentucky Thriller (Laura Marlin Mysteries, #3)
  • Rendezvous in Russia (Laura Marlin Mysteries, #4)
  • The Midnight Picnic (Laura Marlin Mysteries #4.5)
  • The Secret of Supernatural Creek (Laura Marlin Mysteries #5)