In 1862 Nevada Territory, after finding his foster parents murdered and scalped, twelve-year-old Pinky Pinkerton, son of a railroad detective and a Sioux Indian, inherits a valuable deed and must hide from dangerous Whittlin Walt and his gang of desp
"*Starred Review* The year is 1862, and P. K. Pinkerton, on his twelfth birthday, finds his stepparents brutally scalped. He realizes that vicious outlaw Whittlin' Walt and his two henchmen now have their sights set on him. Seems P. K. has something they want: a mysterious deed, which is a legacy from his railroad-detective birth father. So P. K. takes off running, with the terrible trio in relentless pursuit, from tiny Temperance to the lawless silver-mining town of Virginia City. As things intensify, P. K. must use his wits (and occasional disguises) to survive. A winning blend of Wild West and classic detective lore, this first book in the Western Mysteries series is a fast-paced, engrossing read, from beginning to end. P. K. is a wonderfully drawn, engaging protagonist half Sioux, half white, and a self-proclaimed misfit who has difficulty reading others and expressing emotion. But he also has gifts, like exceptional memory, keen observational powers, and resourcefulness. His vernacular, colloquial first-person account vividly brings characters to life, from cunning Belle Donne to slick, unexpectedly kind gambler Jace. Both settings and events including exciting, occasionally gory, confrontations are filled with droll touches, period details, and poignant moments. Though literary allusions (including Charles Dickens and Mark Twain) sprinkled throughout may elude some readers, it doesn't matter; they'll cheer P. K. on and anticipate his next adventure. An appended glossary includes referenced real-life people and details.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Lawrence's energetic, vividly written series opener begins with 12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton trapped in a mine shaft, facing certain death and recording the wild adventure that led him there. In 1862 the twice-orphaned, half-Sioux P.K. hops a stagecoach from his tiny home in the Nevada Territory for the rowdy streets of Virginia City, fleeing from the much-feared outlaw "Whittlin' Walt," who just scalped and murdered P.K.'s second set of parents. The outlaws are after a silver mine deed, left to P.K. and worth millions. P.K., who is wily but has almost no emotional intelligence, slowly comes to understand that he can trust no one; he adopts various disguises and picks up some street smarts from a slew of equally lively characters, including substantial cameos from Samuel Clemens and others. Lawrence (the Roman Mysteries series) easily captures the chaos and tension of the Wild West, complete with gamblers, "Soiled Doves," and plenty of slang (defined in a glossary) and gunfire. With cliffhangers ending most of the chapters, this agile story should keep readers' attention from first page to last. Ages 8-12. Agent: Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved