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Dead Man's Hand (Caden Chronicles, The) by…

Dead Man's Hand (Caden Chronicles, The) (edition 2012)

by Eddie Jones

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153647,891 (3.83)None
Title:Dead Man's Hand (Caden Chronicles, The)
Authors:Eddie Jones
Info:Zondervan (2012), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:young adult, christian, religious, mystery, first reads

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Dead Man's Hand (The Caden Chronicles) by Eddie Jones



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If you are looking for a great mystery for your tween/teen to read this summer then this book is the one for you. This is a book that both boys and girls will enjoy. Nick Caden is doomed to spend his summer vacation with his parents and his young sister Wendy at the Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town in Montana.
He can think of nothing more boring. It is supposed to be an old time western ghost town complete with cowboys, re-enactments and history lessons. To me this sounded wonderful. I live in Florida and when I was in my teens we had an old western town in Ocala, Florida called Six Gun Territory. This story immediately took me back to that time and place. I had great memories there. I assumed that since I loved something like that, then maybe a teen would as well.

Nick stumbles upon the dead body of Billy the Kid. When he gets the sheriff and they return to the spot, there is no body. He is told that it was probably all a part of the act. Nick doesn’t buy it. In his free time back home he and his friends participate in a Cyber-Super Sleuth club. Solving mysteries is what he does and he is determined to solve this one. He is helped in this adventure by Annabel, also known as Annie Oakley. Her uncle, Marshal Buckleberry deputizes him and allows him to question the tourists as long as he doesn’t mention the dead body. You know that at some point he is going to question the wrong person and that can and will lead to trouble.

This is the first book in the Caden Chronicles and not the last one I will read. This is a book I know several of my students will enjoy. From the book we learn that Nick’s family are not Christians. Nick finds a Bible with highlighted passages and begins to question things. This is very light on the Christian end of things. I do hope there is more along that line in the second book. I know as an author myself that balancing on that fine line is very difficult. I do believe that Eddie Jones is up to the challenge. I recommend that tweens, teens and adults read this book. It would definitely make a great summer read. ( )
  skstiles612 | May 26, 2013 |
I won this as a First Reads giveaway. I was given an ARC. The only thing I felt cheated out of was the pictures that are suppose to be included. I could tell since there was place holder text at work. I would have loved to see those pictures. =(

For my star rating - I think this book is actually a 3.5 stars. I mean this is a first book in a series which does avoid a lot of problems first books face and it is indeed an enjoyable good read. I will look into the next book in this series, but I have a bit of concern on how that book is going to play out. For specifics, it's at the end of my review under the spoiler link.

I'm an adult who love young adult books. I think this is a good book for young readers and adults a like to enjoy. It is on the clean side. So for those of us who like young adult fiction that delves into real issues like [book:Crank|270730] does, this is not it. It's a good clean fun mystery. Think Hardy Boys, only not as lame. Now if you're a parent I do suggest you read this with, before, or along side your child. There are things brought up that you probably want to clarify or talk about like the actual history of the Old West and religion, specifically the Bible being brought up.

I really enjoyed this book. Nick Caden was well done. There's a fine line when writing teenage characters, especially for teenage readers. You need the character to be believable and relatable so the character needs to be up to date. On the other hand sometimes with an over load of pop culture references, slang terms and attitude teenage characters will be overdone obviously by an older author trying to come off as cool and hip. The teenage character becomes cringe worthy and a caricature. Thankfully, Nick Caden falls into the former category. He's a relatable believable 14 year old boy. I'm quite fond of him actually. I was won over by his love of NCIS and Criminal Minds.

I think basically all the characters were well done. Nick's family and their dynamics was among the high points. I'm a bit iffy on Annie though. She didn't seem to come together very well. Of course, maybe there's just some detail we're missing in her background that really brings her together. She does remain a mystery.

I loved the mystery and Nick's stubborn logical view of things. It was refreshing. It actually put me in the mind of Scooby Doo and that's quite a good thing considering how awesome that show was (the original, of course, not that new CGI crap with live actors) and how much I love Scooby Doo. Too often with mysteries you can see it coming from a mile away. Not true in this case. I really was guessing til the end of the book. The plot with it's twists and turns was well done. I have no complaints in this department. It's actually the best part of the book. The part that made me want to keep on reading and find out how it ends.

Minor Issues:

They never did reveal how the awesome special effects are done. I mean the special effects really were far too advanced for anything we have going currently. The gun part was explained but the whole 'people becoming translucent and dissolving into the ground right in front of visitors' wasn't. Unless we're just suppose to assume they really are ghosts? I guess that's what the line "nagging questions of the ultimate destiny of a person's body, soul and spirit?" in the blurb was getting at.

On page 62, there's some dialogue regarding the Bible and some crazy passages in there about ghosts, zombies and vampires. Oh my! It's a great poking fun at some of the outrageous claims in the Bible. I actually didn't know this was billed as Christian fiction until after I read it and was looking into things for my review. So I would advise parents to read it first or with their child in case religious questions/issues comes up. It talks about how things in the Bible can't be proven but doesn't bring up the many things disproved by science. ( )
  BrokeBookBank | Nov 25, 2012 |

Dead Man's Hand is a fun teenager detective whose family goes on vacation in a Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town. He finds a billy dying from a gunshot but by the time he got the Sheriff to come the body disappeared.
Nick Caden is 15 year old whose hobby is solving crimes. Nick and his friends have got plots of detective shows on a computer farm. Then they take real cases and get the facts and the computer rates who likely the killer is.
Nick knows he saw a dead guy but no one believes him. But the Sheriff of the Deadwood canyon is letting Nick investigate but he can't talk about a dead body missing around the tourist.
Annie is 15 too. She seams to be around when the trouble happens. She just says her Uncle the sheriff asled her to keep an eye on him.
Everyone is a suspect in Nick's eyes. He asks for albies,about the missing actor,just tries to find out all he can.
The adults are getting annoyed by all of Nick's questions. Nick is having fun trying to figure out where the body might be and who did it.
Nick keeps everyone guessing till the end. The adults are ready for Nick to stop. People are laughing at him,No one believes that billy is dead because of messages being left on sheriff's phone.
Its a different dective idea. I also liked hearing about the ghost town. Would not mind reading some more books by Eddie Jones based on this one.
I was given this ebook to read in exchange for honest review from Netgalley.
11/01/2012 PUB Zondervan Imprint ZonderKidz 224 pages recomend for 9 to 12 year old boys. ( )
  rhonda1111 | Oct 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310723442, Paperback)

Book Summary
It's All Just a Show...Right? Just Hollywood theatrics? "This is an authentic old west ghost town, son. Around these parts the dead don't stay dead."

Nick Caden's vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fourteen-year-old finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims and... vanishes. Great theatrics, Nick thinks, except now he's alone in the hayloft with the bullet-riddled body of Billy the Kid. And by the time the sheriff arrives, the body disappears.

Soon Nick is caught in a deadly chase---from an abandoned gold mine, through forbidden buffalo hunting grounds, and across Rattlesnake Gulch. Around every turn he finds another suspect. Will Nick solve the murder? Will his parents have him committed? Or will the town's infatuation with Hollywood theatrics conceal the real truth about souls, spirits and the destiny that awaits those who die.

In this new supernatural mystery YA series, award-winning author Eddie Jones takes readers to the Wild Wild West. Perfect for fans of mysteries and crime TV and reluctant readers.

Readers are Leaders - Buy a Boy a Book!

Praise for Dead Man's Hand
This is teen fiction that's not just for teens. I for one can't wait for the next book in the series. For adventure, suspense and just plain laugh-out-loud fun, you can't do better than Dead Man's Hand. ~ Ann Tatlock, two-time Christy award winner

Dead Man's Hand is an exciting ghost-story with lots of surprises. A great read for kids who love a good mystery. I highly recommend it!" Levi Holmes, son of best-selling author and two-time Christy Award nominee, Gina Holmes ~ Dry as Rain & Crossing Oceans

Dead Man's Hand was a perfect mixture of suspenseful and spooky. I loved all the detective stuff. It taught me how to find a murderer! ~ Abby Dellosso, daughter of Mike Dellosso, author of Frantic and Rearview

With a plot that lassos you in, Dead Man's Hand is a fantastical read! ~ Laura Tatlock, 15-year-old daughter of Christy award winning author of Promises to Keep

I am reading this book aloud to my seventh grade english class and they absolutely love it. It is really intriguing and gets the childrens attention. (And mine) It is so hard not to read ahead because I am so engrossed in the book too! ~ Goodreads

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:17 -0400)

When fourteen-year-old Nick Caden vacations at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town, he finds himself in the middle of a mystery involving ghosts of infamous dead outlaws, disappearing dead bodies, and murders.

(summary from another edition)

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