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Dead Man's Hand PDF, ePub eBook It's All Just a Show...Right? 'This is an authentic old west ghost town, son. Around these parts the dead don't stay dead.' Nick Kindle's vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fifteen-year-old finds himself trapped in a livery stable with the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The shooter whirls, aims and... vanishes. Great theatrics, It's All Just a Show...Right? 'This is an authentic old west ghost town, son. Around these parts the dead don't stay dead.' Nick Kindle's vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town takes a deadly turn toward trouble when the fifteen-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 chas---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.

30 review for Dead Man's Hand

  1. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

    An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change. When Nick and his family are on a vacation to an out of sorts town in the middle of no-where’s-ville, he stumbles upon a mystery that needs to be solved. There is a murderer on the loose, and Nick is determined to find out who it is. His sleuthing skills are put to the test as he finds out who it is, and how they’re doing it. Nick is your average teenage b An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change. When Nick and his family are on a vacation to an out of sorts town in the middle of no-where’s-ville, he stumbles upon a mystery that needs to be solved. There is a murderer on the loose, and Nick is determined to find out who it is. His sleuthing skills are put to the test as he finds out who it is, and how they’re doing it. Nick is your average teenage boy, and I absolutely loved the fact that he was resourceful enough to find out who the suspects were. I also like the fact that his character enjoyed solving real life cases by watching TV shows such as Criminal Minds and C.S.I.. I also liked that there wasn’t a ton of Christian references but enough to write a good quote or two. The romance was also cute, but not overly cheesy since these two are just pre-teens. There is always something special about cowboys and the Wild Wild West, and this one is no exception. I thought the story was well done, and the writing was interlaced with quirky suspects, and a fast moving plot. The author depicts a lot of the setting and I absolutely love it when they’re creative with the world building. It paints a clear and imaginative picture in my head and doesn’t take a while to erase. At first, I was hesitant to read the book since there were scenes where ghosts come and go and I’m such a chicken, I put it down so I could read it during the day. Characters Good characters, good distinct personalities, and they do mature in the end. Pacing Good pacing. A little slow at the beginning. Cover & Design Not catching enough, and I probably missed something because I don’t remember Nick carrying a microphone during the entire book. Plot Very good mystery that had me guessing until the very end. Overall, a good enough page turner story that will get your detective skills to good use!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    I was provided a free ARC from Zondervan for reviewing purposes. This book really surprised me. It's written for an audience that is younger than I usually read, yet it still ended up being a well-developed murder mystery. The beginning of the novel was very fast-paced and exciting, then slowed down a bit in the middle with all of the details of the investigation. Nevertheless, it is very well-written and easy to read (and enjoyable to read, actually). The main character visits a tourist ghost to I was provided a free ARC from Zondervan for reviewing purposes. This book really surprised me. It's written for an audience that is younger than I usually read, yet it still ended up being a well-developed murder mystery. The beginning of the novel was very fast-paced and exciting, then slowed down a bit in the middle with all of the details of the investigation. Nevertheless, it is very well-written and easy to read (and enjoyable to read, actually). The main character visits a tourist ghost town with his family, where he immediately stumbles upon a dead body. He reports it to the town sheriff only to find that the body has completely disappeared when they go back to check out the crime scene. The boy then spends the rest of his time investigating the murder. Is there a murderer on the loose, or possibly real ghosts in the ghost town wreaking havoc? This novel felt very authentic to me, with a modern teenage boy accurately portrayed along with the rest of his family. The description of the ghost town and it's inhabitants were also excellent (far better than I was expecting for a children's novel). I would recommend this to not only the intended audience (young males) but also to adults looking for an easy-read murder mystery.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Banks

    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. However, I'm rounding up based on charity and benefit of the doubt. 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 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. However, I'm rounding up based on charity and benefit of the doubt. 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 Crank 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: Why is a 14 year old having to worry about cholesterol? There's no mention of why. He certainly seems physical fit in the book based on certain things he did and no mention of anything to give the reader any impression otherwise. At the end of the book there's mention of him wearing glasses but it's not mentioned any place else. With all the running, climbing, riding and whatnot going on you'd think Nick would mention glasses. Especially since given the physical activities going on the glasses would get slippery due to sweat or fall off or be a hassle. 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. For specific quotes regarding the Bible and my take on them: (view spoiler)[ Nick's mom, says on page 61 "I don't know that I would necessarily believe everything you read in that book. Back then people knew a lot less about science and how the world worked. It's been my experience that if you try to have a reasonable debate with someone who takes the Bible literally, they end up calling you an over-educated elitist who doesn't believe in God." This statement I agree with and have had the same terrible experience. I do however, not like the Mom's statement of not having an issue with what's in the Bible, just what it does to people. I certainly have issues with both. So really, she had no problem with rape, selling the rape victim to the rapist, justifying genocide and stupid things like 'don't wear mixed fiber clothes'? Huh. That's not okay. Nick's mom continues later on page 62, "There's no way to prove that what's in the Bible is true or not. Or that there is a God. What I'm saying is, you can gather all the clues you want, but in the end, it's just a matter of believing something you can't prove." This is untrue. Science certainly has disproved the global flood theory aka Noah's Ark (Hint: Geology), that the Earth is only 6,000 years old (Hint: Earth is a lot older), and that God created humans as they are today (Hint: Evolution). I could go on and on about this but that's not directly my point. At the end of the book, Nick is now flying off to investigate Jesus Christ. Now, Dead Man's Hand was a believable place for a kid to wind up in and get involved in. But now convincing his entire family to go so he can investigate Jesus Christ? Uh huh. Maybe the next book will elaborate more. I will certainly give the next book a shot, I'm just a bit worried. I can totally see this dissolving into religious lecturing and unscientific bull. Or it could be a great rational, skeptical, scientific look into mythical and historical Jesus Christ. I'll just have to wait and see. I'd hate for it to have such a great start only for the author to pull a bait and switch. (hide spoiler)]

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paige Bradish

    I received Dead Man’s Hand by Eddie Jones from ZonderKidz publishing and this is my honest review. Dead Man’s Hand is a story about a young boy named Nick Caden who thinks of himself as a detective. (his family and friends think otherwise) Anyways Nick and his family decide to go on vacation to Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town, which Nick isn’t too excited about until he is convinced that he has witnessed a murder in the towns barn. This causes Nick to want to investigate and that is exactly what he d I received Dead Man’s Hand by Eddie Jones from ZonderKidz publishing and this is my honest review. Dead Man’s Hand is a story about a young boy named Nick Caden who thinks of himself as a detective. (his family and friends think otherwise) Anyways Nick and his family decide to go on vacation to Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town, which Nick isn’t too excited about until he is convinced that he has witnessed a murder in the towns barn. This causes Nick to want to investigate and that is exactly what he does. Lets talk about Nick, his character is pretty entertaining. I loved that no matter what people told him he never gave up. So many people were against him being a detective at first (even his own family) so watching him do whatever it took to uncover the murder it was courageous on his part and I really like that in a character. The plot of this story intrigued me a lot because in the press release it is stated that if you like mysteries and crime TV that you’ll love this book. That statement alone made me want to read this book, because ever since 4th grade every time my teacher asked me what types of books I liked my answer would be mysteries. This also led to my collection on Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys books. Also I am obsessed with crime TV shows my netflix is filled to the brim with every crime show it has and I cannot get enough of them. So as you can imagine, I really enjoyed this book. The only thing that I was a little disappointed about with this book is that also in the press release it said that this series was supernatural, and while reading I didn’t really come across any supernatural elements. Sure the characters talked about ghosts, and there was a haunted place in the book but there wasn’t enough about these things for it to be supernatural in my mind. It says though that the whole series is supernatural so hopefully book too will be better in that department. Nevertheless I started this book and had it finished in less than 24 hours (told you I liked mysteries) I found myself right along with Nick trying to figure out who I thought was the killer but Jones did a great job keeping the killer underwraps because at the end when I found out who the killer was I was totally dumbfounded! I did not expect the killer to be who he was. The story gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to read book 2 which I already have in my possession!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patrice Hoffman

    *Won ARC through Goodreads giveaway* I am so surprised with this book. This book is categorized as young adult. I haven't read a young adult novel in a long time but as I read this book, I was pulled back into the days of my youth. The story is narrated by Nick Caden, Certified Cyber Sleuth. He's a bright, intelligent teen of fifteen years old who loves to solve mysteries. Luckily (rather unlukily), he's faced with his first real murder investigation. The murder of Billy the Kid. Upon arriving to *Won ARC through Goodreads giveaway* I am so surprised with this book. This book is categorized as young adult. I haven't read a young adult novel in a long time but as I read this book, I was pulled back into the days of my youth. The story is narrated by Nick Caden, Certified Cyber Sleuth. He's a bright, intelligent teen of fifteen years old who loves to solve mysteries. Luckily (rather unlukily), he's faced with his first real murder investigation. The murder of Billy the Kid. Upon arriving to Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town with his family, he's witness to a murder. After finding the dead body of Billy the Kid, he leaves to report to the sheriff. When they arrive back to the scene of the crime, the body is gone. This sets in motion the search for the real killer. Although everyone is sure no murder has taken place, Nick Caden does not let it deter his goal in finding whodunit. Eddie Jones does a great job at writing from a teen's perspective and holding the readers interest. When reading about teens, at times, I become very agitated and annoyed at their brattyness, but this time I had no problem enjoying the story from Caden's view. Although the writing is simplistic, the novel is well written and engrossing. This book is not my usual read but I can see many teen's and preteens enjoying this series. There's suspense, mystery, and intrigue. I gave this book 4 stars based on what I think I would have wanted at the age this book is geared for. It has all the elements needed: Interesting story, an intriguing main character, and action.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I am reviewing a advanced reading copy provided by Zondervan via Goodreads first-reads. A good ole wild west (kinda!) murder mystery aimed at young teens. Overall a good book but I had trouble relating to the main character Nick at the beginning of the book. Simply put, I just didn't believe him. Like the adults in the book, I found myself having trouble believing him and often wondered if it was some sort of elaborate hoax or customized vacation experience. Since the book is entirely from Nick's I am reviewing a advanced reading copy provided by Zondervan via Goodreads first-reads. A good ole wild west (kinda!) murder mystery aimed at young teens. Overall a good book but I had trouble relating to the main character Nick at the beginning of the book. Simply put, I just didn't believe him. Like the adults in the book, I found myself having trouble believing him and often wondered if it was some sort of elaborate hoax or customized vacation experience. Since the book is entirely from Nick's point of view, I would expect to be behind him from the start without any doubts. About a quarter of the way through though, I really started to believe and then enjoyed the details, clues, and false trails you expect from a good murder mystery. As is I would give this three stars but am giving it four for potential since it is likely in edits now, hopefully one helping the reader understand Nick's motivations earlier on.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Bradley

    The suspense dragged me in from the very beginning. As an aunt who buys books for her nephews, I was delighted to find a book I know they will love but holds firm to the truth. I appreciated how the author deals with a popular topic while maintaining good perspective. I'm excited to find a new author to pull from for those gift-giving occasions. Besides, I get to read them first!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gina Holmes

    I grew up reading the Hardy Boys, and Eddie Jones' Dead Man's Hand reminds me a lot of those books. My son (10) read it and loved it. He called it a great ghost story with lots of action and adventure.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Grahamcracker

    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!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

    She's Got Books on Her Mind Nick's been dragged along to go on a family vacation to an old Wild West town where cowboy actors play the part of the most well know outlaws - Jessie James, Billy the Kid, Annie Oakley, and more. Nick's dreading hanging out in an old town where there is no cell reception, no internet, and surely there is nothing fun to do. That all changes when Nick discovers a dead body in a barn but when he goes to tell the marshal by the time the marshal sends someone out to check She's Got Books on Her Mind Nick's been dragged along to go on a family vacation to an old Wild West town where cowboy actors play the part of the most well know outlaws - Jessie James, Billy the Kid, Annie Oakley, and more. Nick's dreading hanging out in an old town where there is no cell reception, no internet, and surely there is nothing fun to do. That all changes when Nick discovers a dead body in a barn but when he goes to tell the marshal by the time the marshal sends someone out to check if there is a murder case on their hands the body is gone. There are no blood stains to corroborate Nick's claim. They all say it was probably just part of the act. There are projections to make it look like someone was shot and there are trapdoors to take the "bodies" away to put on a good show. Nick doesn't buy it. He knows what he saw and he will find the truth no matter what it costs even if he has to put his own life in danger. Back home Nick has this detective club where him and a bunch of friends use this computer system to help solve crimes they see on television shows. It's all fun and games but not to Nick. He takes it all seriously. He even comments from time to time what he does with his friends which I don't think is a good move if you want someone to take you seriously but it at least gives you some background on the story. He is determined to figure out what happened to Billy the Kid, the actor's stage name who's body he found, who supposedly left for Hollywood after he got a role in a movie. Nick is very analytical and knows what questions to ask and what questions he should not just in case that the person he is talking to is the killer. He gets to ask these questions because he was deputized by the marshal so he wouldn't go blabbing about an imagined murder to the other customers. Most people he talks to humor him but they usually end up getting offended by what he asks which makes you know that he doesn't pull any punches. Meanwhile his parents go along with it like it's okay that they never see their son around on their vacation. These are the most irresponsible parents I've met in a while in a book. How could you let your kid wonder off in a strange place? He's fourteen (or thirteen I was confused about his age because he's not supposed to be fourteen till a month or something but they keep on saying he's fourteen...) which makes him a minor who you know likes to get in trouble. You need to pay attention to your child before he gets killed! He partners up (sort of) with the Annie Oakley of the town who's real name is Annabel. She's Nick's same age with freckles all over her face and a tomboy attitude. She is sent to keep an eye on him by her uncle (the marshal) to make sure he doesn't get into too much trouble. That proves to not have helped because wherever this boy goes trouble follows him. He's raising tough questions all the while the killer could be planning his accidental death for all we know. Nick is brazen and just goes with everything. I feel like I kind if missed something with his story because the parents think he will cause some trouble before the vacation begins, they keep on talking about this computer program, and his club back home. It just felt like I was reading a sequel instead of the first story sometimes. I really wish Annie and possibly his little sister Wendy would have been part of the story more. I think there was a missed opportunity with Wendy not being by her brother's side helping solve the case. She's going to go with him wherever the series takes them so why not let her be her annoying self that contributes her own opinions to help solve cases? It makes perfect sense! I don't mind the parents being in the background because that usually happens anyways but I want to see the sister more. I really liked where the mystery took me. There were various amounts of suspects even people who surprised me. Nick did a good job investigating and letting me see the different possible motives and see the sides of people that make them look like the killer. There was a moment where I felt like this person seems like the killer. It made sense that they were and guess what? I was right. I don't think it was obvious especially not the motive. The motive came out of nowhere for me. I think it just clicked with me but with others it just might not. Everything was really good about this book except one or two things including me wanting Wendy more in the story. I also felt that it was a little unrealistic that Nick's parents and other adults would let him go around and humor him about a murder. It was a little strange but I can understand that younger kids may not see it that way. There was also a little religious thing I can see going on. There was mention of it once and I kind of brushed it aside because it wasn't a big deal. It was just part of this story and it was just a little part for those of you who don't like that in their books. But, then I see where it's possibly leading into this whole religious case next time... I don't know if I would want to read it. I am curious to see what the next story will bring anyways. With this story I have to say I really enjoyed it no matter what little things I nitpicked on earlier. It's a very "boy" book that I think reluctant readers will like especially with the setting being the Wild West and it being about murder but I also think girls will equally like it based upon the mystery and Annie's character. The story is very different than what I'm used to which I love. Nick's journey is something new to me and I really enjoyed the way he thought. He was a great blend of calm and impulsive at the same time. He was confident in what he doing and gave us a real good show in his own way.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brodie

    This book was a very interesting teen mystery. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults. This book takes place in deadwood South Dakota and is about the murder mystery of Billy the Kid. Nick Caden finds a dead man in a shed a few miles out of town one day, he goes down into town and lets the sheriff and the marshal know what he witnessed. Neither one of those two people believed Nick. Nick decided to take matters in his own hands and try to find the person who convicted the murder. This book was a very interesting teen mystery. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults. This book takes place in deadwood South Dakota and is about the murder mystery of Billy the Kid. Nick Caden finds a dead man in a shed a few miles out of town one day, he goes down into town and lets the sheriff and the marshal know what he witnessed. Neither one of those two people believed Nick. Nick decided to take matters in his own hands and try to find the person who convicted the murder. With the help of his sister Wendy they try to find evidence from the murder. The rest is for the reader to figure out by him/herself. In my opinion this book had many interesting twists and plot. But there were places in the book where it was getting kind of repetitive and boring.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily Rachelle

    I read this book as one of the five INSPY nominations for the Literature for Young Adults category. (I was one of three judges. It was great!) Going in, I expected a lot from this book. First of all, it has a great cover, awesome back cover copy, and a lot of acclamations. Second of all, it's a middle grade mystery - before I widened my reading taste as a result of book blogging, that was my absolute favorite kind of book to read. While the book was pretty good, I was sad to discover it fell to t I read this book as one of the five INSPY nominations for the Literature for Young Adults category. (I was one of three judges. It was great!) Going in, I expected a lot from this book. First of all, it has a great cover, awesome back cover copy, and a lot of acclamations. Second of all, it's a middle grade mystery - before I widened my reading taste as a result of book blogging, that was my absolute favorite kind of book to read. While the book was pretty good, I was sad to discover it fell to the bottom of my list - and the other two judges' - when it came time to order the five nominations from best to not-so-great. The mystery was too confusing and the characters hard to keep straight. While the series may work with this in the future, this book also doesn't seem like it can really be considered a Christian book on its own. There's hardly any mention of the Bible or God until halfway through the book, and the few mentions are all from an atheistic and 'factual' point of view. I thought maybe that view would change over the course of the book; I was disappointed when it didn't. The characters from the town didn't really seem the greatest or the most realistic. The whole thing about the online program for using television shows to analyze crimes was a bit out of place and I felt like I'd started reading in the middle of the series - like there should be a story or two before this one to explain the whole website-with-crime-shows thing. But nope, this is the first book. I will point out that the western sharp-shooter girl Nick seems to be sweet on was pretty cool; I definitely liked her. The family relations didn't seem realistic. Wendy (Nick's sister)'s whining and the parents' nagging were too over-the-top. At first, I thought maybe this was just how fourteen-year-old boys think. I tried to get my brother to read the book and get his opinion, but he said it sounded too weird and refused to even try the first chapter. Just based on that, I'd say this book misses its target audience at the very least - we're talking my fourteen-year-old brother whose favorite books involve action, spies, mysteries, and intrigue. Three stars, but hopeful that the story will improve as the series progresses.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    This may not be a real cowboy western, but hey, it's set in one of those make-believe cowboy towns that I saw in the "Sweet Valley series" and that I always wanted to visit (whew, that's a long sentence). Dead Man's Hand is the first in the series of The Caden Chronicles, which I'm guessing is a mystery series. In this book, Nick Caden, our protagonist, is at a family vacation in Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town. He's just arrived when he finds the dead body of Billy the Kid. BUT, when he alerts the sh This may not be a real cowboy western, but hey, it's set in one of those make-believe cowboy towns that I saw in the "Sweet Valley series" and that I always wanted to visit (whew, that's a long sentence). Dead Man's Hand is the first in the series of The Caden Chronicles, which I'm guessing is a mystery series. In this book, Nick Caden, our protagonist, is at a family vacation in Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town. He's just arrived when he finds the dead body of Billy the Kid. BUT, when he alerts the sheriff, the body's gone! And thanks to an agreement between the Sheriff and his father, Nick's allowed to investigate - under certain conditions. I suppose that since this was the author's first book, he's still getting into the hang of things. My biggest problem with the book was the narration. It's told in first-person form, but somehow, it doesn't feel right. I remember being fourteen, and while I wasn't that mature, I didn't remember being so bratty. Honestly, I'll believe it if Nick was like, ten. I'm not sure why, it was just a feeling I got. The plot was, ok. Nothing spectacular, but it's about the same as most YA mystery novels. I'm already thinking of re-reading the book to see what clues I missed, because the culprit was nothing like I expected. Finally, the whole spirit/death theme. I think, that the book may have overemphasised the whole spiritual thing in the blurb, because it felt like this was added in last minute. Sure, there was the mysterious Bible with the relevant versus highlighted (and props to the author for doing what Chesterton suggested and making the familiar seem unfamiliar), but I don't recall it helping the plot in a noticable way. And why did Nick suddenly want to investigate the mystery of Jesus? But I think, the whole review can be summed up in this - I read the book in one sitting. That should tell you how compelling it is. Disclaimer: I received a free book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. First posted at IntoTheBook

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Stiles

    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 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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill Williamson

    Review by Jill Williamson Nick Caden and his family travel to Montana for a family vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town, where they’re entertained by such characters as Billy the Kid, Jesse James, and Annie Oakley. Nick would rather be in Las Vegas for a video game convention. But then Nick stumbles onto a dead body, and once he brings the sheriff back to the scene of the crime, the body is gone. Now no one will believe him. So it’s up to Nick to solve the crime himself—which is a hobby of his Review by Jill Williamson Nick Caden and his family travel to Montana for a family vacation at Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town, where they’re entertained by such characters as Billy the Kid, Jesse James, and Annie Oakley. Nick would rather be in Las Vegas for a video game convention. But then Nick stumbles onto a dead body, and once he brings the sheriff back to the scene of the crime, the body is gone. Now no one will believe him. So it’s up to Nick to solve the crime himself—which is a hobby of his anyway. His parents want him to stay out of trouble, but Nick won’t stop until he solves the murder. I don’t think there are enough mystery books or boy books for young readers that are written from a Christian worldview, so I’m excited about this book. And it reminded me of the Hardy Boy books I read as a kid. Nick and his family are not Christians, though, and there is a point where he asks his mom about the Bible and she makes it clear that she doesn’t believe the book is true. But Nick finds a Bible with highlighted passages that make him curious. Nick was determined to solve the case. At first I was a little confused. I couldn’t tell if there really had been a dead body or if it was part of the Ghost Town’s act. And I wasn’t certain until the very end, which was kind of fun, to be kept guessing. Everyone is a suspect in Nick’s eyes, including his new friend Annie. He gathers his clues and processes them based on his “training” as a Cyber Sleuth, something he and his friends do in their spare time to solve cold cases. I’m still not sure how the highlighted Bible fit in to the mystery, but Nick figures it out and saves the day. This is a clean and fun story. Check it out. *I received this book from Zondervan in return for an honest review of my opinions.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    stars 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 stars 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    JeanBookNerd

    Eddie Jones’ Dead Man’s Hand is the first book in The Caden Chronicles. Readers are introduced to Nick Caden, a fifteen-year-old boy who has a knack for doing detective work. When he and his sister, Wendy, are dragged by their parents to Montana’s Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town for a wild-west adventurous vacation, he didn’t expect to be in a middle of a murder mystery when he stumbles onto a dead body. Calling the sheriff to investigate the scene, the body mysteriously disappears. Nick would rather Eddie Jones’ Dead Man’s Hand is the first book in The Caden Chronicles. Readers are introduced to Nick Caden, a fifteen-year-old boy who has a knack for doing detective work. When he and his sister, Wendy, are dragged by their parents to Montana’s Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town for a wild-west adventurous vacation, he didn’t expect to be in a middle of a murder mystery when he stumbles onto a dead body. Calling the sheriff to investigate the scene, the body mysteriously disappears. Nick would rather be playing a video game convention in Las Vegas, but with his present situation, he must rely on his quick wit and eye for details to solve a murder mystery. The adventure that author Eddie has created for Nick definitely has all the elements for a wild-west mystery. Although the town has an infatuation with Hollywood trickery, it will have readers scratching their heads trying to figure out if the murder is real or staged. It feels like a mystery within a mystery and it was a facet of the book that makes it unique from other mystery novels. Eddie’s writing style is the perfect tone for this kind of story. Exciting and fast-paced, it will appeal to readers of all ages. The dynamics between characters, especially with Nick’s family are among the high points. Nick’s immovable coherent view of things is a refreshing approach to mysteries as it deters away from seeing things coming from a mile away. And it was the case for Dead Man’s Hand, it will have readers guessing throughout until the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book is about a boy named Nick Caden who is a detective and a member of a website called Cybersleuths. Cybersleuths is a website where members can investigate murders from movies or in this case real life. The setting is Deadwood Canyon where Caden family is taking a vacation. The draw to Deadwood Canyon is that it is a Hollywood style ghost town with shootouts, bank robberies, and more. Nick's family members are Frank the dad, Sylvia the mom, and Wendy the sister. Another character is Anni This book is about a boy named Nick Caden who is a detective and a member of a website called Cybersleuths. Cybersleuths is a website where members can investigate murders from movies or in this case real life. The setting is Deadwood Canyon where Caden family is taking a vacation. The draw to Deadwood Canyon is that it is a Hollywood style ghost town with shootouts, bank robberies, and more. Nick's family members are Frank the dad, Sylvia the mom, and Wendy the sister. Another character is Annie or Annie Oakley which is her stage name. She is about Nick's age and is the person who strangely shows everywhere he goes. Wyatt Earp is the old security guard. Buckleberry is the Marshal of Deadwood Canyon and Garrett is the deputy. The story starts out with the Caden family driving up and noticing that no one is there at the gate to greet them, so they honk their car horn. After a while someone comes out to greet them. The gate is opened and they begin unpacking their bags. Nick decides to have a look around Deadwood Canyon. While looking around he notices blood dripping on his shoulder. He decides to investigate the source and finds a dead body. Later on in the book the Marshal makes Nick a deputy. The Marshal is not sure that Nick's conclusion that someone was murdered is true due to the fact that all of the deaths in Deadwood are staged. You will have to read the book to find out more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Majibookshelf Juhina & Farah

    Review written by Danna. for more reviews visit: Maji Bookshelf Woah. This is a really good murder mystery with a touch of romance. I loved it! It was an amazing read and kept me up all night. At first i kinda dragged my way through the book until a charecter died in the second chapter ( I flipped out a little and texted all my friend, none of which cared :) ), which was the problem in the plotline. I got all excited and pretty much plowed my way through the rest of the book ( getting in quite a b Review written by Danna. for more reviews visit: Maji Bookshelf Woah. This is a really good murder mystery with a touch of romance. I loved it! It was an amazing read and kept me up all night. At first i kinda dragged my way through the book until a charecter died in the second chapter ( I flipped out a little and texted all my friend, none of which cared :) ), which was the problem in the plotline. I got all excited and pretty much plowed my way through the rest of the book ( getting in quite a bit of trouble for not doing my homework :) ). The characters reminded me of the Westing game, all of them being prime suspects except for the detective, all of them pointing fingers to the other suspect. At the end, the person who talked the least was the killer. How ironic. I have always been a fan of first person writing, so the syle suited my needs. The ending was pretty satisfying but still made me all excited about the next book. I thought that the fact that Mr. Jones wrapped up the story by making up another murder mystery was so clever! I would recommend this book to an audience of 6-9 graders. Keep reading, fellow readers!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones is a mystery adventure with biblical principles. The book is very well written and even I got lost in the story as I read it. Instead of writing a review from an adult perspective, I had my 9 year old son read it and tell me what he thought. Thomas loves to read. He has read the first 3 Harry Potter books and is currently immersed in the adult Star Wars books. He was hesitant to read Dead Man's Hand because it was "too thin and not hard enough." He obeyed his mama an Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones is a mystery adventure with biblical principles. The book is very well written and even I got lost in the story as I read it. Instead of writing a review from an adult perspective, I had my 9 year old son read it and tell me what he thought. Thomas loves to read. He has read the first 3 Harry Potter books and is currently immersed in the adult Star Wars books. He was hesitant to read Dead Man's Hand because it was "too thin and not hard enough." He obeyed his mama and did read the book. When he was finished his first question was, "Where's the next book?" He told me about the dead body, the details of the investigation (you have to read it!) and every other twist and turn in the book. All with his eyes sparkling and excitement in his voice. From Thomas: This book was fun to read. I didn't want to read it. But there are ghosts, chases and lots of fun stuff in the book. I can't wait to read what Nick does next. This book is good for boys and girls. Girls may be scared. I don't think my sister should read it. She's too little. [mom note - she's 7] I really, really, really liked this book. **I received a free ARC from the author for an unbiased review.**

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    A YA mystery that will keep you reading until the last page! The first in Eddie Jones' new series, The Caden Chronicles, we meet Nick Caden, a cyber super-sleuth. His parents have dragged Nick and his little sister, Wendy, to Deadwood for a wild-west adventurous vacation. To say the least, Nick would rather be in Vegas for a video game convention. Man, this book is definitely a wild-west mystery! Complete with realistic gun fights, history lesson tours, and...oh yeah, a murder. I've said this befo A YA mystery that will keep you reading until the last page! The first in Eddie Jones' new series, The Caden Chronicles, we meet Nick Caden, a cyber super-sleuth. His parents have dragged Nick and his little sister, Wendy, to Deadwood for a wild-west adventurous vacation. To say the least, Nick would rather be in Vegas for a video game convention. Man, this book is definitely a wild-west mystery! Complete with realistic gun fights, history lesson tours, and...oh yeah, a murder. I've said this before in previous reviews and I'll say it again: I love a book that can keep me guessing. And this book did. There were a few times throughout the book that I struggled to keep up or something wasn't exactly clear. There were also times I felt like giving Nick a sharp kick for his reckless thinking, but he was still a well developed character. As for Nick's family, Jones made the extra-dysfunctional family pop off the page. The ending left me quite curious about what Jones has planned next. If you like murder mysteries you'll enjoy this one! I received this book from DJC Communications in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Woah. This is a really good murder mystery with a touch of romance. I loved it! It was an amazing read and kept me up all night. At first i kinda dragged my way through the book until a charecter died in the second chapter ( I flipped out a little and texted all my friend, none of which cared :) ), which was the problem in the plotline. I got all excited and pretty much plowed my way through the rest of the book ( getting in quite a bit of trouble for not doing my homework :) ). The characters Woah. This is a really good murder mystery with a touch of romance. I loved it! It was an amazing read and kept me up all night. At first i kinda dragged my way through the book until a charecter died in the second chapter ( I flipped out a little and texted all my friend, none of which cared :) ), which was the problem in the plotline. I got all excited and pretty much plowed my way through the rest of the book ( getting in quite a bit of trouble for not doing my homework :) ). The characters reminded me of the Westing game, all of them being prime suspects except for the detective, all of them pointing fingers to the other suspect. At the end, the person who talked the least was the killer. How ironic. I have always been a fan of first person writing, so the syle suited my needs. The ending was pretty satisfying but still made me all excited about the next book. I thought that the fact that Mr. Jones wrapped up the story by making up another murder mystery was so clever! I would recommend this book to an audience of 6-9 graders. Keep reading, fellow readers!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tima

    Nick is being forced to spend a dreadful vacation with his family. But as they arrive he happens upon a dead body. When the police return the body is gone. Now the search is on to prove that he really saw someone before the vacation ends. I'm not a huge fan of ghosts so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But I enjoyed this story. The characters are fun. The mystery of the missing man is full of clues and drama that keeps you entertained through out the book. The conclusion leaves the perfect op Nick is being forced to spend a dreadful vacation with his family. But as they arrive he happens upon a dead body. When the police return the body is gone. Now the search is on to prove that he really saw someone before the vacation ends. I'm not a huge fan of ghosts so was a bit unsure of what to expect. But I enjoyed this story. The characters are fun. The mystery of the missing man is full of clues and drama that keeps you entertained through out the book. The conclusion leaves the perfect opening for the next book to start. My son has just started reading it and is enjoying it as well. My complaint would be the lack of Christianity in a Christian book. The ending was really the only "Christian" thing that I noticed. If the idea was to help kids think of Jesus more, I think it fell painfully short. I received this book free of charge from ZonderKids in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jean Wilund

    I am the mother of older children, so when I was given a copy of this book, I put it to the side to maybe read one day. However, I'd heard such praise for the author, that curiosity got the better of me, and I pulled the book out. I discovered an exciting murder mystery, that -- thankfully -- left me uncertain as to who the killer was all the way up to the point when the killer is revealed. I was also relieved that it made sense. I worried it would be too far fetched, but it made complete sense. I am the mother of older children, so when I was given a copy of this book, I put it to the side to maybe read one day. However, I'd heard such praise for the author, that curiosity got the better of me, and I pulled the book out. I discovered an exciting murder mystery, that -- thankfully -- left me uncertain as to who the killer was all the way up to the point when the killer is revealed. I was also relieved that it made sense. I worried it would be too far fetched, but it made complete sense. The characters are believable and current, which will appeal to Tweens today. Even though it's a murder mystery, there's no need for concern as you hand it off to your children to read. It's not overdone, and the language is clean. Eddie has a talent for hooking you into the next page, the next chapter. I'm hooked into the next book. Can't wait to read Book #2 in the series: Skullcreek Stakeout.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hamilton

    Eddie Jones has written an exciting, fast-paced mystery that will appeal to tweens, especially boys who may be reluctant readers. When Nick Caden's family vacations at an Old West resort with no TV, no computers, and no cell phone coverage, Nick expects to be bored to death. Instead, he finds a dead body in the stable. A dead body that disappears before anyone else can see it. Is it just an illusion, like everything else at this resort? Nick knows what he saw and determines to find the body and th Eddie Jones has written an exciting, fast-paced mystery that will appeal to tweens, especially boys who may be reluctant readers. When Nick Caden's family vacations at an Old West resort with no TV, no computers, and no cell phone coverage, Nick expects to be bored to death. Instead, he finds a dead body in the stable. A dead body that disappears before anyone else can see it. Is it just an illusion, like everything else at this resort? Nick knows what he saw and determines to find the body and the killer. The killer might be Wyatt Earp, Marshall Buckleberry, Annie Oakley or any one of the other characters who make this resort feel like the real Old West. But Billy the Kid is missing. Did he leave to take a coveted acting job in Hollywood or was he the corpse Nick found? A great read for middle grade students. You won't go wrong buying this for your favorite mystery-loving tween.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    It was destined to be the worst family vacation ever. Five days at an authentic western town complete with guns, horses, and rattlesnakes spells totally boring for fifteen year-old Nick Caden. The dead body he discovers puts a different spin on things. Nick spends the next few days chasing clues as he seeks the identity of the killer. Along the way, he learns about Biblical truths and a little bit about himself as well. Eddie Jones has successfully crafted an engaging story that appeals to tween It was destined to be the worst family vacation ever. Five days at an authentic western town complete with guns, horses, and rattlesnakes spells totally boring for fifteen year-old Nick Caden. The dead body he discovers puts a different spin on things. Nick spends the next few days chasing clues as he seeks the identity of the killer. Along the way, he learns about Biblical truths and a little bit about himself as well. Eddie Jones has successfully crafted an engaging story that appeals to tweens and teens of both genders. It is filled with mystery, suspense, and a dash of humor. He weaves Biblical principles into the twists and turns that keep his readers turning the pages. I’m well past my teens, and I’m waiting for book two in The Caden Chronicles!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sammy Petrova

    I WON THIS AUTOGRAPHED BOOK ON A COMPLETELY FREE GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS (with a matched bookmarks :D ) 3 STARS!!!! Let's start from the cover: what a cute boy! Though it may be a small detail I appreciated! I doubted that this was a book for children in cauusa of the topics, however I changed my mind. It's a book that I would gladly read to my son! I just found a little far-fetched Nick's reaction to the life of the dead bodies: a normal kid would not remain impassive as well, but it's just a small I WON THIS AUTOGRAPHED BOOK ON A COMPLETELY FREE GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS (with a matched bookmarks :D ) 3 STARS!!!! Let's start from the cover: what a cute boy! Though it may be a small detail I appreciated! I doubted that this was a book for children in cauusa of the topics, however I changed my mind. It's a book that I would gladly read to my son! I just found a little far-fetched Nick's reaction to the life of the dead bodies: a normal kid would not remain impassive as well, but it's just a small detail! Finally, the novel has left me curious to find out what the next task of Nick and how it will end the romance between Annie and Nick! Good job, Eddie !!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Majanka

    Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/mini-rev... When Nick and his family go on a holiday to an old west ghost town, they stumble upon a mystery that put Nick’s sleuthing abilities to a real test. I liked the set up of this novel – it was fairly original. Nick’s behavior is authnetic to teens, and the murder mystery was complex enough to hold my interest.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Hart

    When teenager Nick Caden visits Deadwood Canyon Ghost Town on vacation, he has no idea the adventures that await him. Nick meets a girl named Annie Oakley who tries to help him find answers to a mysterious disappearance.Encounters with Wyatt Earp and Jesse James as well shootouts and bank robberies staged for the vacationer's enjoyment will keep teenaged boys - and girls - on the edge of their seat as Nick and Annie face danger from the killer.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I received this book for free from the goodreads first reads giveaway. I really liked this book. I found it to be a very good youth mystery, and it reminded me a bit of the writing of Rick Riordan. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in youth mystery and fiction.

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