A Mystery at Pirate Cove

Mystery at Pirate Cove

For Young Adults …

The Riddled Mystery at Pirate Cove is a 'who done it' in which the principal problem solvers are a couple of high school kids whose youthful perspectives help the authorities solve a crime that they originally had written off as an accident. Belle Thommasen and Zach McCord, both sixteen, are reunited when Zach returns to his old hometown for the summer break to see the tall ship Dona Esmeralda and relive the fantasy that its great height and billowed sails used to conjure when he and Belle were children. After a day of snorkeling, scuba diving and otherwise enjoying each other's company at a local beach–front property, Belle and Zach stumble upon a torn piece of paper—an old, tattered and crumpled scrap blowing around in the evening breeze, whose contents contain a portion of a strange and mysterious verse that neither of the teens was familiar with. They pondered the verse, which began like this:

In the dark of night, he looked a fright,
With bushy–beard, bold and red.
His beady eyes could curdle the cries
Of tortured souls, long since dead.
With enormous height and eye–patch tight
And a stone–cold, ruthless heart.
Both far and near, men shook with fear
At the sight of Peg Leg Bart.

Now Bart was a terror whose hand was the bearer
Of a gladius sharp and cold.
He cut and he gashed, he gutted and slashed
Each matey who sought out his gold.
"Three clues have been laid, and a price will be paid,"
swore the peg leg by all that's divine.
"By the man whose ill luck, or whose nose for the buck
puts them into his hands before mine."
A devil was he, for no pirate could be
As vicious and nasty and cruel
As Bart when he lay in wait for his prey,
With the vengeance of a ghastly ghoul.

The teens' curiosity is aroused by the verse but the rest of it is missing. They are soon distracted by a noise and a flash of light from across the bay. They hop onto The Vagabond, Belle's father's motorboat, and soon stumble upon a lifeless body of a man at the base of a cliff. At first, it was assumed that this was an accident, that the man simply fell off the top of the cliff; but when the teens notice a similarity to one of the lines in the poem, they start to consider the possibility that the man may have met with foul play instead. One of the first clues they uncover turns out to be a riddle that proves difficult to solve and it soon becomes apparent to Belle and to Zach—and much to the consternation of the adults in their lives—that the person responsible for the crime may be trying to diabolically mirror the storyline laid out in the verse they had found on the beach. From that realization onwards, the two teens embark on a search for the remainder of the poem and, in so doing, uncover a series of clues that test both their instincts and their intellect en route to solving the mystery.

The Riddled Mystery at Pirate Cove is available for downloading at Amazon.