Oh Wow! Confession Time. I was an Enid Blyton child when I grew up and spent hours and hours reading about Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy in their Famous Five adventures, or The Secret Seven, or the Adventure Series with Kiki the Parrot.
Dead Man's Cove, the first in a series of Laura Marlin books, is most definitely right up the same street. The plot isn't very complicated, but when you have smugglers tunnels, forbidden beaches, messages in bottles etc... who cares?! All that is missing is lashings of ginger beer!
Laura, an orphan, has spent all her life in a care home. When a long lost Uncle is discovered living by the sea St Ives she looks forward to a new freedom. Even she can't believe how much freedom she gets as her uncle mysteriously works all day and most nights.
But all in St Ives is not what it seems, what is Mrs Webb, the housekeeper, up to? Why has her friend Tariq suddenly turned against her? Who is leaving Laura messages written in the sand and left in bottles on the coastal path?