Dovey Coe

By Frances O'Roark Dowell


Dovey Coe was one to speak her mind, which caused her to get in trouble at times. Parnell Carnway was one boy that Dovey did not admire at all, and him wanting to marry her sister, Caroline, nearing sent Dovey up the roof. But she didn’t kill Parnell Carnway. When Dovey is caught in Parnell Carnway’s death room the same time he died, Dovey is sent to court for “murder”. With no evidence that she didn’t kill Parnell, and a new lawyer who doesn’t have any good idea what he is doing, Dovey freedom is on the line. When court is let out for lunch, Dovey gets an idea that might save her after all. But when Dovey finds out that deaf friend Amos was the murderer, Dovey has to make a hard decision that may put her friend in danger.


I would say the books biggest strength was Dovey's attitude. This book was told by Dovey's perspective and the way she put things made you want to keep reading. Dovey is a outgoing girl who brightened up the mood at any time. Dovey's attitude was a definite page turner and I didn't want to put the book down. She also put a lot of detail in the book so I always a a pretty good idea was going on at the time. Her attitude mixed with all of the detail made this book a definite spine-tingling read.


I would say that the stories biggest weakness was the way it was worded. The style was a little old-fashioned of the wording was different than the way we speak today. Due to this, it was a bit hard to follow and to understand what was going on at some points during the book. It also bothered me a little bit by the way it was written. There was some words that were used that I didn't understand because these certain words don’t get used anymore. For example, one the first page the first sentence was, “My name is Dovey Coe, and I reckon it don't matter if you like me or not.” When I first read this, I thought this book was going to be very difficult to understand. While it became easier to read and understand overtime, I still had to look up what some of the words in the book meant.

Memorable Passage

“I thought he was going to kill you Dovey. It was the only thing I could do.” I found this part memorable because it came from a boy named Amos who became deaf at birth. When Dovey found out the Amos was deaf, she took it in her part to help him get through life. She taught him how to read and write, and taught him how to read lips so he could communicate with other people. When Dovey went to visit Parnell Carnway to retrieve Amos’ dog that Parnell had stolen, Parnell hit Dovey in the head, causing Dovey to become unconscious. When Amos went in search for his missing dog, he saw how Parnell had knocked Dovey how. He then grabbed a soda canister and hit it against Parnell’s head. Although Parnell died, Amos had saved Dovey’s life.


This book reminded me of another book called "Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire". It reminded me of this because both of the main characters were accused of something. In Harry Potter, Harry was accused of putting his name in a Goblet that was forbidden. He then had to go through a series of questions with many of his teachers. Just like Harry Potter, Dovey was accused of murder and had to go through a series of questions when she was on trial. These two books were also similar because they found out that both of there friends had done the task they characters were accused of.


Although it won the Edgar Award, I don’t feel that this book is much of a mystery. That being said, I would most likely recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about drama. There was many exciting parts in the books and most of these parts had some sort of drama in it. Dovey Coe shares a lot of her opinions about other people. I think that this was the main reason why there was so much drama in the book. The detail was also very vivid and it was easy to understand, minus the wording.

Award: Edgar Award Winner