30
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You'll often find me in a book

You can catch me if you can hook

And smoke me red.

If you follow me, you will be a lost boy.

I like to tinker with your attention, ahoy

I never live on land.

What am I?

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A (red) herring

You'll often find me in a book

You can find misleading red herrings in mystery books, they may also be in a fish encyclopedia!

You can catch me if you can hook

Can be fished with a hook and line

And smoke me red.

Can be cooked by smoking, making the flesh red

If you follow me, you will be a lost boy.

A red herring will lead one away from the answer

I like to tinker with your attention, ahoy

Carrying on from above

I never live on land.

Herrings live in the water

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is the correct answer, very quick! If you could just add a justification for the first line and I'll accept. I promise its not difficult to figure out $\endgroup$ – hypern Jul 11 '16 at 15:43
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You are

Peter Pan

You'll often find me in a book

Peter Pan was a book

You can catch me if you can hook

Captain hook tries to catch Peter

And smoke me red.

Smoking the pipe with the "red man"

If you follow me, you will be a lost boy.

The Lost Boys follow Peter

I like to tinker with your attention, ahoy

An allusion to Tinkerbell, and Peter's taunting nature

I never live on land.

Neverland is Peter's home land.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure this is right.. flies above my answer! $\endgroup$ – Arth Jul 11 '16 at 15:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That is logical reasoning, but it was the misleading answer :) $\endgroup$ – hypern Jul 11 '16 at 15:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Arg, I've been deceived! $\endgroup$ – Matt Jul 11 '16 at 15:43
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Surely not. My answer is your answer, in a manner of speaking ... haha. Yours is correct, @Arth $\endgroup$ – Matt Jul 11 '16 at 15:45
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Haha, I secretly prefer yours... Love the idea of a red herring actually being a red herring and the explanations have a lovely cryptic feel to them! $\endgroup$ – Arth Jul 11 '16 at 15:50

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