Monday, January 28, 2013

SOMETHING ROTTEN: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery by Alan Gratz

Looking for a good mystery?  How about one with a quirky resemblance to Shakespeare's Hamlet?  SOMETHING ROTTEN is just the ticket!

The setting is Denmark, Tennessee.  Hamilton Prince's father has died under mysterious circumstances.  Hamilton's mother doesn't waste any time getting married to her dead husband's brother and even less time making sure he becomes her partner in the family paper mill business. 

Enter Hamilton and his friend from boarding school, Horatio Wilkes.  The two are all set to spend the summer lounging around the pool at the Prince mansion until they end up trying to solve a murder and get to the bottom of the pollution problem caused by the Elsinore Paper Company. 

At first Horatio thinks his rich friend is acting like a spoiled brat as he orders around the family servants and drinks whatever alcohol he can get his hands on.  When Hamilton tells Horatio he thinks his father was murdered, Horatio dismisses it as drunken rambling.  That is until they watch the videotape with Hamilton's father revealing that he was poisoned.

Horatio is determined to help his friend find out the truth.  Suspicious of Mrs. Prince and her new husband, wondering about a servant with a fake Mexican accident, and discovering the local police may be involved, Horatio begins collecting clues and making connections.  Will he be able to make sense of what he finds or is he in over his head?

Author Alan Gratz has created a true "who done it" style mystery that is perfect for teens.  Horatio is a likable teen detective sure to connect with teen readers, and those familiar with Hamlet will be entertained by Gratz's fun take on the famous bard's tale.  Those who enjoy this story will be pleased to know Horatio appears again in another Gratz offering titled SOMETHING WICKED.

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