Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dramatic Mystery!

Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery by Alan Gratz (NY: Dial, 2007).

Denmark, Tennessee, really stinks. That's Horatio Wilkes's first impression when he and his friend Hamilton Prince (get it??) go to visit Hamilton's family. But it's not just the toxic Elsinore Paper Company, which the wealthy Prince family has operated for years, dumping loads of smelly pollutants in the Copenhagen River. Hamilton's dad, Rex, has recently died and his mom Trudy has married his father's brother, Claude. In a security video the guys view shortly after their arrival, a ghostly Rex infers that he's been poisoned. By whom? Horatio sets out to investigate.

Aside from the obvious (and fun to detect) parallels to Shakespeare's Hamlet, Gratz's mystery offers nonstop action and an intriguing plot with a witty protagonist. No language or sex, just grisly family affairs.....

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