Sunday, October 18, 2009

Something Rotten: A Horotio Wilkes Mystery

Horatio Wilkes is spending a few weeks at his friend Hamilton Prince's house.  Hamilton's father died recently and, with his mother marrying his uncle right after the funeral, Hamilton isn't doing too well.  But when a mysterious message from Hamilton's father arrives claiming to have been murdered, it's up to Horatio to solve the mystery and save Hamilton.  But whodunit? Was it Rex Prince's younger brother or his wife, Trudy, or Hamilton's ex-girlfriend, Olivia, who was after the elder Prince to clean up the family's paper factory?  Or was it Ford N. Branff, the multi-millionaire trying to take over Elsinore Paper?  All Horatio knows is that there is something rotten in Denmark, Tennessee and he's going to get to the bottom of it.

I knew the Princes were rich, but until it was staring me in the face I didn't realize they were super-villain rich. p.18

I wasn't too sure about this book before I started.  The premise was cool, a modern day take on Hamlet with Horatio as the detective.  Horatio was always one of my favorite Shakespearean characters.  He is so loyal and good, albeit a bit of an enabler for Hamlet (less so in this book).  But I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  I mean, the murderer was a bit of a no brainer if you've ever read Hamlet or seen the play, but the fun part was seeing how the characters are transformed to modern day characters.  With players named Hamilton Prince(Hamlet, Prince of Denmark), Rex Prince, Olivia Mendelsohn (Ophelia), and my favorites Ford N. Branff (Fortinbras), Roscoe Grant (Rosencrantz ), and Gilbert Stern (Guildenstern ), I knew this was going to be fun.  It read like a young adult version of a hard boiled detective novel and has some really great lines.  The dialogue was spot-on for that genre and it even had a touch of romance.  And, of course, a much happier ending than the real thing.


  1. I also enjoyed this book (and the Something Wicked, which I see you're reading now) and thought they'd make great pre-Shakespeare primers for YA readers. (Or adult readers who were Shakespeare-deprived.)

  2. Interesting twist on Shakespeare. I'm not usually interested in this genre, but this one sounds pretty good.

  3. Love Shakespeare. This sounds pretty cool.

  4. @Literature Crazy - I will have to check out your reviews, but I agree.

    @Jill - There are surprisingly good books. You should checked them out.

    @stacybuckeye - I've enjoyed them and it is a fun way to tell the Shakespeare stories.


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