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Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave (The Shakespeare Mysteries #1)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  249 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Twelve-year-old Colophon Letterford has a serious mystery on her hands. Will she discover the link between her family’s literary legacy and Shakespeare’s tomb before it’s too late? Antique paintings, secret passages, locked mausoleums, a four-hundred-year-old treasure, and a cast of quirky (and some ignoble) characters all add up to a fun original adventure. Readers will r ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
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Why Not-World by Alexei Maxim RussellBat Blood by Richard MyerscoughWhere the Deer Dwell by Dorothy GravelleBliss by Kathryn LittlewoodSecrets of Shakespeare’s Grave by Deron R. Hicks
Most Unique Fiction Books
5th out of 30 books — 21 voters
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Middle Grade Novels of 2012
334th out of 346 books — 608 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 665)
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Karen
I love books for kids that include literary characters, especially Shakespeare. It plants seeds that will hopefully lead to a feeling of accessibility to classic literature. My favorite part of this book is the ending, a complete set up for book 2 and maybe beyond. But, the story took a long time to come together, I hope 4th- 6th graders will give the book a chance and not stop after the first 50 pages. It was very obvious who was going to fill the role of villain, other than that I really liked ...more
Lee Födi
I really enjoyed this book; it reminded me of the National Treasure movies, what with all the intrigue and booby traps. It also is sprinkled with some humor; kids are sure to love the smelly shoe scene. Perhaps the thing I loved the most was the author's choice of character names. Colophon, Case, and Mull . . . these names all pay homage to the history of books. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the cover; the design just doesn't seem to quite fit the tone and style of the writing ...more
A. Somers
This is one of those cases that justifies the saying" Don't judge abook by its cover." I was somewhat reluctant to try the book because of the cartoonish nature of the cover picture. I'm so glad that I decided to give it a try. It is a kid's version of a Dan Brown novel, full of adventure, suspense, and historical intrigue. The characters are well developed and there is just the right touch of humor. The contemporary dialogue will attract 4th through 7th grade readers but it does not talk down t ...more
Kori
What's not to love? Mysterious codes, family secrets, hitory, creepy mausoleums, a hilarious dog chase, and a case of bad smelly feet. Not to mention featured passages by the Bard himself. My son and I loved this book - and I was pretty surprised at the end when my 11 year old boy asked for the sequel to a book featuring a FEMALE heroine! Well done, Mr. Hicks. Well done!
Tracie
Excellent story about a young girl from a distinguished publishing family who tries to uncover a secret code left by one of her one of her ancestors even as her father's position as head of the family is threatened from within. Great start to a series though this is a satisfying read on it's own.
Alan Chiu
To all readers:

It was awesome! Why, because it had hard vocabulary , unlike the Thea Sisters series, and it had a juicy plot that could let your mind turn and think. To sum it up, it deserved a well earned 5 stars.
Liz
I highly recommend this book to anyone between 8 - ?? who loves mysteries. Colophon Letterford loves the fact that her family is in the publishing business and her father is in charge of the Letterford and Sons Publishing which allows her to live in the mansion in Manchester, Georgia that was built in 1876 by her great-great grandfather and also live in the house in England during the summer. But someone is trying to destroy her father's position and if he does not sign at least four big named a ...more
Stephanie
If you like scavenger hunt mysteries and clever historical references, "The Secret of Shakespeare's Grave" will likely be the perfect, quick read for a lazy day in a comfy chair.

Colophon Letterford is an avid reader, which makes her a shining example of Letterford and Sons Publishing, the world-famous, English publishing company owned and operated by the Letterford family for centuries. Colophon and her family now live in New England, with her father as acting head of the company, but when a jea
...more
Carolyn Arrington
This is Book 1 in the trilogy - The Shakespeare Mysteries. In some ways the series reminds me of the 39 Clues books. The Letterford family owns a publishing firm. In this book 12 year old Colophon's father, Mull, is the head of the Letterford Publishing. Several disasters have befallen the company and the family is now questioning his leadership. Treemont Letterford is ready to take Mull's place. In fact Treemont has been committing acts of sabotage to make sure that he is appointed the new comp ...more
Becky B
Miles Letterford started a highly successful publishing company, still in the hands of the Letterford family to this day. Colophon Letterford's father is the CEO of that company as the eldest in line, but his position has become a bit shaky after some weird accidents have hit the company recently. The family (heavily persuaded by cousin Treemont) has given her father until Christmas Eve to make three successful deals or he will have to step down as CEO. But Colophon's ancestor Miles Letterford d ...more
Surani
Very exciting and an engaging read!! Enjoyed reading about mysteries around the famous playwright and traipsing through old buildings and graveyards looking for clues to age old mysteries!!
Moushumi Ghosh
Colophon a 12 year old uses her brain to solve a 400 year old mystery of a treasure that is rumoured to be in her family. What a good well-plotted mystery! After a long time, I am reading a book that combines all my favourite elements -- Shakespeare, mystery, books, and publishing. What imaginative names - Colophon, Case, Letterford! A crackling good yarn. More I believe are coming up. Can't wait for them.
Karen
Well written story that has events happening in two places that eventually go together at the end (reminded me of Dan Brown books) - and you learn a little about Shakespeare along the way. Would be a great read aloud - Grades 4-6.
Munro's Kids
This is a fun mystery romp for good readers 9-12. Though the clues are sometimes rather complicated, the characters and plot are enjoyable.
Diane
"We think we are so connected nowadays .. cell phones, internet, and constant access to everything and everybody. But we’re not really connected. We’ve forgotten what’s real. We’ve forgotten how to interact with the world around us. Not just to see something on a screen, but to feel it, to smell it, to taste it. That’s reality."

Colophon is the daughter of Mull Letterford, President of Letterford & Sons, the world's most prestigious publishing house. It is a family-owned business, passed down
...more
Karen
This was a fun romp through history. And through mystery. The story is well-told, and the plot is interesting and engaging.

The adult characters were well-sketched, but the voice of the twelve-year-old protagonist just didn't seem right. I have no problem with her being so clever and working out the clues, but her speech, actions and her thoughts were jarring for the character. Also, none of the "English" characters were at all convincingly English.


Actual rating: 3.5 stars, but I round up and h
...more
Ronda
This is a fun mystery written with humor and a sense of adventure wrapped in a sense of history. I am suspecting that it might mean more to a student with some exposure to Shakespeare, or at least a general introduction to his story and why the treasure might be important. That said, be sure to have the sequel on hand, because readers who enjoy this story will be asking for it.

For my purposes, this might work well tied to a lesson on using our online encyclopedia to look up information about Sha
...more
Tina (yAdultReview)
Originally published at Nose in a Book

I love middle-grade! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I’m nearly done with my undergrad degree in Special Education, and lately I’ve been really interesting in finding good middle-grade novels for my future classroom (here, let me recommend two MG novels by Laura Amy Schlitz, A Drowned Maiden’s Hair and The Night Fairy) so I just really wanted this one when I saw it up on NetGalley. Plus, it’s got a little history thrown in there, which is always a p
...more
Michelle
This is an old-fashioned mystery adventure, with dastardly villains and children solving mysteries. Once you get into the book it is fast paced and the reader becomes engaged with the adventure, cheering 12 year old heroine Colophon and her mad uncle as they uncover clues. the chapters are not too long, there are illustrations, and some very funny schemes hatched by the baddies.

A couple of criticisms...the prologue is a bit difficult to understand, as it listed the dimensions and explanations of
...more
Pamela
Twelve-year-old Colophon Letterford overhears that her father may lose the family business, a business the family has owned for 400 years. She vows that she will help him save it. When her uncle appears unexpectedly and Colophon learns that he has been searching for a treasure supposedly hidden by her ancient ancestor. She knew then that if she could find the treasure, she would be able to save the family business.

Deron Hicks, the author,did not provide the reader with any physical attributes of
...more
Patrick
Colophan Letterford is the daughter of the current owner of the prestigious publishing company Letterford & Sons. This title, however, seems at risk of being compromised when her father’s daunting and aggressive second cousin threatens to usurp her father’s position by offering a seemingly manageable proposition: If he can sustain business by guaranteeing three works from bestselling authors by the next family meeting, his position within the business will be guaranteed. Otherwise, he must g ...more
John Young
In Deron's Hicks Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave, a young new sleuth, named Colophon, emerges in a series of mysteries surrounding the hidden Letterford family treasures. Colophon, as her name suggests, is deeply rooted in a tradition of book publishing. However, a problem surfaces fro her family. Suspicious incidents jeopardize her father's current claim to the ownership of Letterford and Son and have caused the Letterford family to lose faith in Mull Letterford as the company leader. If he does ...more
Chris
Aug 03, 2012 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
As a lover of Shakespeare and a graduate with an English degree, the very title Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave had me interested. There's a lot of speculation and mystery surrounding Shakespeare and even though I'm not a big scholar of the research and conspiracy theories, I find the whole thing very interesting. Once I read the summary blurb for the book I decided I'd have to read it. Essentially a young girl (12 years old) is on a treasure hunt to solve a centuries old mystery hidden in her fa ...more
Karen Keyte
“The driveway leading to the family home wound its way through a thick forest of tall hardwoods and then a large rolling field. Golden bales of freshly cut hay peppered the landscape. On both sides of the road, a low-stacked stone wall corralled the vehicle as it sped toward the large brick Victorian resting at the edge of the pasture.” - from Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave

Letterford & Sons might not be the largest publishing house in the world, but it is widely considered to be the most pre
...more
Melanie
Colophon's family has owned a printing business for centuries. Sadly, the rules are that the business will only pass to the eldest child, not the one who wants it or the best suited offspring for the job. For Colophon this means her brother Case will inherit. Case doesn't care about the business.

However, he may soon learn to care when he finds that the business may be handed over to Cousin Julian, the black sheep of the family. Will he agree to help Colophon solve an ages-old family mystery?
Abby
I am starting a new review system I will give a clip of WIIA (what it is about) Then the Pros, Cons, and iffy things (bad language, romance and so on)

WIIA: This is a mystery that takes you with a girl and her brother as they try to figure out to mysteries. One: is there a family treasure? Two: who is sabotaging her father's business? It gives back and forth perspectives from lots of different people including the bad guys. At the end it ends with a cliffhanger so I will be starting Book 2 immedi
...more
Katie
I wish I could give this less than one star. It was so poorly written. The "suspense" was predictable, the main character unbelievable-almost like a caricature. It is such a huge pet peeve when authors impose their adult views and wax nostalgic about literature in a way that is not authentic for the characters and subject at hand. The clues and ties to Shakespeare were forced and overall I'm just glad I'm done reading this book.
Laura
Really enjoyed this book. the story is a mystery about a family who is struggling in the publishing business . But Colophon has heard of the family treasure and maybe she along with the help of her jerk of a brother can find the treasure and save the family. Taking place in London and New York you get history and geography and a good mystery with a cliff hanger at the end. Of course to be continued in the next Letterford Mystery!
Jeana
I don't like giving a negative review for a book that didn't really offend me in any way. Honestly it was just okay to me. It never really grabbed my attention so unfortunately I didn't finish it. I kept wondering if I should press forward and finish the last half or not, but in the end I just flipped ahead to read the plot clincher.

The prologue was honestly my favorite part, after that I thought the story lost steam and seemed small in scope. And sadly the characters felt mostly cookie cutter t
...more
April
Treasure hunters take note, Secrets Of Shakespeare’s Grave by Deron R. Hicks is an utterly charming debut middle grade read that will appeal to you questing sensibilities. The Letterford family owns and operates the prestigious publisher Letterford And Sons. When the family patriarch dies, Mull Letterford takes over the business. A series of disasters occurs and so the family must question whether to take the ownership from Mull or not. Colophon, Mull’s 12 year old daughter, is positive foul pla ...more
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I live in Warm Springs, Georgia with my wife Angela, daughter Meg, and son Parker. I am a proud graduate of the University of Georgia, where I obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting. Having obtained a degree in painting, I took the next logical step in life -- I went to Law school (more specifically, Mercer Law School, which I loved). After years in private practice, I had an idea for ...more
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