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Something Rotten

(Horatio Wilkes Mystery #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  658 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Something is rotten in Denmark, Tennessee, and it is not just the polluted Copenhagen River. Hamilton Prince's father has been murdered, according to a hidden video message. Horatio Wilkes, Hamilton's best friend, is visiting the Prince mansion when the video turns up. The guys need to find the killer before he strikes again. But it won't be easy. Suspects are plentiful. O ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 18th 2007 by Dial (first published January 1st 2007)
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  658 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: someone who was going to buy the Cliffnotes to Hamlet
Recommended to Jennifer by: Powell's Daily Dose
Shelves: read-young-adult
Something's rotten in Denmark. Denmark, Tennessee, that is. As a fan of both Raymond Chandler and Shakespeare, the author Alan Gratz has attempted to blend the two in a sort of "Pulp Shakespeare" or "Hardboiled Hamlet" (this according to the back flap of the book jacket.) The story is told from the point of view of Horatio Wilkes, who has come to spend some vacation time with his best friend, Hamilton Prince. Hamilton is heir to the Elsinore Paper Plant fortune (said "plant" also the source of t ...more
Paul H
I chose this book because it had an interesting cover with a picture of what I would soon find out are two of the main characters in the sory. I really liked this because I was able to really see what the main characters looked like opposed to when you are left with your imagination to figure out what the characters look like and who they are.

The story starts off with the main character Horatio Wilkes staying at his friend Hamilton Prince’s house for a couple of weeks over the summer. The two a
Something's rotten is a very good story that tells us about
Spoiler alert

a kid named Horatio Wilkes visiting his friend Hamilton prince for the summer Hamilton's father died and his mom remarried his uncle. the princes are a very rich family who owns a paper plant that pollutes the Copenhagen river. when Hamilton and Horatio drove up to the paper plant they were confronted by Hamilton's beautiful ex girlfriend protesting. when Hamilton goes into the surveillance room to say hi to the guards he
Nick Tewell
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The action was rather slow at the beginning, but it really picks up towards the end. The last 50 pages or so are impossible to put down! The book really wraps up quickly with a rather obvious ending. Overall, it was a good read.
I'm giving up after fifty pages. I'm not very invested and the main character, Horatio, keeps making weird/sexual comments about his best friend's mom. I do think that Hamlet works well as an updated emo teenager though.
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Compared with other young adult mysteries I’ve read recently, Alan Gratz’s Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery has a lot going for it.

The book is an updated version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Horatio Wilkes visits his high school buddy, Hamilton, in Denmark, Tennessee. Hamilton is a mess because his father has recently died and his mother has married his uncle. He has a girlfriend, Olivia, whom he has alienated.

Gratz does a good job of giving this classic tale a modern twist. However, he do
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-reads, library, series
Rating A+

Review How can I say anything bad about this book? I can't. The only bad reviews this book gets are from people who were expecting a modern re-telling of Hamlet to have a twist ending. It doesn't. The same person who did the killing in Shakespeare's classic did the killing in Something Rotten. New endings and surprise twists aren't the purpose of this book.

This book is so beautiful in it's simplicity, wit, and ability to get you to want to read Shakespeare. I am now yearning to go back
Mark Flowers
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this on the advice of a patron (meaning I didn't actually know what it was about), and, considering how common Shakespearean quotes are as titles, I didn't realize until I started reading that it was a modern retelling of Hamlet. Ordinarily, I'm not really excited about that kind of thing, and the first chapter didn't change my mind much, but once Gratz gets all the silly parallels to Shakespeare out of the way (it's Denmark . . . Tennessee! It's the Elsinore . . . Paper Company!), he get ...more
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teens, mystery
Alan Gratz knows how to capture a teenager's voice, which is probably the biggest appeal in Something Rotten. While Horatio is brilliant at solving mysteries, he is still very much a teenager in that he behaves like one, such as by throwing out glib and sarcastic remarks at practically every single adult that he meets.

It was a little ironic that the book was an obvious modern take of Shakespeare's Hamlet, when Horatio makes a comment about how much he dislikes attempts to modernize classic works
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was a lot better than I thought it would be and I’m not much on reading but this book I really wanted to read it. This book had me thinking at first it was going to be slow and not much fun but it changed my mind after the first chapter. it did have a few point that was slow but it wasn’t to bad. I have never read hamlet but I knew the main point and i could see the comparison of it to something rotten.I wish some of the minor characters had I bigger part in the end of the story. and t ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think that Something Rotten is a very good book, it kept me very intrested. Of course my favorite kinds of stories are mysteries. I would deffinetely recomend this story to my family and friends. usually i can never read a whole book because I get very bored, but with something rotten I was done in no time! I really wish there were more stories as good as Something Rotten, because then I know that I would enjoy reading a lot more than I do now. I more recomend this book to older teens, because ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Something Rotten was extremely suspenseful. I didn’t want to even open it at first but when I did I couldn’t stop reading. The main idea of this story is catchy and the details the author throws in there make you want to keep on reading. I thought the back round information on the characters really helped the reader understand the situation. I also loved the way it was written. The author used words that caught my eye and made me picture situations and put myself in the characters shoes.
Hannah Hill
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thought Something Rotten was a good book it had a lot of action, and never left you hanging. it was very interesting. My favorite character was Horatio because he was the main character, and i liked his personality the most. my second favorite character was Olivia, she fought for what she believed in and she made a different in their little town, that was a great bonus to the book.
Cal Rinck
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Something Rotten by Alan Gratz was a very good book. It had just about everything I want in a good story. Something Rotten had action, drama, and lots of humor. There were a few things it was missing however. I have read Alan Gratz books and it hadn’t kept me wanting to read more like other books had; and I don’t know why that is. I think it may have been the fact that when there was action, it wasn’t that exciting compared to other books I have read before. I also thought it was a little far fe ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The character of Horatio Wilkes is the detective in this mystery by Alan Gratz. Something Rotten is about Horatio's friend, Hamilton Prince whose father has just died under suspicious circumstances. Hamilton suspects his step father who is also his uncle, and he asks Horatio to stay with him for the summer and investigate his father's death. Lots of red herrings make this an interesting mystery. My only complaint about the story was the fact that Heratio's character just seems too knowledgeable ...more
Nicole Mayberry
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve always loved “Hamlet”. So, when I stumble upon this mini series by Alan Gratz (whose historical fiction I love especially for my students) I bought both on a whim. This book is jam packed with nods to other plays. It is sometimes silly, sometimes serious, and reminds me of a very tongue in cheek film noir detective series.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was full of suspense keeping me on my toes the entire time I couldn’t put the book down. It had a great beginning middle and end, and I will look forward to reading his next book something wicked
Victoria Fuller
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
it was an extremely clever take on Hamlet. loved it
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing twisting and turning story line that keeps you on your toes. AWESOME!!! Please read!!
Alaina Sloo
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Modern murder mystery retelling of Hamlet. Boring.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, artsy, humor, mystery, ya
It was fast paced, witty, and had entertaining characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Noah Ledford
The title Something Rotten relates to the book because Hamilton’s family owns a paper plant that is polluting the Copenhagen River. The pollution in the river makes whole town smell like it’s rotting. The author is not telling us everything because he wants the person that killed Hamilton’s dad to be a mystery and wants the reader to figure it out with the characters. I think the stories purpose is to tell the reader that it’s okay to stand out and to fight for something you don’t think is right ...more
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it
I had heard of this book earlier this summer and have been looking forward to reading it. It's a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet set as a murder mystery and I must say I found it more appealing in its concept than in its execution.

Horatio Wilkes spends his summer at the home of Hamilton Prince, a school friend who has been deeply shaken by the unexpected death of his father and his mother's quick remarriage to his uncle. Hamilton's family owns the Elsinore Paper mill which is the ma
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was fun to read, even though it was written for an audience much younger than me. I enjoyed Mr. Gratz's interpretation of Hamlet's character in a modern context, although that trend is increasingly overexploited and decreasingly original. I thought using Horatio's character as the narrator was an interesting touch, especially since he was recycled into the next installment of the series, "Something Wicked," in the same context. It was amusing seeing Gratz translate the events of "Hamle ...more
Alvaro Sala Ayala
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this one. I can’t consider myself “difficult to please” with a book because I always find some way of feeling identified with one of the characters, but Grantz makes it really easy with a very observative and eloquent main character.

The main story develops around a paper plant in Denmark, Tennessee and our favourite detective, a teenager, has to find a murderer while resisting to the paper plant’s bad smell. I love the way the author makes you see the world through the main chara
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
The Little Bookworm

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 th
Sally Kruger
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 spe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sally Linford
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was such an interesting book. For ingenuity and creativity in retelling the Hamlet story, I give him 5 stars. For execution of the language, only 2 stars. It really should have fewer stars, but I'm such a sucker for Shakespeare retellings, I rounded up for the plot.

I LOVED the clever modern adaptation where Rex Prince is the new king of the Elsinor Paper Company in Denmark, Tennessee, after the sudden death of his brother and recent marriage to his brother's wife. Hamilton Prince sees his f
Nov 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Alan Gratz has created a wonderful mystery based on the Shakespeare play Hamlet. Horatio Wilkes is the best friend of Hamilton Prince and is spending several weeks with him at his family's home in Denmark, Tennessee. Horatio and Hamilton know eachother from boarding school and even though they come from very different backgrounds, they are very close.

Hamilton's father, Rex Prince, is dead and his uncle, Claude, married his mother about a month after the funeral. This alone has upset Hamilton ver
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Alan Gratz was born and raised in Knoxville, TN, home of the 1982 World's Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and later, a Master's degree in English education.
In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E's City Confidential, Alan

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