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Something Rotten

Book One in

Denmark, Tennessee stinks. Bad. The smell hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it’s not just the paper plant and the polluted Copenhagen River that’s stinking up Denmark: Hamilton’s father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large.

Why? Because nobody believes Rex Prince was murdered. Nobody except Horatio and Hamilton. Now they need to find the killer before someone else dies, but it won’t be easy. It seems like everyone’s a suspect. Hamilton’s hot, tree-hugging ex-girlfriend Olivia Mendelsohn is determined to clean up the river–and the Prince family that’s been polluting it for decades. Hamilton’s mom, Trudy Prince, just married her husband’s brother, Claude, and signed over half of the plant and profits. And then there’s Ford N. Branff, Trudy’s old flame, who’s waging a hostile takeover of Elsinore Paper.

Motive, means, opportunity–they all have them. But who among them has committed murder most foul? If high school junior Horatio Wilkes can just get past the smell, he might get to the bottom of all this.

Dial Books | October 2007 | Ages 14 and Up


“Students who have slogged through Hamlet will enjoy this witty, modern retelling of the old story through Horatio’s point of view . . . . This book is good fun and might make an excellent reward for those who score ‘A’s on their Hamlet tests.”

—Kliatt Magazine

“Gratz . . . combines Hamlet and hardboiled detective pulp. . . . [T]his well-crafted mystery has appeal for readers familiar with both Raymond Chandler’s novels and Shakespeare’s masterpiece.”

—Kirkus Reviews


ALA 2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA 2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults: Twists on the Tale
2008 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Children’s Book Award Finalist
2009-2010 NC School Library Media Association Young Adult Book Award Nominee