Something Wicked (Horatio Wilkes Mysteries)

by Alan M. Gratz | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0142414964 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/6/2014
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, May 06, 2014
I've enjoyed several of Gratz' baseball-themed books, including Samurai Shortstop, as well as his first Horatio Wilkes mystery Something Rotten, which was an updated twist on Hamlet. I got this slightly-battered ex-library paperback from Better World Books; it follows Horatio as he tries to solve a crime that seems to have a lot of elements in common with Macbeth....

I enjoyed this one very much too, though perhaps not quite as much as the first "Something" book. Here, Horatio's very much a fish out of water, as he visits a Highland Games festival with his childhood friend Mac (who's very much into the kilts-and-caber-tossing) and Mac's new girlfriend Beth (see what Gratz did there?), who's very manipulative and cold-hearted (surprise!). There's a fortuneteller standing in for the three witches, a young bagpipe player who suffers Banquo's fate (in a way - there aren't as many actual deaths in this story as in the play, thank goodness, but the poor kid does become a "ghost at the feast"), and other intriguing parallels, all worked out on a mountain in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee...

Part of the plot revolves around cell-phone coverage restrictions and copyright infringement, so it's definitely a modern story, but the motives for the killings are as old as time - and the deaths as tragic as any in Macbeth. There's one that caught me by surprise and made the rest of the relatively-light-hearted (and often snarky and/or punny) story somewhat darker - though the upbeat sections are still a lot of fun. (Watch for the way in which "Out, out, damned spot" gets worked into the story {grin}). Some of the banter between the characters is so very charming that it had me smiling; Gratz has a gift for that kind of thing.

There are hints in this book of a third "Horatio Wilkes" tale, themed on Midsummer Night's Dream, but so far there's no sign of one; ah, well! If it ever does come out I'll definitely buy it, but Gratz may have moved on to other things...

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, November 17, 2014

Released 4 yrs ago (11/17/2014 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

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I'm adding this book to KateKintail's YA bookbox, which will be on its way to its next stop soon. Hope someone enjoys it!

Journal Entry 3 by wingemmejowing at Trumansburg, New York USA on Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Took from the YA bookbox. I was going to pass on this one, as I hadn't read the first, but then I read the back cover. Who can resist goth-punk bagpipers?

Journal Entry 4 by wingemmejowing at Trumansburg, New York USA on Thursday, February 26, 2015
Horatio's first impression of the Highland Fair is that the whole thing is kind of a joke, no matter how seriously his friends and their families take it. However, when the fair's owner is stabbed to death in his tent, it is clear that someone here is deadly serious. The initial blame falls on the man's son, but something isn't right here. Clan politics, backstabbing (possibly literally!) performers, and the Almighty Dollar are all tangled up in this Scottish weekend.

I found this a fun, light read and a good distraction from the nasty cold here. I found some of the Shakespeare references quite clever and others awkwardly forced. As a mystery, it was a mixed bag. We figure out "whodunit" fairly quickly, and a lot of the tension comes from Horatio trying to back up his suspicions without giving them away, but there were some plot twists I didn't expect.

Journal Entry 5 by wingemmejowing at Little Free Library #4094 in Ithaca, New York USA on Monday, March 23, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (3/22/2015 UTC) at Little Free Library #4094 in Ithaca, New York USA

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Added to the Little Free Library

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