Something Wicked

Something Wicked

5.0 3
by Alan Gratz
     
 

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A wickedly gripping follow-up to the critically acclaimed Something Rotten

. Horatio Wilkes has come to the Scottish Highland Festival with his childhood friend Mac for games, girls, and gallivanting. But before the Celtic festivities can get under way, Mac's grandfather and founder of the games, Duncan MacRae, is brutally murdered. All signs point to

Overview

A wickedly gripping follow-up to the critically acclaimed Something Rotten

. Horatio Wilkes has come to the Scottish Highland Festival with his childhood friend Mac for games, girls, and gallivanting. But before the Celtic festivities can get under way, Mac's grandfather and founder of the games, Duncan MacRae, is brutally murdered. All signs point to Duncan's son, Malcolm, as the killer, but Horatio has his doubts. Between Mac, his controlling girlfriend Beth, and their parents, it seems like everyone has something to hide. Set against the vivid backdrop of the Tennessee mountains, Something Wicked is a thrilling adventure with all the sinister twists, turns, and tragedies of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Angelica Delgado
Amateur gumshoe Horatio Wilkes, wunderkind of snooping and snark from Gratz's Hamlet redux, Something Rotten (Dial, 2007/VOYA December 2007), is back on the beat. Horatio stops to visit childhood pal Joseph "Mac" Mackenzie and Mac's cousin Banks at the Mount Birnam Scottish Highland Games. As soon as roadside psychic Madame Hecate tells Mac and his girlfriend Beth that Mac will be "king of the mountain," something wicked this way comes for those attending the festival. Games impresario Duncan dies from a slashed throat, leaving his son Malcolm as a suspect. Someone sabotages Banks's opportunity at a music scholarship. A malevolent piper band spreads mischief and mayhem in search of their next fix. As Horatio begins to investigate the murder, he discovers the benefits of a trained Border Collie named Spot, that the lust for a mountain makes people crazed, and that victory comes with sacrifices. Fans of Something Rotten will be pleased about the reunion with their favorite sleuth, but readers who disliked his barbs and popular culture references will find him just as annoying in this mystery. Better plot pacing makes this effort slightly more palatable than Horatio's previous investigatory outing. Much of the formula, however, remains unchanged: Horatio visits a friend; murder; Horatio mocks various Southerners with biting sarcasm; ecological statement; Horatio solves mystery. As an aside, Horatio makes so many derogatory comments about kilts that this reviewer wonders whether he is either a misogynist or homophobe. Buy this nonessential purchase only if there is reader demand. Reviewer: Angelica Delgado
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
In this new take on Macbeth, clever, sardonic teenage detective Horatio, who we first met in Something Rotten, attends a Scottish Highland Festival on Birnam Mountain in Tennessee and finds the mountain's owner, Duncan MacRae, murdered in his tent. Duncan's son Mal looks like the obvious suspect, but Horatio has his doubts. For one thing, Horatio's ambitious friend Mac and Mac's controlling girlfriend, Beth, have fathers who want to turn the mountain into a country club and ski resort. There's also a fetching girl Horatio has his eyes on, and a gang of punks who call themselves Hell's Pipers. There's even a dog—named Spot. Replete with cell phones and up-to-date references (Dance Dance Revolution, Michael Vicks), this suspenseful mystery will work even for those unfamiliar with the Shakespeare play, and humor abounds as well. Fans of Horatio will be pleased to learn he has six sisters, with names like Viola and Juliet, so look out for more witty Shakespearean take-offs to come. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

Horatio Wilkes, the teen sleuth from Something Rotten (Dial, 2007), takes on another case in this contemporary reworking of Macbeth . He's attending a Scottish Highland Fair atop a mountain in Tennessee with his old buddy Mac, Mac's controlling girlfriend (named Beth, no less), and their families. Horatio doesn't like Beth, and his friendship with Mac becomes even more strained after a palm reader predicts that Mac will win the Highland decathlon and become "king of the mountain." When Mac's grandfather Duncan, the mountain's owner, is murdered, Horatio gradually discovers that Mac has slipped into madness and resorted to violence to make the prophecy come true. The insane obsession of Shakespeare's character doesn't translate well into modern times here because Mac's motives are weak, and the insanity they cause seems a bit of a stretch. Horatio talks and acts more like a 30-something P.I. than a teenager, and it's hard not to wonder where his parents are when he is severely beaten up and works with police to solve the murder. This story has some fun aspects, but the literary references will be lost on all but those well-versed in Macbeth . The narrative is riddled with sexual innuendo and smart-alecky metaphors that will soon become tiresome to even the most sarcastic teen readers.-Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School Library, Loveland, CO

From the Publisher
ôGratz challenges readers, keeps them turning pages, and makes every word count." —Christian Science Monitor

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442074491
Publisher:
Baker & Taylor, CATS
Publication date:
09/21/2009
Pages:
272

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
ôGratz challenges readers, keeps them turning pages, and makes every word count." ùChristian Science Monitor

Meet the Author

Alan Gratz was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. After a carefree but humid childhood, he 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 has taught catapult building to middle schoolers, written more than 6,000 radio commercials, and lectured as a Czech university. Currently, Alan lives with his wife Wendi and daughter Jo in the high country of western North Carolina, where he enjoys reading, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, watching baseball.

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Something Wicked (Horatio Wilkes Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book....its so good....even if u no the story of macbeth...still read it....i love how alan mixed the story of macbeth into this mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
High school junior Horatio Wilkes attends the annual Highland Fair near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at the invitation of his friend Joe Mackenzie his family is major participants every year. Fortune teller Madame Hecate informs Mac that he will be king of the mountain and his cousin Wallace Banks will own Mount Birnam. Joe¿s college girlfriend Beth Weigle is excited while Horatio is cynical.---------------- Horatio sees booth employee Megan Sternwood and is attracted to her. When her uncle asks him to watch over her, he is excited because he has a reason to meet her. However, Horatio has a different issue when he enters a tent to find the Highland Fair owner Duncan MacRae murdered. Unable to resist Horatio investigates not realizing the passion some have for this mountain and the danger the clues will lead to.----------------- Although the amateur sleuth whodunit starts a bit late (almost halfway into the book), young adult readers will enjoy the plot due to the cynical mouthy hero who is caustic towards almost everyone at the Fair surprisingly he didn¿t get his face rearranged. The story line is fun to follow even more so when the murder occurs as fans will feel they attend the Tennessee Highland Fair. Some profanity seems inappropriate even if much of the targeted audience uses the words and it fit the moment but that may be this reviewer¿s ancient outlook. SOMETHING WICKED is an apt title just don¿t wear kilts near the wickedly sarcastic Horatio unless your thick skinned or a bruiser.--------- Harriet Klausner