Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave

Deron R. Hicks, illus. by Mark Edward Geyer. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-547-84034-5
In a prologue set in 1616 on the island of Le Mont Saint-Michel, publisher Miles Letterford secures a mysterious treasure, and Hicks establishes an aura of old-fashioned mystery in his entertaining debut. To ensure both the integrity of the publishing house and his family’s well being, Miles ordained rules of governance for future generations and left clues in a grandiose portrait regarding a treasure available in time of need. The present-day story, which opens in the U.S., takes place between Thanksgiving, when 12-year-old Colophon realizes that a relative seeks to unseat her father as Letterford president, and Christmas Eve, when her father must prove his ability to sustain the publishing house. After prevailing on her 15-year-old brother, Case, to help their father sign up a trio of eccentric authors, Colophon enlists her oddball adult cousin Julian on a wild treasure hunt that takes her to London. The narrative alternates between Colophon and Case’s transatlantic adventures and the conniving shenanigans of the power-seeking relative. Geyer’s ink illustrations convey both humor and thrills, while a partial resolution sets the stage for another mystery. Ages 9–12. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2012
Release date: 09/11/2012
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-547-92846-3
Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-544-10504-1
Prebound-Glued - 273 pages - 978-1-68065-134-8
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