Read Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave by Deron R. Hicks Mark Edward Geyer Online


Twelve-year-old Colophon Letterford has a serious mystery on her hands. Will she discover the link between her family’s literary legacy and Shakespeare’s tomb before it’s too late? Antique paintings, secret passages, locked mausoleums, a four-hundred-year-old treasure, and a cast of quirky (and some ignoble) characters all add up to a fun original adventure. Readers will rTwelve-year-old Colophon Letterford has a serious mystery on her hands. Will she discover the link between her family’s literary legacy and Shakespeare’s tomb before it’s too late? Antique paintings, secret passages, locked mausoleums, a four-hundred-year-old treasure, and a cast of quirky (and some ignoble) characters all add up to a fun original adventure. Readers will revel in a whirlwind journey through literary time and space in real-world locales from Mont St. Michel to Stratford-Upon-Avon to Central Park!...

Title : Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780547840345
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 269 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave Reviews

  • Dov Zeller
    2019-05-10 06:12

    Quoting Kirkus:"Twelve-year-old Colophon Letterford deciphers clues in an old portrait that lead her and her father’s oddball cousin Julian to a literary treasure." is a fun mystery with some great characters including the protagonist, 12 year old Colophon, and her uncle Julian. There are also some great comic moments with her brother and father including a bizarre but kind genius skunk situation.I would say I'm hovering around a 3.5. I never really liked Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books (I don't if that is something I should admit). More than anything, I think, this just isn't my genre. The story was mainly plot, and kind of silly, though also really admirable and well-researched. Anyway, I'm glad I checked this one out and recommend it to middle-graders who like mysteries and stories in which siblings start out disliking each other but become something of a team. And Colophon is a great girl-detective.

  • Rob
    2019-04-20 04:01

    Deron Hicks, a local attorney and writer, was a welcome guest at our annual Friends of Library meeting. Because I enjoyed his presentation – and was a little curious about his book, especially since part of the story takes place just a few miles away – I decided to buy a copy, read it in one sitting, and then chalk up another number on my list. A Junior Library Guild selection, “Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave” is a well-written mystery for middle school kids. Heck, I even enjoyed it. If you’ve got kids or grandkids that age, stick a copy in their stocking this Christmas. They’ll be hooked within the first few pages.

  • Abby
    2019-04-28 03:45

    I am starting a new review system I will give a clip of WIIA (what it is about) Then the Pros, Cons, and iffy things (bad language, romance and so on)WIIA: This is a mystery that takes you with a girl and her brother as they try to figure out to mysteries. One: is there a family treasure? Two: who is sabotaging her father's business? It gives back and forth perspectives from lots of different people including the bad guys. At the end it ends with a cliffhanger so I will be starting Book 2 immediately!Pros: His writing is easy to understand, not action packed. Yet there is just enough excitement to keep you going! I never once felt like I wanted to skip a paragraph! Cons: The prologue. I think it was a necessary part but could of been shorted so it would be easier to understand. Iffy: Word frigging appears once. Several negative comments from her brother in the beginning but his character evolves.

  • Madi
    2019-05-17 01:53

    Star Rating:*3.25 stars*Plot:An ancient riddle etched into the frame of a family portrait. Rumors of a hidden family treasure. A string of unexplained accidents and mishaps. These are Colophon Letterford's only clues to a mystery that is threatening to destroy her family. Time is running out, and she will need more than book-smarts to unearth secret passageways and to brave locked mausoleums by moonlight. Will Colophon solve the mystery of her family's fortune and rewrite the pages of literary history? Will she discover the link between her family and Shakespeare's tomb-before it's too late?-description from the dust jacketOpinion:I honestly don't know why I waited so long to read this book. It was recommended to me almost a year ago! Maybe it just didn't interest me at the time, I don't know. But I'm glad I read it! It was very good! Very quick, and lighthearted. I enjoyed the writing style a lot. I really had no idea what the plot of the book was beyond what the title told me, and I really liked that. It made it more mysterious. I do wish that Shakespeare's grave had played a bigger role in the book though. It didn't have as much about Shakespeare as I thought it would. Recommendation:Anybody 9-10 and up! People who enjoy historical things will enjoy it a lot.

  • Lenni Jones
    2019-05-04 01:58

    I read this book hoping that it would be a little more about Shakespeare. Plus, it sounded supremely awesome. And it was very good. Not amazing or excellent, but very good. The ending was great and I really can't wait to read book two. It was a little hard to get into in the beginning, but very funny and exciting throughout the rest of the book. Maybe a little slow, but very exciting. I don't have much more to say, so happy reading!

  • Nicole
    2019-05-09 04:57

    The main message in Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave is that one must keep following what they believe in to make a difference. Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave begins in present day Manchester, Georgia in the Letterford house, a three story dark red bricked home on a rolling hill with an impressive library. Letterford and Sons is a publishing company that has suffered many accidents, and is not running very well right now. Colophon Letterford, daughter of Mull Letterford, the owner of Letterford and Sons, has just gotten out of school and Thanksgiving break is now upon her. Colophon has figured out that her family is thinking of replacing her father if he cannot fill certain criteria by the end of the year. On Thanksgiving, all of her relatives come over to her house, but their is one man who she has never seen before, an unshaven man named Julian who wants to examine a portrait of the founder of Letterford and Sons, Miles Letterford. Colophon soon learns that Julian thinks that the portriate is a clue to a family treasure, which many others think is fake, the clue hidden in the frame. Colophon becomes interested in solving the mystery, with hopes that the treasure could help her father stay the owner of Letterford and Sons. She travels to England with Julian, running all around England trying to follow clue by clue to find the treasure. Meanwhile, Colophon’s brother, Case Letterford, stays in Manchester with his father, trying to figure out if someone is trying to sabotage his father. In this third person omniscient narrative, Colophon, Julian, and Case must follow and crack the clues to save their father’s job and uncover a ground breaking discovery. Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave was a suspenseful, adventurous, and exciting story. One concept of this book that I like was that the story went back and forth from England, with Colophon and Julian, to Case in Manchester, always leaving you on a cliffhanger and making you want to read more to find out what happens next. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Colophon and Julian sneak into the mausoleum, to try to find the next clue, “Colophon tried to get to her knees, but she felt as if she were moving in slow motion. The light from Julian’s flashlight illuminated the opening into the mausoleum, but it was growing dimmer. The stone door was starting to shut. Suddenly the light was gone. She was trapped”(198). This was one of the most exciting adventure packed scene of the book, making me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Another reason this book was so great was because the characters are very interesting and special in their own way. Colophon and Julian are smart, but have a good taste for adventure, Case is cunning and energetic, and all the other characters make the story more fun to read because it actually seems real. This story has a very good message for anyone, because everyone is unique, and in the story the characters embrace who they really are, which lets them follow their own dreams and make a difference. It inspires others to keep going at what they believe in, and never let anyone push them down. This theme could be applied to running a business, to believe in your idea to make it real, and to make a difference in someone’s life. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone, I didn’t find any faults in it, especially if the reads likes exciting books or mysteries.

  • Jackie
    2019-05-16 08:05

    The Letterford family has been in the publishing business for hundreds of years. Yet, today, under the guidance of Mull Letterford, present day head of the company, it is facing upheaval from nefarious family members. Mull's cousin Treemont, is questioning his ability to run the company profitably with substantial growth in its future. He, and other relatives, give Mull until Christmas Eve to sign well-known author(s) to publish 3 works. Mull has these potential authors lined up and is traveling to New York to meet with them. Meanwhile, Mull's children, Colophon and Case are trying to help their father in his quest to keep the company afloat. Colophon and adult cousin, Julian are sure there is some truth to the myth that a treasure is hidden for the current president of the company. They travel between Georgia and England to follow the clues to the treasures. Case accompanies his father to New York ensure that meetings go as planned. They don't. Treemont is doing everything in his power to thwart the success to publishing best-selling novels. In the nick of time, Julian and Colophon return to the Georgia mansion where Mull is meeting with his no-good relatives. They have news. Is it the news that Mull is hoping for though? Full of mystery and almost seemingly wild goose chases, Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave keeps your interest while interacting with both likeable and despicable characters. Historical references are snuck into the story, so the young reader will actually be learning something about Shakespeare and his time period. A great mystery in an un-put-down-able story. Clearly, there is another book in the series, as the ending and epilogue hint at more evilness from Treemont. Came close to giving this work 5 stars, but I do not hesitate to give it 4 1/2.

  • Aspasia
    2019-04-22 23:59

    Rick Riordan made Greek mythology relevant and relatable to kids and now Deron Hicks has done the same thing with William Shakespeare in his two books, The Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave and Tower of the Five Orders. Although Shakespeare is widely acknowledged as one of the best playwrights in the world, little is known about his personal life, but Deron Hicks turns the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's life into two intriguing and fast paced middle grade mystery novels. In Secrets we are introduced to Colophon Letterford and her family's prestigious publishing house. Alas, all is not financially well at Letterford and Sons. A mutiny is happening amongst the family members of the publishing house. Mulls Letterford must sign three new best selling authors to Letterford and Sons by midnight of December 24th or the greedy Treemont Letterford becomes the new head of Letterford and Sons. Colophon and her cousin Julian believe that a mysterious family portrait contains clues that will help save the family's business. The painting's clues take Colophon and Julian on a whirlwind scavenger hunt from Georgia to London.In Tower, the family nemesis returns and threatens the newfound tranquility and financial stability of Letterford and Sons. This time clues from the life of Chrisopher Marlowe will lead Colophon and Julian on another fast-paced journey to save the Letterford family from ruin. Will they find the business-saving treasure in time?You can read more of my reviews at

  • A. Somers
    2019-04-21 23:48

    This is one of those cases that justifies the saying" Don't judge abook by its cover." I was somewhat reluctant to try the book because of the cartoonish nature of the cover picture. I'm so glad that I decided to give it a try. It is a kid's version of a Dan Brown novel, full of adventure, suspense, and historical intrigue. The characters are well developed and there is just the right touch of humor. The contemporary dialogue will attract 4th through 7th grade readers but it does not talk down to the them. It is full of beautiful descriptive language that would make it a good mentor text for word choice and vivid vocabulary usage. This book had everything; secret codes and passageways, humorous chase scenes, nail biting adventures in a cemetary and of course the evil plotting villian. I can't wait for the sequel. Sign me up for the Letterford Mystery Series fan club!

  • Lee Födi
    2019-04-24 00:03

    I really enjoyed this book; it reminded me of the National Treasure movies, what with all the intrigue and booby traps. It also is sprinkled with some humor; kids are sure to love the smelly shoe scene. Perhaps the thing I loved the most was the author's choice of character names. Colophon, Case, and Mull . . . these names all pay homage to the history of books. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the cover; the design just doesn't seem to quite fit the tone and style of the writing.

  • Karen
    2019-05-11 08:01

    I love books for kids that include literary characters, especially Shakespeare. It plants seeds that will hopefully lead to a feeling of accessibility to classic literature. My favorite part of this book is the ending, a complete set up for book 2 and maybe beyond. But, the story took a long time to come together, I hope 4th- 6th graders will give the book a chance and not stop after the first 50 pages. It was very obvious who was going to fill the role of villain, other than that I really liked the book and will recommend it to students who enjoy mysteries.

  • Diane
    2019-05-06 00:50

    I love a fun mystery, and I love Shakespeare! After spending a good two weeks in Stratford Upon Avon and moving my daughter there to become a Shakespearean scholar, I loved the opportunity to revisit the Bard's hometown in prose and mentally retrace my own steps at the Trinity Church. When older brother Case was pursuing clues and helping his Dad in NYC, I was right with them through Central Park! I highly recommend this book for my middle school students. I can't wait to get the next book.

  • Moushumi Ghosh
    2019-05-08 00:45

    Colophon a 12 year old uses her brain to solve a 400 year old mystery of a treasure that is rumoured to be in her family. What a good well-plotted mystery! After a long time, I am reading a book that combines all my favourite elements -- Shakespeare, mystery, books, and publishing. What imaginative names - Colophon, Case, Letterford! A crackling good yarn. More I believe are coming up. Can't wait for them.

  • Tracie
    2019-05-21 03:08

    Excellent story about a young girl from a distinguished publishing family who tries to uncover a secret code left by one of her one of her ancestors even as her father's position as head of the family is threatened from within. Great start to a series though this is a satisfying read on it's own.

  • Leona
    2019-04-25 05:48

    A wonderful book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, to the way it switches locations from one Letterford to another, the clues, the suspense, and the ending. I can't wait to read the second book.A page turner without a doubt, I finished it within a few hours, and I do not regret it. Now on the the second one.

  • Kori
    2019-04-30 07:06

    What's not to love? Mysterious codes, family secrets, hitory, creepy mausoleums, a hilarious dog chase, and a case of bad smelly feet. Not to mention featured passages by the Bard himself. My son and I loved this book - and I was pretty surprised at the end when my 11 year old boy asked for the sequel to a book featuring a FEMALE heroine! Well done, Mr. Hicks. Well done!

  • Alan Chiu
    2019-04-24 00:54

    To all readers: It was awesome! Why, because it had hard vocabulary , unlike the Thea Sisters series, and it had a juicy plot that could let your mind turn and think. To sum it up, it deserved a well earned 5 stars.

  • Karen
    2019-05-21 06:42

    Well written story that has events happening in two places that eventually go together at the end (reminded me of Dan Brown books) - and you learn a little about Shakespeare along the way. Would be a great read aloud - Grades 4-6.

  • Surani
    2019-05-10 05:57

    Very exciting and an engaging read!! Enjoyed reading about mysteries around the famous playwright and traipsing through old buildings and graveyards looking for clues to age old mysteries!!

  • Natalie VanDusen
    2019-04-23 02:53

    WOW. I think this is the fastest I've ever finished a book. This had everything I love: mystery, literary allusions, puzzles and history. This series just sky-rocketed to the top of my favorites.

  • Stephanie Sapp
    2019-05-08 03:57

    Great mystery book, majority of the book was read in one day. I couldn't put it down.

  • Munro's Kids
    2019-05-14 04:06

    This is a fun mystery romp for good readers 9-12. Though the clues are sometimes rather complicated, the characters and plot are enjoyable.

  • Cory
    2019-04-28 02:56

    This story rocks! Looking forward to reading more books from this series.

  • Chris
    2019-05-10 05:43

    As a lover of Shakespeare and a graduate with an English degree, the very title Secrets of Shakespeare's Grave had me interested. There's a lot of speculation and mystery surrounding Shakespeare and even though I'm not a big scholar of the research and conspiracy theories, I find the whole thing very interesting. Once I read the summary blurb for the book I decided I'd have to read it. Essentially a young girl (12 years old) is on a treasure hunt to solve a centuries old mystery hidden in her family heritage. The book is definitely geared towards younger readers. Potentially to the 8-10 year old crowd but probably more digestible by the middle-grade level. As I mentioned, the main character in the story is 12 year old Colophon Letterford. She's a very smart girl with a passion for books and learning. So much so that she requested extra homework over her Thanksgiving holiday break. Her slightly older brother is the opposite of Colophon and more what you might consider a "typical" teenager (not a fan of schoolwork, a little distanced from his parents, and constantly plugging his iPod earphones into his ears).The book begins with a preface or introduction that sets the stage for the mystery. Hundreds of years ago, an ancient ancestor took a trip to Mont St. Michel to recover and protect a secret item. The initial scene brings out elements of suspense and intrigue and sets the stage for what to expect later on. The description and pacing of the Mont St. Michel scene is rather fun.We then leap to present day and find out that the Letterford family now control a very prestigious publishing house. Not the most financially successful or recognized publishing house, but prestigious because of the nature of their offerings. In fact they are in financially tough times and have been losing best-selling authors. I have a little worry that the discussions of the business side of the publishing world might be a little dry for younger readers, but the anecdotes and information are pretty minimal overall and exist mainly to add to the motivations of characters later on.Now that the characters and general layout of things are set, we get to the mystery and the secret. After Thanksgiving dinner, Colophon learns from a cousin that there is a family treasure that has never been found. Due partly to her natural curiosity but mostly to some external influences, Colophon dives head long into solving the clues of the mystery in the hope of finding the treasure that can help save her family's business. At the same time as Colophon is undertaking the treasure hunt, she suspects her uncle is trying to sabotage her father's business and so she tasks her brother with helping their father try to sign on some new authors. With these two parallel threads (the treasure hunt and the author hunt), we are given a number of fun adventures ranging from silly to suspenseful. I was impressed at the logical and straightforward way the characters went about achieving their goals. There were a few times that the realism was stretched a bit thin but mostly everything felt realistic or at least that it was following logical rules that made sense in the scenarios.Probably the hardest thing for me to swallow (as is often the case in treasure hunt stories) is that Colophon was the one to solve the initial clue. This clue has been on display for 400 years and many family members have "destroyed their lives" trying to find the treasure. And yet the clue itself is fairly straightforward to find and identify. Granted, she and her cousin were able to use the Internet to quickly put together the 3 variables that the clue presented, but the Internet has been around for a couple of decades now and even before that, a little paper research would likely have revealed the connection earlier, especially if family members were dedicating their whole lives to solving the problem (and with the added fact that the connection was literary in kind and this family is a literary family). Still, this is a kid's book and so it makes sense that the child would be the hero and I can accept that.On a semi-related note, while Colophon was smart and (supposedly very well read), there were a couple of times that her cousin had to explain some literary references that I felt should have been very obvious to her if she were really as bookish as it seemed she should be. Granted, I may be superimposing myself over Colophon and forgetting that she's just a 12 year old girl and no matter how interested she is in books and learning, she's a "normal" girl (smarter than average, but not presented as "genius" or "prodigy" level) and thus is likely reading a little above her grade level but likely not yet entrenched in the literary breadth of an English scholar. On the flip side, it can be assumed that most kids reading this book wouldn't be knowledgeable on all these subjects even if we assume Colophon should be. So while it annoyed me when seemingly simple references had to be explained, I had to push back and acknowledge the audience.Setting aside those complaints, I felt like the clues and the treasure hunt were a lot of fun. It reminded me a bit of the 39 Clues series but without the competitive danger of other family members in the chase (though that looks like it will change in the sequel). In fact, the competitive danger was more of a factor in the "author chase" than in the treasure hunt as Colophon's uncle is in fact putting a number of plans in place to hinder the company's progress. I really enjoyed the methods used to sabotage the author meetings. They were pretty fun and imaginative.One thing I didn't expect (but I should have) was that this book is going to be part of a series. I should have anticipated that due to the title descriptor "The Letterford Mysteries" (plural). In fact, it wasn't until the final couple of pages of the book that it becomes apparent that the chase isn't over and that there will be more to come. This caught me a little off guard but actually made me happy since I enjoyed the book and the writing and like the idea of reading more.Overall this was a pretty fun book. I really enjoyed the creative treasure hunt as it wound through bits of historical literary trivia to arrive at a fun conclusion. I had a lot of fun with the whimsical methods used to try and sabotage the business. The pacing was good and should keep young kids involved while still providing enough detail to the mystery and the treasure hunt to make it interesting, rich and compelling. Even though it stretched believability in a few cases, I also felt like the whole thing was largely realistic especially as contained within the concepts and relationships set up in the story. I also really loved the Shakespearean trivia throughout the book. Each chapter was named using a line from a Shakespeare play (complete with an appendix to identify the source).While I was surprised by the quick twist at the end of the book to set up the sequel I was certainly not disappointed. In fact I'm looking forward to the second book coming out next year. Give this a try. It's a fun adventure/mystery novel for the young or young at heart.****4 out of 5 stars

  • Claudia
    2019-05-14 07:59

    Colophon Letterford (what a name for a little girl) barely suffers her older brother but loves her father's status as head of a publishing company and the house and the library...but the creepy portrait of the founder of the family's business, Miles Letterford is something she does not love.At Thanksgiving dinner Cousin Julian adds to the already sky-high tension level...The family has until Christmas to salvage the horrible string of bad luck, to rescue the publishing house, and to actually stay in their ancestral home...but the forces working against them are just as determined to throw out Colophon's family...Yes, the mystery DOES involve Shakespeare and his grave and madcap chases across two continents...and a cliffhanger ending

  • Bethany
    2019-05-15 02:09

    I borrowed this book from my best reading buddy's library because the cover was interesting and I had nothing else to read (ri-i-i-i-i-i-ight!). I was unfamiliar with the author and was delighted to find out he's Southern. I love Southern storytellers and think they are the best! I was not disappointed. I've already ordered a copy of the second one because I couldn't find a copy anywhere and yes, I HAD to read it. Firstly, who wouldn't love a character whose name is Colophon? Secondly, who wouldn't love a secret that involved traveling to a second family home in England? And let's not forget Colophon's family's future is hinged on solving a several centuries old code and unpublished manuscripts by Shakespeare himself. Can't wait for that second book to reach the top of the stack!!

  • C.J. Milbrandt
    2019-04-26 01:49

    When her father seems to be at risk of losing his place at the head of the family business, Colophon decides to lend her support. With the help of her big brother and their dad's cousin, they follow centuries-old clues to find the Letterford family treasure. Rules of inheritance and family meetings. Publishing powerhouses and best-selling authors. Portraits and monuments. Plots and obstacles. Sonnets and keys. This is a fun race to the finish as Colophon chases down clues. Bits of history and lines from Shakespeare throughout. Looking forward to the next book!

  • poison city
    2019-05-04 01:00

    The concept of the book was great. It was the same as Rick Riordan who included some information about Greek mythology. This book is no different. If you love mystery, with some information added to it, this book is for you. Apart from everything, the author writing is good, his describing is perfect. (I mean I couldn't do any better). I still believe it'll be a great addition to your bookshelves.

  • Al
    2019-04-27 07:49

    This book had a lot of potential to ring a lot of my bells, but it fell flat in a lot of places. It tried to strike a balance between funny and suspenseful, but the funny scenes were too weirdly outrageous. The suspenseful scenes were well done and the pace was quick, but actual solving of the mystery wasn't very believable.

  • Katharine
    2019-05-07 08:06

    This is the clue-chasing of the National Treasure films, the Victorian quaintness of Sherlock, and humor of a romantic comedy- all packed into a simply written, (but not written down), children’s book. After reading several horrifyingly unexceptional examples of children’s mystery stories, I must say that apart from the Enola Holmes series, this book is the standalone.