Monday, October 20, 2014

MG Review Historical Fiction: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

18885674Every Sunday following church, the seven young ladies from Saint Etheldreda's School join their headmistress for a meal that they have prepared. On the day in question, the girls are serving veal to headmistress Constance Plackett and her younger brother, Mr. Aldous Godding.   While they will be enjoying bread with butter and baked beans. Suddenly, Mrs. Plackett drops dead, followed by her brother Aldous.  The young ladies suspect foul play and believe the two have been murdered. Concerned the headmistresses death will mean they will be sent home, they choose to band together and form the Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.  Upon Smooth Kitty's encouragement, they plan to dispose of the bodies in the vegetable bed.  As the young ladies put their plan in motion, neighbors begin to arrive for a surprise party orchestrated by the late Mrs. Plackett's brother.  The young ladies must ensure no one finds out about the headmistress and her brothers death, while uncovering who the murderer is.  

I very much enjoyed the Victorian setting of The Sisters of Prickwillow Place and the girls that resided within the house.   The use of an adjective to describe the personality of each of the young ladies (pocked, stout, dour, dear, disgraceful, dull, and smooth), was interesting and unique.  I'm not certain whether this helped me really get to know each of the girls better or not, but the cover image certainly did.  All the girls are likable and their friendship and support of each other is what drew me into the story.  As well as unraveling which of the list of suspects had the true motive. Interestingly, Smooth Kitty was one of the girls that stood out to me the most. Probably because she selects herself to make all the plans to dispose of the bodies.  But, she isn't the only one who takes part in their scheme.  Louise with her science experiments is able to gather some of the valuable clues.  And where would they be without Alice?  Yet it really is each of their individual personality traits when combined that helps them to find the murderer. A boarding school mystery filled with humor and a delightful cast of characters.   


Amanda K Thompson said...

This book looks amazing, Brenda. Thanks for reviewing, I'll definitely have to check it out. ;)

Brenda said...

Julie Berry also has a series of books that she wrote which her sister illustrated their called Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys. The first one is The Rat Brain Fiasco, I thought they were done particularly well.