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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  5,806 ratings  ·  1,279 reviews
There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday di
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Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Roaring Brook Press (first published September 17th 2014)
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E.L. Drayton I'm about halfway through it now and I will say it's for a reader who can easily keep track of and pace with several main characters. In this case the…moreI'm about halfway through it now and I will say it's for a reader who can easily keep track of and pace with several main characters. In this case there are 7 girls who are all distinct in their behaviors and speech but I can see how having SO MANY characters can easily frustrate a person who may not be able to differentiate them causing confusion. Having said that I think the author has, so far, done an amazing job at telling the story, given her bold move of having so many main characters. But she does it effortlessly and gives them each an equal amount of importance. I have not finished it yet but of the variety of "YA" books I've read this one, I believe, is more of a YA book than others that tend to have much more adult under (and over) tones, if that makes sense? It's not as "true to life" or emotionally driven as most popular YA books tend to be today. It's definitely historical (taking place in 1890) though very funny and the language is not hard to read or understand. like Shakespeare. Hope that was helpful.(less)
QNPoohBear Yes, it's not scary but more dark humor. It's in the tradition of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket. My 10 year old niece would probably think it's boring…moreYes, it's not scary but more dark humor. It's in the tradition of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket. My 10 year old niece would probably think it's boring because it's historical but if they made it into a movie, she'd like it. It's not scarier or more intense than Enola Holmes and she liked that movie. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Giselle
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
Super cute! The plot is more-or-less a game of clue, but more MG-like, with a large cast of funny, resourceful, and charismatic young girls.

Much like its cover, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is intriguing and fun with a touch of humour. We begin by being introduced to the girls with the help of some illustrations and a quick look into why they were sent to St. Etheldreda's School for Girls. I had the ARC so the illustrations were sadly missing, but the cover accomplished the sa
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monica kim
3.5 but rounded up - a cute and cozy time! i loved the girls and honestly would have loved a series. would have been great to have some diversity in this story though tbh, it’s v white and straight.
Jessica
An absolutely delightful Victorian farce in which a group of Victorian schoolgirls attempt to conceal the death of their awful schoolmistress and live in a sisterly utopia . . . and must therefore deal with the nosy neighbors, angry creditors, hopeful suitors, and suspected murderers who descend on them. Laugh-out-loud funny as well as tender, it made me wish my nickname was Smooth Kitty!
✦BookishlyRichie✦
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Dark, witty, ominous, twisted, and absolutely hilarious!

This was most definitely giving me Agatha Christie meets Arsenic and Old Lace vibes and I loved every moment of it. I do have to say that this was tad slow and there were romantic bits that didn't feel necessary to me, but what made up for that was that this was an amazingly entertaining read. I fell in love all 7 of these viciously twisted girls and was sad that this came to an end. This is also a murder mystery and I thought that part of
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Ksenia
Mar 31, 2014 added it
Shelves: publicist-books
Dear Julie Berry: Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for writing such a fun and sassy story about girl friendship and mystery. Thank you for making all the girls actual friends, despite their differences. And thank you for writing such a romp of a tale! I loved every word of this book.
Robin Stevens
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deliciously dark and brilliantly farcical, I do love seeing nice girls get mixed up in murder!
Eli
THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD is a good read. I just don’t think it’ll be particularly successful with it’s target audience.

The first thing that irritated me was the face that there’s an adjective in front of each girl’s name, every time their name is mentioned in the narrative. It gets old after just a short amount of time, and it’s really the only way you can differentiate the girls. I never ended up remembering whose name belonged to who, I just remembered them by their adjective. If you’re going
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AH
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Initial Thoughts: The girls at The St. Etheldreda's School for Girls find themselves in the unlikely position of being on their own after the poisoning of their headmistress and her brother. The story is both charming and amusing and written in the style of the historical period. The girls work together to solve the murders and while I kept thinking of Scooby Doo in my head, they did work out the details rather nicely. I found myself chuckling at some of the situations.

The Review:
The Scandalous
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of British-style humor and mystery, Victorian set historical mysteries
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) by: Olga Godim
I loved this book. It was delightful, from beginning to end. I was searching for how to classify it, and in the afterward, Ms. Berry mentioned the term, British Farce. And that's what this is. I am all for Girl Power, and this book is very much about girl power and the bond between girls/women. Not only is this a sisterhood bonding story, it's also a bit like Oceans Eleven, one of those caper-type stories where you have a disparate group of individuals who are thrown together under a common bond ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, of course!
There is no greater accolade one can give a novel than to say that it kept you up to the wee hours of the morning, devouring the thrilling storyline. Cliché? Of course, but in this case too true. (I’m pretty sleep deprived as I write this.)

When the irascible and cold headmistress of St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls literally drops dead at Sunday dinner along with her dissolute, sponging brother, the finishing school’s seven pupils dive into action to both preserve their school — and to investig
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Kaethe Douglas
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kaethe by: Natasha
Shades of Annie's Adventures and The Mysterious Howling

Ridiculous and fun. A group of boarders at a Victorian finishing school conspire to hide the bodies when their headmistress and her brother drop dead suddenly. It's a romp. They solve the mystery and all the girls who are old enough meet proper beaux, and everyone who is still alive in the end lives happily ever after.

There are a few moments when the silly plot and the seriousness of death rub uncomfortably against each other, but mostly it'
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Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Okay why was this so funny and cute and dark?

I just loved this concept. Your head lady at your finishing school drops dead over dinner and you don't want to be slip up from the girls at your Finishing School because you love them so you cover up the murder while also investigating it and suddenly you have visitors at your place every hour and then someone dresses up as dead head lady. There wasn't really any huge laugh out loud moments but the overall tone and the characters were just so fun!
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Olga Godim
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, historical
This quaint novel tells a story of a British boarding school in the end of the 19th century. But saying that and only that would be a gross simplification. The story is also a murder mystery and a farce, a historical and a study in character interactions.
One day, seven teenage girls, the students of St. Etheldred’s School for Young Ladies, witness their schoolmistress and her brother keel dead during their weekly Sunday dinner. Why did they die simultaneously? Were they murdered? Why, how, and
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Susana
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who appreciate reading farces
3.5 stars



Arc provided by Mcmillan's Children Publishing Group through Netgalley

Release Date: September 23 rd

A very important fact that readers should know before starting reading this book:
The story is told as a complete farce. I mean..literally speaking!
(somehow that little bit, escaped me completely while requesting this story. I blame it on the pretty cover.)

So, if like me, you're more used to only having "bits of it" thrown in once in awhile, you're due for a different reading
Also..a
...more
midnightfaerie
May 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't finish this book, I was so bored and disappointed. It looked nice and gothic and dark, just like I like it, and it was on a whim that I picked it up that day at the library. I guess either I'm a book snob or the children's books of today just don't seem up to par with my standards. I think they're too light, or too easy, or don't have enough character depth, or theme relating to the human condition. One might argue that they're not supposed to. And that's fine. Except I go to the ...more
Amy
So maybe this is more of a 4 star than a 5 star book...but I will be honest, I had so much FUN listening to it that I don't even care! This book seriously exceeded expectation!

When their headmistress and her odious brother are suddenly poisoned, the students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls have a decision to make. Do they alert the police and return to their respective homes, or carry on as if nothing happened? They opt to bury the bodies. Unfortunately, hiding murder is not easy, especial
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Shazzer
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When first asks to describe this week’s book, I said, “It’s a Victorian Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead murder mystery. For kids.” That seemed to do the trick. For those of you unfamiliar with that awesome ‘90’s guilty pleasure movie, the story goes like this: Kids are left with an irascible guardian while their parents are away. Guardian dies. Kids attempt to fool the world into thinking Guardian is still alive so they can be on their own. In Julie Berry’s The Scandalous Sisterhood of Pric ...more
First Second Books
I thought this book was super-fun! Mysterious deaths, secret fortunes in doubloons, girls in disguise – what more can you want from a boarding school book?
Amanda
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
This middle grade book was a lovely romp through the Victorian era. The mystery gets off to a start right away and I found myself wondering who was the cause of the death of the headmistress and her ne'er do well brother. The seven girls from the boarding school all have descriptive adjectives used preceding their names, which makes it easier for the reader to remember who they are - very helpful when there are so many girls to keep track of! The girls realize that if they alert the authorities ...more
Kaye
Now, I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but –

I really enjoy a good murder mystery.

(Just keep the words in that order and don’t remove the mystery, and I think we’ll all be good.)
I grew up on Sherlock Holmes, a little bit of Alfred Hitchcock’s mystery anthologies here and there, and Agatha Christie adaptations, particularly Poirot and the beloved Miss Marple – some better than others. Do not get me started on the particular series that features Miss Marple as a patient, innocent bystander, r
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QNPoohBear
At St. Ethelrelda's School for Young Ladies on Prickwillow Road, in Ely, Cambridgeshire, seven young ladies are prepared for an awful Sunday dinner serving their horrid headmistress Mrs. Plackett and her awful brother Aldous Godding. Dull Martha Boyle has prepared a dinner of pork chops for the adults while the children eat buttered bread and hot beans. When Mrs. Plackett takes a bite of her chop and drops dead, soon followed by her brother, the young ladies feel liberated at last. Free of Mrs. ...more
Jeanne
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this book scandalously delightful and unlike anything out there today for middle school girls. I'm actually not sure that girls in the 10-14 age range would find it quite as funny as I did, but I do think that they could easily get caught up in the mystery. The use of the adjectives as part of every girl's name throughout the story (Stout Alice, Disgraceful Mary Jane, etc.) was hilarious, and it really helped you keep track of who was who in a book chock full of characters. Not only did ...more
stefiereads
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
So, I have a mixed feeling for this book. Because I like it a lot, but I also feel a bit bored in some part.
Okay what I like about this book:
- This book got me out of the reading slump
- It griped me right from the start
- It has Agatha Christie vibes
- The twist was great.
- The last parts of the books are really tense & good.
- The mood & atmosphere in this book are "gloomy" which is why it's perfect to read on rainy days.

But there are some part of the book that is just feel plain. It was quite sl
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Jim
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a rollicking mystery this was! One might think it silly to give this book 5 stars, right? Honestly, how does this compare to other grand novels, which surely deserve such a rating, when this is merely a MG/YA laugh-out-loud, double murder, reform school girls funfest?!? I just loved it. Absolutely so. Read from start to finish, breaks only for coffee, and that unfortunate result of too much coffee... Ahem. This book was serious fun! Seriously! All the characters were perfectly drawn and not ...more
Amanda Simmons
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Darling, enjoyable read. Audiobook narrator was excellent.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place was the sort of middle grade novel I simply had to read. Mostly because I snicker every time I read the word “prickwillow” because I’m a very mature, grown up sort of person. Not to mention the fact that historical novels are fabulous and scandalous girls are generally pretty fun. Who wants non-scandalous heroines? If I want to read about boring girls who make boring choices, I
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Myla
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super fun, quick listen. Narrator was awesome... would recommend listening, it was like a full production. Quite a few characters are introduced right off, but with their tags, ie Stout Alice, it helps to keep them straight so it’s not a problem. Murder mystery comedy which is the best kind and I didn’t guess who did it.
Clean but also not meant for the super young...jr high would be the youngest I go.
Ariana
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
I listened to this book and I think it was the best choice. I don't think this book would have been quite as good if it was read in my voice. The story starts and a chapter or two in there are two people dead already. This may sound awful but it just turned into one hilarious problem to another. I loved all the girls and the shenanigans they pulled off. Definitely recommend this. I would say junior high age would be okay. Even a 6th grade girl if she is a little more mature.

No bad language in t
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Dear Ms Berry,
"Falling in love" with Ely (or any other city) is not enough. Book research is not enough. You still sound like what you are: an American author trying, and failing, to sound British and nineteenth-century. If only, if only you had stuck with what you know; setting the story in an American boarding school for young ladies (of which there were many at that time) would have served you much, much better. Your characters are far too American in their speech and actions and reactions to
...more
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