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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,383 ratings  ·  1,198 reviews
There's a murderer on the loosebut 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
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…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)
jordana Yes. It's not really a very scary book. It's also not at all dark. It's silly. Comparable to a less dark Series of Unfortunate Events.…moreYes. It's not really a very scary book. It's also not at all dark. It's silly. Comparable to a less dark Series of Unfortunate Events. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  5,383 ratings  ·  1,198 reviews

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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
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!
monica kim
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, its v white and straight. ...more
Richard Cardenas
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD is a good read. I just dont think itll be particularly successful with its target audience.

The first thing that irritated me was the face that theres an adjective in front of each girls name, every time their name is mentioned in the narrative. It gets old after just a short amount of time, and its 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 youre going to
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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 (Back to the Books) 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 ...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. (Im pretty sleep deprived as I write this.)

When the irascible and cold headmistress of St. Etheldredas School for Girls literally drops dead at Sunday dinner along with her dissolute, sponging brother, the finishing schools seven pupils dive into action to both preserve their school and to investigate
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
Olga Godim
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, mysteries
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. Etheldreds 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
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
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!
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 dont remove the mystery, and I think well all be good.)
I grew up on Sherlock Holmes, a little bit of Alfred Hitchcocks 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,
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When first asks to describe this weeks book, I said, Its a Victorian Dont Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead murder mystery. For kids. That seemed to do the trick. For those of you unfamiliar with that awesome 90s 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 Berrys The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow ...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? ...more
Oda Renate
It took some time for me to finish this book, not because it is bad far from it just simply LIFE getting in the way.
Finished the last 80 pages this morning, and I like what they did with (slight spoiler) Caramel boy, fun aspect they went with.
Also I love how rich this book was, midway you really really want it to be a series but by the end you felt it was good as a standalone as well. Companion books would be welcome, but sequels are not nessesary in this case.
This book is funny, fun, scary,
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
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,
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
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
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
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 Im 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
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
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a fan of Julie Berry, but I wasn't much a fan of this book. It took me 150 pages to get into it (that's like the first half of the book x_x) and during those 150 pages I debated dropping it but I'm glad I pushed through because the last half of the book was great!!

The synopsis and the title was what intrigued me. The headmistress and her brother drop dead during dinner and these 7 young girls are determined to maintain their freedom. No one wants to go home, and this is their chance to
Ms. Yingling
St. Ethelreda's is a very small school for young ladies held in Mrs. Plackett's house. There are only seven students. all of whom would much rather be with the querulous headmistress than with their own dysfunctional families. When Mrs. Plackett and her brother, Mr. Godding, drop dead after eating veal, the girls, especially Smooth Kitty (all of the girls have adjectives attached to their names, like Dour Elinor and Disgraceful Mary Jane), decide that the best plan of action is to bury both of ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: all-mg
At a school for girls, on a Sunday night during dinner, the headmistress and her brother drop dead after taking a few bites of a delicious veal. The girls at the school having no love for the poor souls came up with a shameless plan to hide the deaths and go on with their lives at the school. Unfortunately for them things didn't work out as planned including the possibility of the murderer returning for its next victim.

There is not one thing I disliked about this book. But instead of long
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

This book took awhile to get started for me. I wasn't sure what I thought of all the girls having their defining trait tacked onto their name the whole time - but I did find it a useful device to help remember who was who, so there's that.

It was interesting to watch the girls interact together, and it was nice that there weren't any typical mean girl tropes or anything. They all had different personalities and didn't always approve of each other, but they also got along in their way.

Miss Clark
4.5 stars

Nearly perfect.

This delightful Victorian mystery involves seven schoolgirls who upon the sudden and unexpected death of their headmistress and her repugnant brother decide to cover up the deaths and live on in blissful solidarity without any interference from their families, thus free to live their lives as they choose.

The girls embark on this plan of action without reckoning for the nosy neighbors, officious investigators, questionable domestic help and, of course, the murderer.

It is
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