The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Seven very proper Victorian young ladies conspire to hide a murder from the authorities at their boarding school"--
Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781596439566
Branch Call Number: J BERRY
Characteristics: 351 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 02, 2019

I was intrigued by the title of this book, but I have to say that there is not much that is "scandalous" in it. In brief, the owner of a school for girls and her brother die suddenly, leaving seven teenager students to fend for themselves. Of course, they decide to hide the bodies and pretend that nothing has happened, because they don't really want to go back home or to be send to different schools, being all friends. However, it is not so easy to keep up appearances and complications arise pretty soon, with witty dialogue and unbelievable (to say the least) impersonations. Between a house robbery and another poisoned person, the story might become rather dark, but don't worry, there is a happy ending and a highly convenient (and good looking) deus ex machina. It's a good book to read for fun, although I like the attempt to describe the budding personalities of these lovable seven young girls.

Jun 20, 2018

Incredibly written story. Unexpected ending. Loved the plot about all the struggles of keeping the death secret and solving it at the same time. And all the different characters and their personalities are so different. Amazing story.

May 06, 2018

I LOVE this story!

Nov 17, 2017

What a delightful farce. I enjoyed this books humor, characters and plot. It was a good mystery, very Agatha Christie-esque and I didn't figure it out. Partly because it was simpler than I thought, I forgot it was a middle reader so I was making the scenarios a little more complicated than necessary. But all in all, a good book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. While it was hard to keep track of them all, as there were seven girls and more characters on top of that, I loved the quirks and the titles they all had like Dull Martha and Smooth Kitty and Stout Alice. They each how unique personalities--albeit a little archetypal--and I enjoyed the role each one had to play in the mystery. That being said, I understand they are all young ladies in the Victorian era but I could have done away with the romance. Luckily it didn't dominate the story and only three of the seven girls had a romance plot but it was a little irksome. Contrary to that though, I loved that the main idea was that the girls were after their own independence and would do anything--including hide and cover up two bodies--to achieve it. That was admirable and rather funny, considering the circumstances.

I also liked the plot. I thought it unfolded well and I enjoyed the little clues along the way. Honestly, it's hard to surprise me with a mystery but I didn't guess this one. Again, probably because it was the most obvious and I was all up in the idea that the two people had poisoned each other...but whatever. I very much wanted to see it as an animated movie or even a play, if it didn't have so many locations.

All in all, this was a great book, especially for younger readers. I will happily recommend it to anyone I think wants a good mystery that has more intrigue than gore.

ArapahoeSteffen Nov 22, 2016

Seven smart 17 year olds take their time solving the murder of their headmistress, while quietly managing their own affairs and alerting no one in particular of her death.
Young feminist characters navigate 1890's England, my favorite time period!!

Jul 06, 2016

Different than what I normally read, but I definitely don't regret picking it up! It was very funny, and so unlike anything else I've read (which, admittedly might be because I so rarely read this genre). Each of the girls has an adjective to go with them, which was quite helpful, or else I would have gotten quite confused I think. If you're looking for a cheer-me-up book, go straight to this!

CMLReads_Kristin Feb 18, 2016

Hilarious farcical Victorian mystery. Each of the seven teen heroines has a single adjectival descriptor at first: Smooth Kitty, Disgraceful Maryjane, Dour Eleanor, Stout Alice, etc. and each transcends the description in the end (which is part of the point of the whole exercise, really...women, shockingly, are more than just-one-thing). For those who enjoy audio books: this one is narrated by Jayne Entwistle, who does such a wonderful job with the Flavia DeLuce mysteries!

Apr 26, 2015

Seven girls live and learn at St. Etheldreda's School for Young Ladies. During Sunday lunch, the headmistress AND her brother suddenly fall dead. The girls see this as an opportunity for freedom and to finally learn about the things they want to know. So they conspire to hide and then bury the bodies. But this comes with several problems including pretending the headmistress is still alive so they can go about their daily business. But in a small town this is almost impossible to do.

First, I must say that morbid is not typically my usual genre, but this book and the well formed characters pulled me right in. This book had an eclectic feel to it. I felt that I was reading a bit of Agatha Christie, Lemony Snicket and a Comedy of Errors all in one. And although there was quite a bit of morbidity (two murders followed by a desperate burial, and a girl who loves dead people), I greatly enjoyed watching the girls scramble to stay one step ahead of the town as well as the murderer. I couldn't wait to see what ridiculousness they were going to be going up against next and how they would handle it. The story was well written and fast paced. I could picture everything that was happening each step of the way. And I enjoyed the ending where consequences were doled out, but the good guys (or girls) all got what they wanted. I appreciate that Mrs. Godding pointed out the inappropriateness of the girl's behavior and the morbidity of it so you don't leave feeling this is an every day and acceptable occurrence. There was a bit of predictability to the story, but this is written for children so that is to be expected.

My only negative thought is that I love books set in England, but the setting here is meant to be in Ely, England, and not once did I feel I was in England. This book is classified as a junior novel which is usually written for ages 8-12, however this book in all ways is far too mature for this age group. I would like to see the book reclassified as a young adult novel for junior high and up. Kids in this age range would really enjoy this book. And even though it features seven girls, I think boys would get a kick out of the story as well.

Apr 12, 2015

The setting was what really made this book so captivating.

Feb 13, 2015

I'm almost 25 and I enjoyed this book a lot! It's definitely not just for kids. I'd recommend it for teens and young adults as well. How can you not like a book with characters that have names like Dull Martha, Disgraceful Mary Jane, Stout Alice, Smooth Kitty, Dear Roberta, Dour Elinor, and Pocked Louise? I laughed out loud quite a bit. It starts out funny and does get more serious in the end, and I think the author developed the characters really well. This is a mystery book, but it's also a great representation of Victorian society. It's easy to see the author did a lot of research while writing this. Definitely a book I will read again sometime.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
May 04, 2019

abbyandoreo thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Apr 26, 2015

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add Notices
Apr 26, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: murder by poison, burying of dead bodies


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top