Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Seven young women at a Victorian boarding school are not upset at all when their penny-pinching headmistress and her gluttonous brother die during dinner one evening.  Rather than reveal the deaths, the girls decide to bury the bodies in the garden so that they can continue to live there.  But their plan is in almost immediate danger of being revealed as a steady stream of visitors come by the house and further when they are required to go to a town social.  All while trying to solve the mystery of who might've poisoned the headmistress and her brother in the first place.

This is meant to be a screwball comedy and reminded me greatly of "Arsenic and Old Lace".  Except there was no Cary Grant in it which, of course, makes everything slightly less good.  I might've enjoyed the story more were it not for the precious writing contrivances.  Each girl was given an adjective such as Dour Elinor and Stout Alice and Smooth Kitty and Disgraceful Mary Jane.  While helpful at first to define so many characters, this is how the characters were labeled throughout the book which I just found annoying and too much of a "look how witty and quirky I am" message from the author.