Title: Cadbury’s Coffin
Authors: Glendon & Kathryn Swarthout
Genre: Mystery / Gothic
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
I picked this up at a used bookstore because it sounded like it might be amusing, but it ended up being a bit of a disappointment. The story revolves around the death (maybe) of rich old Lycurgus Cadbury who died (or did he?) shortly after expressing a fear of premature burial.
A slightly tongue-in-cheek faux Gothic story of scheming relatives and faithful servants ensues. Some of it was entertaining and clever, but the overall plot was boringly predictable for the first 3/4 of the book. The predictability is partly because of the writing and partly because most chapters begin with a captioned illustration many of which are spoilers for the major action that will happen in that chapter.
There is a nice twist toward the end (not in a clever “everything you think you know is wrong” way; just fate intervening), and the book suddenly turns into a sort of coming-of-age tale that kind of works but also feels a bit disjointed. Overall: there was some cleverness here, but so much of it was boringly predictable (and not in the funny “we all know I’m mocking Gothic tropes” kind of way that I think the author was going for).