Let's Kill Uncle

Let's Kill Uncle, by Rohan O'Grady

I heard of this title through the Bloomsbury editions--those lovely candy-colored books that are so tempting.  This one was a bit of a surprise, though; so far all the Bloomsbury books I've read have been humorous or satirical books by British women, and Let's Kill Uncle is by a Canadian.  It's funny, but the humor has a darker tone.  The copy I got through ILL has a nice Gorey cover, and Gorey is perfectly suited to this story.

There are no children on the small island off the Canadian coast, until Barnaby and Christie, both age 12, come to spend the summer.  Christie's overworked mother has scrimped to give her this chance at an outdoor summer, and Barnaby is in the care of his guardian uncle.  Barnaby is the heir to millions, and his uncle is of the opinion that he should have the fortune.  Barnaby knows this perfectly well, and he also knows that no grownup will believe him, so he and Christie decide that this is a problem they must solve on their own, by killing Uncle first.  And there's a self-pitying cougar!  And an archaeology-minded Mountie!

It's a terrific read, both funny and scary.  Uncle really is a serial killer, but he isn't often seen by others and he's good at passing for a caring guy.  The other adults--good people all--aren't all that equipped to understand what's going on, and Barnaby is both inarticulate and already convinced that there is no help.

A very nice read.  Good for October!


  1. The Gorey cover is much better than the Bloomsbury one, and I say that as a fan of the Bloomsbury books in general and this one in particular. Are there illustrations inside as well?

  2. I do agree, and sadly, no. The cover is the only illustration.

  3. You always review the most interesting old children's books. Where do you find them--in the library where you work? (Are you a children's librarian?)

  4. I was sort of planning to be a children's librarian, but I wound up at a community college instead. I've really done very little work in the children's room! But it's true that our local library has not done a lot of weeding and so there are some very interesting old things in there.

    I suppose it's mostly that my mom really is a children's librarian and has been collecting for a long time. We always have a whole lot of books around.


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