Monday, January 6, 2020

Review: In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund

In the Hall with the Knife (Clue Mystery, #1)Title: In the Hall with the Knife
Author:  Diana Peterfruend
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Publishing Date:  October 8, 2019
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
Series:  Clue Mystery #1
Source:  Audio

When a storm strikes at Blackbrook Academy, an elite prep school nestled in the woods of Maine, a motley crew of students—including Beth “Peacock” Picach, Orchid McKee, Vaughn Green, Sam “Mustard” Maestor, Finn Plum, and Scarlet Mistry—are left stranded on campus with their headmaster. Hours later, his body is found in the conservatory and it’s very clear his death was no accident. With this group of students who are all hiding something, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a motive for murder. Fans of the CLUE board game and cult classic film will delight in Diana Peterfreund’s modern reimagining of the brand, its characters, and the dark, magnificent old mansion with secrets hidden within its walls.

I only just discovred this book when I was raoming the book store trying to find something calling my name. I hadn't read in a while and I needed something to pick me. This book did that. I love boardgames, I love murder mysteries and thrillers, I love the movie Clue. This book souned perfect. It wasn't perfect but it was good. I did enjoy the read. Lots of characters, a body with the name Boddy, and of course a good mystery. I do wish it had been stormy night when I read the book, but it wasn't stormy or at night..... maybe the next book I will try and get it right. Anyways, it was a good read with much of what I was looking for. 

There is a school with smart and rich kids. Among these there is Orchid, Mustard, Green, Plum, Scarlet, and Peacock. There is a Headmaster named Boddy, there is a house mother named White. The story takes place during winter break in Maine. These characters and a couple of others get stranded in the house during a storm. No power, kids with issues...some anger issues... and of course a murder. Everyone is a suspect, there are clues everywhere, it just a matter of time before the murderer is found. 

So there were many things I enjoyed in this book. I will start with the names. I was so happy to see the kids with the names from Clue...I mean it would be a strange clue mystery without the correct names of the characters. I was a little confused by Orchid. She wasn't in clue but I guess the author wanted 6 kids and wanted to keep Ms. White as the maid type. It wasn't a big deal, just a little confusing. I did like seeing how the names were assigned and how it all fit in. It was just a lot of fun. I was very happy to see that the one murdered was headmaster Boddy. I mean it had to be Boddy that was murdered. It wouldn't be right if not. So all of that was pretty much in order and pleased me. I also loved the title of the book. How does that name not grab you. 

The setting was also very fitting. It was an older house with many rooms and it had a study and a hall and a living room and so on. So also very fitting. The weapons also made their appearance. Candlestick, knife, lead pipe, wrench. All great fun, reminiscent of the game and movie and was just put together well. 

The mystery was good. I thought it was a couple of different people at different times. I liked how there were extra characters so I wasn't sure if it was one of the main characters or a supportive character. I didn't figure it out til the very end. The mystery and the murder made sense too. So it did come together quite well. 

The things I didn't enjoy so much that made my rating come down just a bit. Two things really. One... The story kept going between the 6 main characters. Which I don't normally mind but in this case, the characters were missing a connection for me. I couldn't connect very well and it made it sometimes hard to remember whose point of view it was from. I think they changed back and forth too much. I loved Orchid and Green and Mustard but really didn't feel much for Scarlet, Peacock, or Plum. I feel that there wasn't enough of each to really get to know them. 

Two....I was hoping for more suspense and thrills. It was really a mystery at it's core but just a mystery. Which this isn't bad as it was well done. I think if there were more thrills and suspense, the lack of connection to the characters wouldn't have been an issue. Since there wasn't I needed a bit more to really feel the story. 

Now I mentioned the two things that could have been improved... but I want to say I enjoyed this read. I will read the next installment and the one after that. I think it states it is supposed  to be a trilogy. So I am excited for the next books and I will get them as soon as they come available. I think maybe the characters will grow on my more now that the introductory to them all is out of the way. The mystery was so much fun and the nostalgic vibe that comes with the book... I will need more when they come available. 

I enjoyed this book, it was a great mystery. If you choose to read this..try and schedule it for a stormy dark night. It would set the perfect tone for this read. 

Diana Peterfreund has been a costume designer, a cover model, and a food critic. Her travels have taken her from the cloud forests of Costa Rica to the underground caverns of New Zealand (and as far as she’s concerned, she’s just getting started). Diana graduated from Yale University in 2001 with dual degrees in Literature and Geology, which her family claimed would only come in handy if she wrote books about rocks. Now, this Florida girl lives with her husband and their puppy in Washington D.C., and writes books that rock
Her first novel, Secret Society Girl (2006), was described as “witty and endearing” by The New York Observer and was placed on the New York Public LIbrary’s 2007 Books for the Teen Age list. The follow-up, Under the Rose (2007) was deemed “impossible to put down” by Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist called the third book, Rites of Spring (Break) (2008), “an ideal summer read.” The final book in the series, Tap & Gown, will be released in 2009. All titles are available from Bantam Dell.
She also contributed to the non-fiction anthologies, Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, edited by Jennifer O’Connell (Pocket Books, 2007), The World of the Golden Compass, edited by Scott Westerfeld (BenBella Books, 2007), and Through the Wardrobe, edited by Herbie Brennan (BenBella Books, 2008).
Her first young adult novel, Rampant, an adventure fantasy about killer unicorns and the virgin descendents of Alexander the Great who hunt them, will be released by Harper Collins in 2009. When she’s not writing, Diana volunteers at the National Zoo, adds movies she has no intention of watching to her Netflix queue, and plays with her puppy, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Rio.


  1. It sounds like the premise of this one was a lot of fun and it's always great when board games and thrillers are combined. It's a shame about not connecting to the characters -- maybe it would have been a bit easier if there were fewer of them? But it sounds like a decent read nonetheless. Good review!

    Olivia-S @ Olivia's Catastrophe

  2. i love roaming a book store or the library, just waiting for that next book to jump out at me. glad you found a good one. sounds like a series i would enjoy too
    sherry @ fundinmental


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