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review 2019-10-08 05:05
This YA 'Clue' mystery, inspired by the classic 80's film and the board game, is a fun read for your October TBR!
In The Hall With The Knife - Diana Peterfreund

Scarlet. Mustard. Green. Peacock. Plum. Orchid.

One storm will change their lives forever…if they survive the night.


When a killer storm strikes at Blackbrook Academy, an elite prep school nestled in the woods of Maine, a motley crew of students are left stranded at the aristocratic mansion on campus. House later, his lifeless body is discovered in a pool of blood.


Based on the classic board game CLUE, IN THE HALL WITH THE KNIFE kicks off a trilogy of young adult mysteries in which nothing is what it seems, and everyone has a motive for murder.


The Game is On. No One is Safe.



I am going to hazard a guess and bet that a whole load of readers of this will pick it up out of nostalgia for either the cult classic 1985 film 'Clue' or because they enjoyed the Hasbro board game of the same name that the excellent movie was based on.

Or both, which is why I had to read it!


This is a modern reimagining of the board game 'Clue' (and when it's brought 'to life' in this way, it takes on the story form like the movie); set in an elite prep school in the woods of Maine called Blackbrook Academy. The characters are all there: Scarlet, Mustard, White, Green, Plum, Peacock, Orchid, and yes, Mr. Boddy. They all become stuck in this grand mansion of a school out on the tip of a rocky peninsula in the middle of what seems to be the storm of the decade, with no power, no way in or out, and then there's a murder.


The characters all have secrets, and a lot of them neatly fit stereotypes (rather like the original movie, I suppose, which may grate on some nerves and irritate some readers, but is actually wonderfully campy in the film). If you don't have the movie to constantly compare to (even with the board game as background), the book actually simply works well as a YA fun murder-mystery read: everyone is a suspect, they all seem to have a motive, but it doesn't get too heavy or scary. This is actually much like the vibe of the film; mystery LITE. 


I would be interested in hearing what people think who have only played the board game, and from those who have not played the game but seen the film; I may have seen the film so many times that I constantly had images of Tim Curry scurrying around a mansion in a butler outfit (he was just SO PERFECT). I do think that Diana Peterfreund has paid great homage to the general 'Clue' board game franchise, and it will bring back some warm fuzzy feelings for fans (unless you expect the characters to be carbon copies of the movie versions, as well as the storyline). 

It took a little while for me to get fully invested in the story, and much like the film, the 'big event' happens quite the way into the book. The chapters are named after the different characters as they reveal more about each one and follow them through the story. That took a while to get used to (it is used SO much) but I found it useful in separating their story arcs.


It's always a huge gamble to write a movie based on a book, so is it just as much of a gamble to write a book based on a movie? I'm not sure. This may be removed enough from the original film (or game) that it will find a different audience anyway. And maybe people will go out and play the board game again??! Who knows.


This will be released 10.8.19 on Amulet Books (Abrams) and there are plans for a series of Clue mysteries (at least 2 more books).

You can find all the links to GET A COPY HERE!



*I gratefully received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program. Thank you!


Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/43908878-in-the-hall-with-the-knife
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text 2019-10-04 23:02
Halloween Bingo 2019: Fifth Extra Square
The Unfinished Clue - Georgette Heyer,Ulli Birvé


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review 2019-08-06 21:54
Review: The Clue of the Black Keys by Carolyn Keene
The Clue of the Black Keys - Carolyn Keene

Title: The Clue of the Black Keys
Author: Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew, 28
Format: hardcover
Length: 174 pages
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanished the same night as Dr. Pitt. Nancy follows a tangled trail of clues that lead to Florida and Mexico and a secret of antiquity that can only be unlocked by three black keys. 


Mini-review: So this was one I hadn't read before and it's always nice to read Nancy Drew books that I've never read. As a kid I reread the same ones over and over again, but a couple of years ago my mom and her friend found a box of all the classics from Secret of the Old Clock to the Thirteenth Pearl, so I went through them and took all the ones I hadn't read and only now am I getting to them. 

Wish the gang had been in it more, and I really, really, really wish that George would stop saying "Hypers!"


Fan Cast:

Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara

Hannah Gruen - Mary Steenburgen

Carson Drew - Paul Rudd

Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin

George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand

Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort

Sergeant Malloy - Jeremy Jordan

Terry Scott - Joseph Mazzello

Dr. Anderson - Kyle McLachlan

Frances "Fran" Oakes - Jenna Boyd

Jack Walker - Aaron Tveit

Juarez Tino - Pedro Pascal

Dr. Graham - David McCallum

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review 2019-07-24 01:31
The Clue in the Diary, Nancy Drew #7
The Clue in the Diary - Russell H. Tandy,Margaret Maron,Mildred Benson,Carolyn Keene

Returning home from a carnival with George and Bess, Nancy only has time to briefly admire a house they pass before it bursts into flames. The girls are the first people on the scene, but the heat of the fire is so intense there's no question of getting inside to discover if there are people trapped inside.


Going around to the back of the house Nancy spots a man fleeing into the woods and finds a diary. From the crowd that gathers around the building Nancy learns that the property belongs to wealthy owners who are out of town, and there is little sympathy for the couple.


In the crush of cars leaving, Nancy meets a helpful young man named Ned Nickerson who is directing traffic away from the fire. It's bizarre to see Nancy, so indifferent to boys before, go head over heels so quickly over Ned. He's briefly a suspect, but not for long, even though some of his behavior is a little suspicious.This must have been the result of editorial interference as this is still the work of the original ghostwriter - though Mildred Wirt Benson would take a hiatus from the series for a few volumes after this.


The writing is still more vivid then the revised versions I remember from when I was a kid, but my complaint is still the reliance on coincidence. I'd like to see Nancy do a little more sleuthing, please. I actually liked the doting attention on Honey Swenson, the daughter of the main suspect in the arson case and who COINCIDENTALLY Nancy and co. ran into at the carnival before the fire started. It's that pushy, do-gooding side of Nancy that makes her a little more human.


The revised version of the book, done in 1962, has most of the same plot elements. I don't remember, and the internet isn't helping, but I can't believe Nancy's speeding away from the cops was left in the revised version, either. Othereise, Nancy doesn't swoon for Ned in the beginning of their friendship and there was dance subtracted and a mail fraud plot added in - which is really weird because mail fraud is the heart of the plot of the next book - 'Nancy's Mysterious Letter'.


Nancy Drew


Next: 'Nancy's Mysterious Letter'


Previous: 'The Secret of Red Gate Farm'

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text 2019-07-21 01:36
Review: The Clue of the Leaning Chimney by Carolyn Keene
The Clue of the Leaning Chimney - Carolyn Keene

Title: The Clue of the Leaning Chimney
Author: Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew, 26
Format: hardcover
Length: 176 pages
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Are there connections between the theft of the rare vase, a number of similar crimes and the strange disappearance of a Chinese pottery expert and his daughter?


Mini-review: Good book. Guessed a plot twist. Took me longer than I wanted to to read. (Dang it Star Wars Celebration)


Fan Cast:
Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara
Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin
George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand
Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort
Hannah Gruen - Mary Steenbergen
Carson Drew - Paul Rudd
Eloise Drew - Elizabeth Banks
Chief McGinnis - Vincent D'Onofrio
Dick Milton - Chad Michael Murray
Mr. Soong - Jackie Chan
Miles Monroe - Alan Tudyk
Mr. Sen-yung - Benedict Wong
Eng Lei - Tiffany Espensen
Eng Moy - Jiang Wen
David Carr - Daniel Wu
Ching - BD Wong

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