In The Study With The Wrench by Diana Peterfreund – Review

In the aftermath of Headmaster Boddy’s murder, Blackbrook Academy has been thrown into complete disarray. Half the student body hasn’t bothered to return to campus—but those who have include Orchid, Vaughn, Scarlett, Peacock, Plum, and Mustard, now warily referred to by the other students as the Murder Crew. When another staff member is found dead and an anonymous threat begins to target the group, each of the teens’ opportunistic reasons for sticking around come to light. Orchid’s identity comes under question while Vaughn’s family life takes a turn; Finn and Mustard grow closer; and Scarlett and Beth struggle to turn over new leaves. All of this comes to a dramatic head at Tudor House with a cliff-hanger… 

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Thank you so much to NetGalley for the eARC of this sequel! I also received the first one via NetGalley, and I loved how it took the beloved board game and morphed it into a fun, intense, and suspenseful young adult novel. I was so excited to find out that it was going to be a series, and ‘In the Study’ did not disappoint! We have our ‘usual suspects’ back and murder seems to follow them. Despite there being familiar faces– the content is a breath of fresh air; a new exciting plot that will leave you speechless.

I thought that this installment was a good window into how life changes after trauma. The ‘Murder Crew’ try to go back to their normal lives, but the smell of death follows them like an obedient dog. The group rises to the occasion once another body is discovered, however, and new bonds are forged through it. There are so many twists and turns throughout and nothing is what it seems. Between the new background characters and the further development of the kids we have grown to know and love– this story is rich in humanity. Despite the fantastical air of it all, it is a novel that has a lot of heart in the midst of the spooks.

This is a perfect fall read– one that you can break out as the nights get longer and the weather gets colder. I can’t say much for fear of spoiling both this one and the previous release, but I will tell you that I am so excited for the third installment. There have been so many popular reimaginings of attractions from the past, but none of them have caught my attention the way Diana’s series does. If you like Clue, mystery, and/or the fun elements of YA novels (witty banter, the bittersweet taste of young love, the freedom of a life just starting to begin), then this book should be your next read. Just make sure you take in the ‘Knife’ first!

5/5 stars

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