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In the Study with the Wrench

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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 b 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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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 b 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...

30 review for In the Study with the Wrench

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    First let's pause in appreciation of some of the epic pun names in this series. Rusty Naylor? Yes, please, and thank you. OK anyways... Somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 star for this one-- as a follow up to the first book in the trilogy, I was happy to see that the story seemed to move into its own direction, with new conflicts as well as continuing to build on the ones established in the first book. I will say that the pacing was a bit slow for my liking with a lot of action clustered at the end b First let's pause in appreciation of some of the epic pun names in this series. Rusty Naylor? Yes, please, and thank you. OK anyways... Somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 star for this one-- as a follow up to the first book in the trilogy, I was happy to see that the story seemed to move into its own direction, with new conflicts as well as continuing to build on the ones established in the first book. I will say that the pacing was a bit slow for my liking with a lot of action clustered at the end but... that ending has me so excited for the finale! Overall, I'm very happy with how much care has gone into this series & I'd recommend it to folks who enjoyed the Truly Devious series

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    3.5 stars The second installment in the Clue Movie-inspired mystery series—another dead body, another mystery to solve, and (unfortunately) a bit too much time spent looking back at the first story. Concept: ★★★★ Plot: ★★★ Character development: ★★ 1/2 Pacing: ★★ 1/2 So I really, really enjoyed the first novel in this series, In the Hall with the Knife. I HIGHLY recommend you check that book out if you haven't yet already—it's the perfect nod to the Tim Curry movie and will make you remember the boar 3.5 stars The second installment in the Clue Movie-inspired mystery series—another dead body, another mystery to solve, and (unfortunately) a bit too much time spent looking back at the first story. Concept: ★★★★ Plot: ★★★ Character development: ★★ 1/2 Pacing: ★★ 1/2 So I really, really enjoyed the first novel in this series, In the Hall with the Knife. I HIGHLY recommend you check that book out if you haven't yet already—it's the perfect nod to the Tim Curry movie and will make you remember the board game fondly. This book, In the Study with the Wrench, is the second novel in the trilogy. In this one, we're following the aftermath of the first novel as our motley crew of characters at Blackbrook Academy—Mustard, Scarlett, Peacock, Green, Plum, and the "new girl" to the canon Orchid—try to cope and move on from the tragic murder and events following the death of headmaster Boddy. The group is referred to by the other students as the "Murder Crew" now. And while the group is trying to shuck off that label and ignore their recent past... fate has other plans. They discover another dead body. Again. What's a group to do but solve another murder? My thoughts: So.... this is super painful for me to admit this about one of my most anticipated releases, but I just couldn't love this installment in the same way as the first one. We spend wayyy too much time rehashing the events of the first book. Now, I understand that there needs to be a "recap" grace period at the start of a sequel—it helps us to remember where the story left us if we haven't recently read the first one. But this novel spent 50% of its storyline on rehashing, regrouping, and focusing on the first book. Because of that, this novel had a hard time standing on its own. I wish it had spent much more time on developing the current murder plotline, and more time on helping the characters grow/adapt. With its stale focus on previous plot, everything felt like one endless waiting room... waiting to wrap up the last story in order to get to the new. I'm still very excited to read the third book in the series. Hoping this one was just a one-off problem and a victim of sequel syndrome. We'll see! Definitely still check this one out if you enjoyed the first novel—spending more time with the characters was fun. Thank you to the publisher via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    This was more fun that I could have imagined.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kara Gemian

    *Thank you to Netgalley for the e-arc* This is so so rare, but I liked this book more than the first in the series! We had some relationship shifts, big reveals, and even more mystery. There are six POVs in both books one and two which is pretty ambitious for an author to do - have six unique voices. I think that has a lot to do with why I enjoyed book two more because I was more familiar with the characters and used to each of their defining qualities whereas in book one I didn't get enough of t *Thank you to Netgalley for the e-arc* This is so so rare, but I liked this book more than the first in the series! We had some relationship shifts, big reveals, and even more mystery. There are six POVs in both books one and two which is pretty ambitious for an author to do - have six unique voices. I think that has a lot to do with why I enjoyed book two more because I was more familiar with the characters and used to each of their defining qualities whereas in book one I didn't get enough of them individually. Some aspects of the mystery I figured out in the beginning, but I didn't mind at all because I loved everything else that was happening. I am definitely not okay after that ending, but I also have refused to believe what Peterfreund presented to the reader. I am in full denial. I can't wait for book three.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the second book in the series (the first book was :"In the Hall with the Knife"). and they are based on the board game, Clue. Again, we find the same students from the first book, now known as the Murder Crew: Scarlet, Plum, Green, Peacock, Mustard, and Orchid. Chapters are told from each of their points of view, which helps to move this story along, but it dragged for ages and ages. Let me say this without it being a spoiler: no one is murdered in the study with the wrench until maybe t This is the second book in the series (the first book was :"In the Hall with the Knife"). and they are based on the board game, Clue. Again, we find the same students from the first book, now known as the Murder Crew: Scarlet, Plum, Green, Peacock, Mustard, and Orchid. Chapters are told from each of their points of view, which helps to move this story along, but it dragged for ages and ages. Let me say this without it being a spoiler: no one is murdered in the study with the wrench until maybe the last 15-20 pages. By then, I was just hoping someone would die soon. Not as fast-paced as the first book, this one DID end with a cliff-hanger, which sets us up for a third book. I just hope the third time is the charm. A good read for mystery fans, be prepared for a LONG wait for something to happen in this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nikole Clow

    I pleasantly enjoyed this sequel and surprisingly enjoyed the sequel more than the first book. I’m a huge fan of anything related to Clue, and I loved the direction this story took. In the Study with the Wrench starts off a few weeks after the ending of the first book. Now known as the Murder Crew, the survivors of the events that took place in the first book try to live normal lives after school starts again. But eventually the past catches up to each character and secrets that should have stay I pleasantly enjoyed this sequel and surprisingly enjoyed the sequel more than the first book. I’m a huge fan of anything related to Clue, and I loved the direction this story took. In the Study with the Wrench starts off a few weeks after the ending of the first book. Now known as the Murder Crew, the survivors of the events that took place in the first book try to live normal lives after school starts again. But eventually the past catches up to each character and secrets that should have stayed buried are brought to light. Secrets that, of course, lead to another murder. In the Study with the Wrench is a sequel filled with murder, drama, and a dash of romance, and it’s a book that will leave you needing the next installment. In the Study with the Wrench keeps the Clue retelling going strong and I was living for it all. What was great was that the story naturally flowed together and was constantly developing. It took a direction that presented new conflicts and new twists, but kept true to the characters’ nature and behaviors and kept the readers engaged. There were instances where I thought I knew the direction the story was heading in but then it would take a completely different turn, which was a great surprise. Because of the constantly moving plot and wonderful character dynamics, I had a hard time putting this book down. Whereas the first book introduced the readers to each of the main characters and extensive character development, the second book provided more plot than character development, which I enjoyed. (*hint, hint*) If you look closely in the first book, you may be able to identify a key foreshadowing for book two. One of the reasons I enjoyed this book more than the first was that each character’s unique voice stayed true to each character. As the reader, I was given the opportunity to further learn more about the characters and become more attached to them. I loved the new side characters and the fun banter between the Murder Crew; it created wonderful dialogue that kept me engaged. And, of course, the sprinkle of romance in the second book is exactly what I was looking for. The first book set the stage for a romance between two main characters, and I was excited to see that finally unfold bit by bit. It’s enough romance that doesn’t overpower the plot but adds a bit of complexity, especially when one secret threatens to ruin this budding romance. I definitely ship these two characters and I hope to see more of that romance in the next book. When it comes to the writing, I can tell Peterfreund truly cares about the Clue series with how much love and technique she’s poured into this story. Peterfreund articulates the Clue series so well and wonderfully captures the essence of the Clue game and characters. Plus, I was here for all the pun names, which definitely adds a bit more of fun to the story. Her writing brings the characters to life in a captivating (yet murderous) way that I thoroughly enjoyed. Overall, with how In the Study with the Wrench ended, I’m eagerly awaiting the third installment in this series. It’s one of those endings that leaves you questioning what really happened and hoping for the best. If you’re a fan of the Clue board game and/or movie, I definitely recommend this series! And if you’re a fan of light mysteries with wonderful character development, then In the Hall with the Knife is a great book to check out!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    3.5 stars So in the first book, I wished for more of the characters side plot stories. I got it in the book, but almost no mystery, which was kind of disappointing. Knowing that this is a Clue mystery book, I was expecting a lot more of the plot to focus on the actual murder we find out about in the beginning of the book. It was kind of more about how all the characters are coping with what happened in the first book, which I feel like could have been scaled down a lot to focus more on the murder 3.5 stars So in the first book, I wished for more of the characters side plot stories. I got it in the book, but almost no mystery, which was kind of disappointing. Knowing that this is a Clue mystery book, I was expecting a lot more of the plot to focus on the actual murder we find out about in the beginning of the book. It was kind of more about how all the characters are coping with what happened in the first book, which I feel like could have been scaled down a lot to focus more on the murder. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy getting to know more about the characters backstories and side plots. Getting to know exactly what happened to Orchid to make her need to change her identity was really interesting and one of the answers I really wanted to know from the first book. Something else I appreciated was Mustard's struggle with his sexuality. He has been told all his life he has to be a certain way and act a certain way, so even though he ultimately feels differently, he struggles with feeling that way. It was nice to see a character who was still finding himself. The ending was super action packed and I loved that. I wish more of the book was like that!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gretal

    This book gave me everything I wanted from it, and I just feel immensely happy. All of the characters and everything, the plot. I'm super excited to get my hands on book three. Seriously, pick up this series. I know they're Clue books, but they're just so great.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eggbeater

    I liked this one so much more than the first one. It was like the author really grew into her writing and it was much more original. It had a great surprise ending. I am very attached to these characters now.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    3.5 stars, rounded down It seemed pretty obvious to me who was behind it, but I still enjoyed the mystery aspect. The first part of the story had a lot of recap from book one and while it was helpful because I didn’t remember much about the first book, it was almost too much and it got repetitive. There was quite a cliffhanger at the end and I’m a big fan of Clue in general so I will read the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie M.

    I am a lifelong Clue fan. When I was litttle, I loved to play the game and read the mini mystery books. When I was older, I watched the Tim Curry flick at least 1,000 times. (Loved the “It’s you!” nod, btw) I was ecstatic to find In the Hall with the Knife at the library in January, and even more excited to see Diana Peterfreund’s name on the cover. That book didn’t disappoint, and neither does this sequel. As a veteran of many, many mystery novels, I am pretty good at figuring out where things I am a lifelong Clue fan. When I was litttle, I loved to play the game and read the mini mystery books. When I was older, I watched the Tim Curry flick at least 1,000 times. (Loved the “It’s you!” nod, btw) I was ecstatic to find In the Hall with the Knife at the library in January, and even more excited to see Diana Peterfreund’s name on the cover. That book didn’t disappoint, and neither does this sequel. As a veteran of many, many mystery novels, I am pretty good at figuring out where things are headed, but these books absolutely keep me guessing. It’s not that I didn’t suspect the bad guy. It’s that I suspected EVERYONE! I still have so many questions!!! I love these characters, and I am impressed that in such a large cast, they all have distinct voices. Vaughn is, of course, my fave, although I feel quite frustrated with the trope of “If I just told my girlfriend this one secret I’m keeping, my whole life would be easier.” I wanted the genie from Aladdin to appear and yell “Tell. Her. The. TRUTH!” Just tell her about Oliver! But on the other hand, is there an Oliver? As soon as Mrs. White called Vaughn thinking of himself as the good twin a “fiction,” I started to ask myself, has anyone ever seen Vaughn and Oliver together? I’m beginning to worry Oliver isn’t real! And that would be devastating. I need to go back and check for clues in the first one. What have you done to me, Diana? Overall, this book was a little more dismal in tone. There were a lot of new characters on the periphery with an air of importance that was ultimately not quite addressed. And by virtue of not being contained in Tudor house, it felt a bit less cohesive. People were all over the place and not focused on the same things. But I loved how the “Murder Crew” stuck together. I especially enjoyed Finn and Mustard finally sticking together (swoon)! If you liked the first in this series, you won’t be able to put this down. Give me more, and give it soon, please!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Fryman

    Six word summary: More murder, more drama at Brookwood! Loved: This is just such a fun series! Love love the continuation of the color-themed names, even if they are over the top (looking at your Perry!). I loved that we saw a little more development of each of the characters in this sequel. While I definitely prefer the first book, this was still so much fun to read and I will absolutely continue with the series! Recommend for: Teens and up, fans of murder mysteries, fans of Clue Reminds me of: C Six word summary: More murder, more drama at Brookwood! Loved: This is just such a fun series! Love love the continuation of the color-themed names, even if they are over the top (looking at your Perry!). I loved that we saw a little more development of each of the characters in this sequel. While I definitely prefer the first book, this was still so much fun to read and I will absolutely continue with the series! Recommend for: Teens and up, fans of murder mysteries, fans of Clue Reminds me of: Clue (movie) meets Pretty Little Liars. Verdict: Add it to your TBR! *Disclaimer*: I received an early copy of this title for review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hisgirl85

    4 stars. This was a quick, entertaining read/listen with build-up and development from the first. Unlike the first, there is a bit more unanswered here, but a large part is answered. I'm excited for the next part. The narrator did a great job of voicing 6 different view points. I loved it. It was a quick, silly, fun murder mystery romp that built upon itself more this time around.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    This was a fantastic sequel!! I can’t wait for the next book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I absolutely loved this book! I can’t wait for the next one!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Graves

    Sometimes--very occasionally--a book manages to be important without doing the kinds of things we tend to think render a book important (in the bullshit, Canon-gatekeeping ways that we discuss importance, at any rate). In the Study with the Wrench is one such book. Of course, as a reader, I'm primed to love this novel. It's a continuation of In the Hall with the Knife, which I enjoyed, so it's got that delicious Big Sequel Energy. It's set in the complex, transmedial universe of Clue (the board ga Sometimes--very occasionally--a book manages to be important without doing the kinds of things we tend to think render a book important (in the bullshit, Canon-gatekeeping ways that we discuss importance, at any rate). In the Study with the Wrench is one such book. Of course, as a reader, I'm primed to love this novel. It's a continuation of In the Hall with the Knife, which I enjoyed, so it's got that delicious Big Sequel Energy. It's set in the complex, transmedial universe of Clue (the board game) and makes delightful easter-egg references to Clue: The Movie, a film from which I can recite nearly every line. ("It's you!" practically opens the novel.) It's set in a privileged-yet-somewhat-decaying private school in the wintry Northeast, a setting that, despite fully knowing better, manages to suck me in every time. And it's also just a rollicking good mystery, full of suspicious behavior and red herrings ("Communism is just a red herring") and all the generic tropes that feel like a comfort, even when deployed in the service of murder fiction. There's a lot going for this novel, too, apart from my own personal readerly predilections. Like in its predecessor, Peterfreund does clever and inventive things within a preformatted structure, so even if we know we are getting a Plum, Scarlet, Mustard, Peacock, and Green, it never feels rote. She deftly builds upon the groundwork she laid in the first of the series, and in this installment she offers some thoughtful and complex character building. The students of the Murder Crew are--whether they like it or not--bound by the trauma of Boddy's death in book one, and here we see them rankle against that bond even as they eventually acknowledge and submit to it. We also get real character growth--they all learned something from the mistakes they made, and even though growth can be difficult, they're all a little more likeable in this novel as a result of that growth. It feels earned. So yes--there is a lot here to like. The ensemble cast works really well here, and the new additions (Perry Winkle, for god's sake) are fun introductions into the narrative. There are nice undercurrents of acknowledging privilege and racial difference that never feel tokenistic. We also get to see these students trying to rebuild themselves and their worlds, which is undergirded by the (sometimes haphazard) efforts to rebuild Blackbrook itself after the devastation of the storm in book one. It's an elegant parallel. What this book does, though--what makes it feel important in a way we might not generally ascribe to a middle installment of a series based on a board game--is the way that it handles the relationship between Finn and Mustard. The groundwork was smartly laid in book one, so it doesn't come as any surprise here to see them gravitate toward one another. But what Peterfreund manages to do is build a queer relationship in a way that we don't often see, either in YA or in larger literature. YA has a tendency to be very matter-of-fact about queerness. The characters are here, and they're queer, and though they may face discrimination, there's a surety to it, to their conviction, to their identity. This is an observation, not a complaint--I'm a fan, and I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up with this kind of shining representation as ubiquitous, but I'm immensely glad it's out there. However, what is happening in this novel is different in a way that feels significant. As Finn and Mustard draw closer to one another, we are afforded the interiority of both of them, so we get to see both Finn's discovery that he is indeed attracted to Mustard and Mustard's own complicated experience of his internalized homophobia. We witness their identities unfurling; we are working it out alongside them, and I don't see that very often. It's refreshing, and real. It's also all done in a lovely, nuanced manner that doesn't reduce or simplify either character to one note. Finn--the pragmatic scientist--rolls with his newfound awareness of his own bisexuality, and he readily fits this new information into his concept of self. Mustard, by contrast, has been struggling underneath his shame about his sexuality, a shame further reified by his father's disgust--a shame, by the way, that Peterfreund absolutely conveys to the reader even though she never explicitly has Mustard stop the narrative to explain himself. It's a great example of the old adage show, don't tell. Taken together, these two characters' very different acknowledgements of their attractions and the very different ways they process the discovery of it being mutual feels incredibly tender, and kind, and real. We ache for Maestor, for the fear he lives in, and we want him to find his way out of it. I think what makes this work so well--what makes it feel natural, why it feels important--is that when set into the midst of an ensemble cast, in a novel where each character's perspective is depicted, there's nothing special about their attraction to one another. It's lovely, yes, and written sympathetically, but in everyone's eyes except Mustard's, it's no different than Orchid's romance with Vaughn. I'm not condemning the Out and Proud stories, or the centrally-positioned queer stories, or the narratives of coming out. I genuinely love those stories, too. There's value in the confrontation of that. But when a queer romance is normal... when it's just one of many plot threads... when it's as natural as the het romance... when nobody casts aspersions on it (other than the gay kid suffering from his own internalized homophobia)... when it's not a plot device, but is instead just character building... That. That feels important.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy A

    The students of Blackbrook Academy are still reeling after the murder of their headmaster. Specifically Orchid, Plum, Peacock, Scarlett, Green, and Mustard have been dubbed the "Murder Crew" by the remaining student body. Truly, the events that occurred during the story is still effecting them and it's consequences are far from over for the six. Some of them are still holding onto their secrets, others are trying to better themselves, and some are still in fear for their lives. When another body The students of Blackbrook Academy are still reeling after the murder of their headmaster. Specifically Orchid, Plum, Peacock, Scarlett, Green, and Mustard have been dubbed the "Murder Crew" by the remaining student body. Truly, the events that occurred during the story is still effecting them and it's consequences are far from over for the six. Some of them are still holding onto their secrets, others are trying to better themselves, and some are still in fear for their lives. When another body is found in Tudor House, it will challenge the tentative relationships they've begun to form with one another, and possibly set them in the sights of another killer. I was really happy when I learned there would be another book in this series. I said it in my review of the first book, and I'll say it again here just because, but if you have at any point enjoyed the game, the 80's movie, or the old-school novelizations of the game, you'll find a lot to like about this series. In the Study with the Wrench picks up after a brief hiatus from the school, the holidays allowed for cleanup after the flooding storm and murder, now the students that chose to remain at Blackbrook are getting back into the swing of things and preparing for placement tests. Each character is invariably changed from what happened, and in that regard I feel like the story picks up, emotionally, right where we left our characters. They're most still holding onto their carefully guarded secrets, but also navigating this kind of strange new dynamic they have with each other that comes with surviving something traumatic like they did. I was happy to see a little more trust occurring between different characters. Orchid and Scarlett have become close friends especially after Orchid confided her biggest secret to Scarlett. But they're still having trouble letting go of who they used to be (before the murder) and some tension still remains between a few in the group such as Plum and Scarlett, Scarlett and Green. But regardless, they all have each other's backs. I liked the team building. I do wish that we got further with Green's secrets. He's pretty much the only one who has not confided in anyone within the group, but I think it's something that will probably be addressed in the next book (fingers crossed for another book) based on the way things are left off in the end. We're thrown quite the shocker of an ending for sure, and I cannot wait to see how Diana Peterfreund turns around the cliff-hanger events. The overall mystery, in my opinion is not the main focus of the story, it gets muddled in the background with the emotional fallout from the first book still carrying over in this one. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I like that we get to see the aftermath for these characters and I think it's important to address a lot of the different story threads that were left open from the first book, but I would have like the murder mystery this time around to be stronger along with everything else. Regardless, I will definitely be reading the next book. As of this writing nothing has been announced, but I'm just going to look at it as a done deal. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Ugh! I did not want to write this review because I enjoyed In the Hall with the Knife so much. I love the board game, I love the movie, and I love the first book in the Clue Mystery series so I wanted to love In the Study with the Wrench by Diane Peterfreund. It was fine and if you enjoyed the first book in the trilogy you should read this one, but I didn’t feel as if it advanced the story much and it actually had me become uninterested in some of the characters. Even with that said and with what Ugh! I did not want to write this review because I enjoyed In the Hall with the Knife so much. I love the board game, I love the movie, and I love the first book in the Clue Mystery series so I wanted to love In the Study with the Wrench by Diane Peterfreund. It was fine and if you enjoyed the first book in the trilogy you should read this one, but I didn’t feel as if it advanced the story much and it actually had me become uninterested in some of the characters. Even with that said and with what else I’ll write in the review, I know I’m still going to read book three because I want to find out how the story ends. In the Study with the Wrench kept rehashing what happened in the first book. And I don’t mean it quickly caught up the people who didn’t read the first one. It kept repeating the same events over and over. And those nods to the movie that were in the first book just weren’t there in this one… and that’s one of the things that I really enjoyed and had me feeling like Peterfreund was a huge fangirl. I wasn’t feeling any fangirl love in this book. As far as the characters go, many of them didn’t have the same chutzpah as they did in the previous book. I enjoy strong female characters as Scarlett and Peacock had been, but in this book Scarlett was a neurotic mess and Peacock was so naive. This was the complete opposite as to what they were before. And I know characters grow but I felt that they were regressing. And Plum who seemed intelligent was now just bumbling around trying to find his experiment and not using his wits. I did enjoy the way his new relationship is going though. We do learn more about Mustard which is appreciated, and Green, well, it’s just more of the same. Peterfreund leaves us with a cliffhanger and we still need to find out the truth behind the glue and a couple of other things so here’s hoping book three redeems the series!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Lynch

    Well, I didn't hate In the Study with the Wrench, but I liked it less than its predecessor. It's still a fun romp--assuming you find murder and drama fun--and the references to the Clue movie were great ("Why would he want to kill you public?"), but there was something missing. Maybe it's the curse of the sequel, but it felt like there was too much going on. Although there's still only one big mystery to solve, all the little mysteries and side plots slowed down the pacing. Additionally, whereas Well, I didn't hate In the Study with the Wrench, but I liked it less than its predecessor. It's still a fun romp--assuming you find murder and drama fun--and the references to the Clue movie were great ("Why would he want to kill you public?"), but there was something missing. Maybe it's the curse of the sequel, but it felt like there was too much going on. Although there's still only one big mystery to solve, all the little mysteries and side plots slowed down the pacing. Additionally, whereas book 1 had all the Murder Crew trapped together in one place, there are a lot more settings to experience here, and there's a lack of cohesion that didn't keep me as glued to the page. That being said, I still enjoyed the characters and the fact that each of the Murder Crew still gets their own point of view. I did like seeing how the antics from the last book affected their relationships and personalities, but it sometimes felt as if there was some back-sliding on the character development. Furthermore, after seeing how keeping secrets negatively impacted the proceedings in the first book, I wished that more secrets were shared in this book and that the plot was focused on dealing with those reveals instead of keeping that for book 3. And speaking of book 3, this book ends on an interesting cliffhanger (fairly literally, actually), and I am looking forward to seeing how everything plays out. All in all, I feel like this trilogy should've been a duology. A lot of In the Study with the Wrench feels like filler, and while there are some highlights, I don't think the plot progressed enough. I also think the pacing was too slow to start before bringing in all the action at the end. I will certainly be reading Book 3 to find out how things resolves for the Murder Crew, but this trilogy won't be making it to my favorites shelf. Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brenna Clark

    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 lea 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!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liberty

    Actual Rating: 3.75 Stars. I’m having so much fun reading this series by Diana Peterfreund. I knew as soon as I heard about it that I would enjoy this series so much and I have. I cannot wait for book three to come out. We don’t have a release date for it yet, but I'm hoping for no later than October of next year. This is a perfect Fall read. At an isolated boarding school in rural Maine, a mysterious dorm full of secret passageways has a fascinating history, but none of that could compare to its Actual Rating: 3.75 Stars. I’m having so much fun reading this series by Diana Peterfreund. I knew as soon as I heard about it that I would enjoy this series so much and I have. I cannot wait for book three to come out. We don’t have a release date for it yet, but I'm hoping for no later than October of next year. This is a perfect Fall read. At an isolated boarding school in rural Maine, a mysterious dorm full of secret passageways has a fascinating history, but none of that could compare to its present. With students and staff getting injured and killed, everyone has to wonder “who’s next?” This is the second book in the series and I had a good time reading it. It’s less of an isolated/closed circle mystery (the way the board game and 1985 movie are) so I enjoyed it a little less. I also wasn’t as big of a fan of the path the plot takes with this one. I have questions that I still want answered and I still enjoy the series enough to want to continue for sure. There were a couple of Easter Eggs in the book that you’ll only pick up on if you’re familiar with the movie so that was a lot of fun to see. I’ve grown to like some of the “Murder Crew” more than I did in the previous one and I really want to wrap both Orchid and Vaughn in blankets in front of a fireplace somewhere that no one can hurt them. I feel like they’ve both gone through so much and I want to protect them. I think this is a quick and easy read if anyone’s in the mood for a YA Mystery/Thriller to keep them in the Spooky mood for Halloween. It’s also great for fans of the Clue board game or movie.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Anderson

    *Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review* I may be partial to this series because I love that its premise is around the game of Clue. I feel like their could be more mystery tied into the story and that they could be connected better. The most dynamic, interesting, and mysterious characters are Orchid and Vaughn, even though we definitely learn more about Orchid's story in this book. I wish the character's mysteries were more interconnected. We have Finn's *Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review* I may be partial to this series because I love that its premise is around the game of Clue. I feel like their could be more mystery tied into the story and that they could be connected better. The most dynamic, interesting, and mysterious characters are Orchid and Vaughn, even though we definitely learn more about Orchid's story in this book. I wish the character's mysteries were more interconnected. We have Finn's secrets that are partially known by Scarlet and Mustard and the unanswered questions about what will happen between Orchid and Vaughn if she finds out his secrets. I'm honestly not entirely sure where Peacock fits in, other than the role her life coach provides. The story is easy to follow and contains enough mystery to make you want to continue reading. However, there were chapters by characters that were a little slow and did not feel like they contributed as much to the plot. Overall, if you are a fan of Clue or enjoyed the first book, I think you will still enjoy this one as you. For me, I continued to read this book because I was intrigued by the mystery behind Orchid and Vaughn. I'm not really tied to any of the other characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Ashby

    This sequel was still fun but not AS fun for me as the first book. The students are barely back at school before another death brings "The Murder Crew" back together. Part of the problem for me is that I wasn't especially invested in the characters, all of whom seemed to diverge from who I thought they were in the first installment. Scarlet, for instance, became somewhat needy and unsure of herself in the face of standardized testing and a new headmaster. I wanted to see her as the self-assured This sequel was still fun but not AS fun for me as the first book. The students are barely back at school before another death brings "The Murder Crew" back together. Part of the problem for me is that I wasn't especially invested in the characters, all of whom seemed to diverge from who I thought they were in the first installment. Scarlet, for instance, became somewhat needy and unsure of herself in the face of standardized testing and a new headmaster. I wanted to see her as the self-assured manipulator from book one along with her partner Finn, who also lost my interest as he basically just worried about protecting his invention without taking any devious steps to get it back. Things became convoluted partway through, largely due to the different POVs - how could the killer have harmed Rosa the day before there were any problems? Who saw what down in the tunnels, again? - until the murderer was finally revealed and the action took over. I also get tired of the miscommunication and misunderstandings in literary romantic relationships that keep couples apart, but that's a trope in every book/movie/TV show, not just this one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    What a cliffhanger of an ending! But let's backtrack a bit to the rest of the story: the second book in the Clue-inspired series follows the same Blackbrook students as the first, but while the mystery wrapped up at the end of the first there's a new murder and a new mystery to solve. Even though the pacing in this book felt slow at times, I really enjoyed reading this because of the characters. I like Orchid, Vaughn, Scarlett, Finn, Beth, Mustard, the whole Murder Crew and the rest. I like that What a cliffhanger of an ending! But let's backtrack a bit to the rest of the story: the second book in the Clue-inspired series follows the same Blackbrook students as the first, but while the mystery wrapped up at the end of the first there's a new murder and a new mystery to solve. Even though the pacing in this book felt slow at times, I really enjoyed reading this because of the characters. I like Orchid, Vaughn, Scarlett, Finn, Beth, Mustard, the whole Murder Crew and the rest. I like that the chapters switch from one character to the next, allowing us to get into their heads and see what they're up to and slowly get more info about the mystery. I do have to say that Orchid and Scarlett are my favorite -- they are very different but I love their sassy friendship. I wasn't sure I would like Orchid and Vaugh's budding romance, but I do -- it's sweet and cute and made all the more complicated by Vaughn having a hidden twin brother. The resolution of the murder let to an even bigger mystery and more death and now I can't wait to read the third book in the series to find out more! *Thank you to NetGalley for the review copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caity

    I enjoy this series. It’s fun with a great mix campy and creepy moments that keeps you on your toes. Like the first book the second is full of interesting twists and secrets but even faster paced. The setting of the book is excellent and it was fun learning more secrets of the campus. The new characters that were introduced were interesting and well integrated into the story. I appreciated that the author showed the effects the events of the first book had on the murder crew; it was a stressful a I enjoy this series. It’s fun with a great mix campy and creepy moments that keeps you on your toes. Like the first book the second is full of interesting twists and secrets but even faster paced. The setting of the book is excellent and it was fun learning more secrets of the campus. The new characters that were introduced were interesting and well integrated into the story. I appreciated that the author showed the effects the events of the first book had on the murder crew; it was a stressful and traumatic time. Unfortunately, at times this character development took away from my enjoyment of the book. I enjoyed Peacocks journey of self discovery overall, but it was shocking to see how naïve she was at times when she was shown to be so intelligent in the first book. For the most part I think the character development between the books was well done. However, there were a few moments that seemed at odds with what was established about the characters in the first book that were really jarring and did make me enjoy this book a little less than the first. That said I still had a fun time and will certainly read more from this series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There was a bit too much of rehashing what had happened in book one. However, I still enjoyed this. Some of the character's secrets get revealed. The murderer is kinda easy to figure out, but there were still a few surprises here. I liked Scarlet's and Orchid's friendship. I was rather disappointed we didn't get to see Orchid reveal her past to Vaughn Green. Instead, we find out .... (view spoiler)[ he watched one of her movies on cable and realized who she was and never said anything because he There was a bit too much of rehashing what had happened in book one. However, I still enjoyed this. Some of the character's secrets get revealed. The murderer is kinda easy to figure out, but there were still a few surprises here. I liked Scarlet's and Orchid's friendship. I was rather disappointed we didn't get to see Orchid reveal her past to Vaughn Green. Instead, we find out .... (view spoiler)[ he watched one of her movies on cable and realized who she was and never said anything because he respected her choice to be anonymous or whatever. (hide spoiler)] This ended on a cliffhanger. Spoiler alert. Do not read. This is to remind me what the hell happened so I can read book three when it does eventually come out. (view spoiler)[Orchid's former manager, her stalker, ends up being a killer and a victim. He was also a life coach. Green knows about Orchid, but Orchid does not know about Green's twin. Green is tragically killed in a car crash at the end... or is he? (hide spoiler)]

  27. 4 out of 5

    BookDragon

    Thank you Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. In the Study with the Wrench is the second installment of the Clue Mystery series by Diana Peterfreund. After the murder of their headmaster from the first book Murder Crew is just trying to get on with their lives. They have tests to study for and friendships to figure out. But when another body is discovered Murder Crew gets sucked into the thick of it. This is by far my least favorite of the two books in this series. The characte Thank you Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. In the Study with the Wrench is the second installment of the Clue Mystery series by Diana Peterfreund. After the murder of their headmaster from the first book Murder Crew is just trying to get on with their lives. They have tests to study for and friendships to figure out. But when another body is discovered Murder Crew gets sucked into the thick of it. This is by far my least favorite of the two books in this series. The characters are still dealing with the aftermath of book one just to be handed another murder dubbed 'accident" by the school. Some characters have dramatically changed, some are self absorbed as always, while others still hold secrets. There was nothing new or exciting and left me feeling underwhelmed.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    I did indeed read IN THE STUDY WITH THE WRENCH in one day. First, I have been and always will be a huge fan of CLUE the game and the movie (Mrs. White has the BEST lines!) I read the first book in this series and enjoyed, but was surprised that I liked book two even more. I definitely felt the flow and mystery of book two to be stronger and it held my interest solidly (obviously since I read in one day). If you're looking for a YA mystery with some humor, a bit of romance, and a dead body--IN TH I did indeed read IN THE STUDY WITH THE WRENCH in one day. First, I have been and always will be a huge fan of CLUE the game and the movie (Mrs. White has the BEST lines!) I read the first book in this series and enjoyed, but was surprised that I liked book two even more. I definitely felt the flow and mystery of book two to be stronger and it held my interest solidly (obviously since I read in one day). If you're looking for a YA mystery with some humor, a bit of romance, and a dead body--IN THE STUDY WITH THE WRENCH ticks all those boxes. However, I highly recommend reading the first book "In the Hall with the Knife" first. You need the first book to have a clear idea of the characters, how they fit with each and the various mysteries. It was an enjoyable read, and I'm definitely looking forward to the third book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Please tell me there will be a 3rd book!! It took me a minute to fall back into these characters but then it took off like a speeding train that goes off the rails. Unlike the 1st book in which a storm strands students of Blackbrook Academy on campus, school is back in session with a new interim headmaster. The surviving characters, dubbed The Murder Crew, find themselves connected when a new body is found. Besides the creativity of the nicknames (Peacock, Mustard, Plum....) we have a guidance co Please tell me there will be a 3rd book!! It took me a minute to fall back into these characters but then it took off like a speeding train that goes off the rails. Unlike the 1st book in which a storm strands students of Blackbrook Academy on campus, school is back in session with a new interim headmaster. The surviving characters, dubbed The Murder Crew, find themselves connected when a new body is found. Besides the creativity of the nicknames (Peacock, Mustard, Plum....) we have a guidance counselor named Perry Winkle. We don't actually meet him, and I have my suspicions about his identity. The book picks up as another character has an allergic reaction, things go missing & return in Orchid's room as she worries about her stalker. The ending came opon so abruptly that there has to be another book, there are unresolved questions in wake of a shocking reveal.

  30. 5 out of 5

    S Tondra

    In the Study with the Wrench is the second installment of the Clue YA mystery novels. It starts up where the first one left off but adds a new murder and so many twists and turns along the way. There were many aspects of this book that I really enjoyed but some of it just felt slow and I’m not quite sure why. I don’t think this book was quite as good as the first one but a little better than your typical second in the series story. So maybe I’m just frustrated at the crazy cliffhanger at the end In the Study with the Wrench is the second installment of the Clue YA mystery novels. It starts up where the first one left off but adds a new murder and so many twists and turns along the way. There were many aspects of this book that I really enjoyed but some of it just felt slow and I’m not quite sure why. I don’t think this book was quite as good as the first one but a little better than your typical second in the series story. So maybe I’m just frustrated at the crazy cliffhanger at the end and I’m just pouting that I have to wait to read the next one. 3.5 rounds up to 4 for me on this book. I was provided with an electronic ARC through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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