'In the Hall with the Knife' is the first of a projected trilogy of books based on the classic board game. At a remote boarding school in Maine a winter storm hits a day early and strands Headmaster Boddy, students and some staff without power or any contact with the outside world. Naturally, Boddy's not going to make the night. Who was the culprit? Told in alternating perspectives from Green, Plum, Peacock, Scarlet, Mustard and Orchid, Peterfreund skillfully layers a lot of questions that will entice readers to pick up books 2 and 3.
'Clue' has inspired some of the best media tie-ins. of course, there's the phenomenal movie starring Tim Curry and Madeline Kahn and a host of other amazing people. That movie is still perfect. My favorite growing up was the series of Encyclopedia Brown-esque mystery stories by 'A.E. Parker' such as 'Who Killed Mr. Boddy?'. The stories would mostly be about petty theft and scheming amongst the house guests, but poor Mr. Boddy would be knocked off in the last story and revived for the next book.
I don't think that's going to happen this time, but there were a lot of interesting nods to the brand's history, for example, Mrs. White oversees the historic mansion/dorm to which everyone flees. Peterfreund makes the characters her own and the story is mostly all the better for it. There's humor and a fun knot of character relationships that will keep you guessing for most of the book - Mustard was transferred from his military academy for unknown reasons, Scarlet and Plum will do anything to keep their academic honors intact, Orchid's hiding everything, Green is the local scholarship boy with maybe a chip on his shoulders and why was Peacock seen threatening Boddy with the candlestick in his office the other day?
I did wonder why the author made Orchid white, but there you go.
The Clue Mysteries