Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1182
Perfect for fans of Knives Out
Overall rating
Writing Style
Blackbrook Academy is an elite school in Maine with rigorous competition. When a storm strikes, a group of students, their headmaster, and other campus personnel are left stranded at Blackbrook. Students Beth “Peacock” Picach, Orchid McKee, Vaughn Green, Sam “Mustard” Maestor, Finn Plum, and Scarlet Mistry all have something to hide and something they’re fighting for. When the headmaster is found dead in the conservatory, everyone knows something dark is afoot. The only question is who killed him...and will they kill again before the storm clears?

Diana Peterfreund’s IN THE HALL WITH THE KNIFE is a delightful mystery romp, perfect for fans of Knives Out and murder mysteries. Blackbrook Academy is rich in creepy, academic atmosphere that becomes extra spooky when the storm hits. This is the perfect read during a dark stormy night when you want your spine to tingle.

While balancing an ensemble cast during the logistics of a storm can be complicated, Peterfreund weaves a seamless narrative that places you right in Blackbrook Academy alongside the students. Each character has an interesting potential motive for the murder, and even while I wanted not to trust them, it was hard to fight becoming invested in their story and hoping they weren’t the killer. I especially enjoyed the range of relationships between the characters, from ex-significant others to political allies to reluctant friends. This is a book rich with sharp dialogue and surprising growth.

While the main mystery is solved, IN THE HALL WITH A KNIFE leaves plenty of other mysteries open to continue in the next book.
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