Within the corridor with the knife by Dana Peterfreund

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In the hall with the knife, a mystery series for teenagers starts, which is based on the venerable board game Clue.

In the hall with the knife: a secret from Dana Peterfreund. Amuet, 2020, 298 pages.

Reading level: Teen, 12-15

Recommended for: Age 13-18

The Blackbrook Academy on the shores of Maines Rocky Point has a long and rich history that has involved criminals and fallen women at different times. It is now an exclusive preparatory school for science-minded students with a view of MIT or Cal Tech. The handful of students who stayed on campus for various reasons at the beginning of the winter break can now regret this decision, as a violent winter storm sweeps down from the Arctic and cuts off the school from the nearest town. Also cuts off the power supply and the Internet signal. Time to settle down in the historic Tudor House on the edge of the campus, light a fire in the fireplace and fortify yourself with hot chocolate and singalongs. All of this isn't so bad until one of the students in the winter garden stumbles over the headmaster's bloody body.

Anyone who has ever gathered around the classic board will recognize the colorful character names in this "clue secret". When Vaughan Green, Beth "Peacock" Picach, Scarlet Mistry et al. Do not tip them, they will know immediately that "Headmaster Boddy" will be the body. The parts of a classic Christie-style mystery are included in Chapter 2, and mystery lovers will enjoy guessing who the unit is as the story progresses. As a plus, the literary quality is first class: strong characterization, a lively style and sufficient action to keep the reader occupied. We can't make any commitments about further installments in the series (this is number 1), but the series opener is more than competent.


  • There is a small amount of mild profanity and God's name is misused 2-3 times.
  • Although not shown graphically, it's a crime thriller and the murder is pretty messy.

Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)

  • Weltanschauung / moral value: 3.5
  • Artistic / literary value: 4.5

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