In the Study with the Wrench: A Clue Mystery, Book Two by Diana Peterfreund
In the aftermath of their headmaster’s brutal murder, Blackbrook Academy has been thrown into chaos. Half the student body hasn’t bothered to return to campus—but those who have include Orchid McKee, Vaughn Green, Scarlett Mistry, Beth “Peacock” Picach, Phineas Plum, and Sam “Mustard” Maestor, now warily referred to by the other students as the Murder Crew.
When another staff member is found dead, each teen’s reasons for sticking around come to light. Orchid and Vaughn grow ever closer to having their secrets exposed, Peacock and Scarlett struggle to change their stripes, and Plum and Mustard question everything. As everything comes to a boiling point at Tudor House, nobody’s life will ever be the same.
Where the previous novel felt a bit claustrophobic, being mostly stuck in the house, this sequel is just as suspenseful and full of intrigue. Once again, each chapter rotates from each of the main characters’ points of view. It’s a great way to tell the story, as we only get snippets from each, adding to the mystery and each of their own motives. We are introduced to several more “colorful” characters (pun intended); and everyone seems like they have something to hide. The interpersonal drama develops in this installment, with a bit of romance. And a surprising finale builds to a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I certainly look forward to the final novel in this fantastic mystery trilogy.