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In the Ballroom with the Candlestick

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The dramatic and deadly conclusion to the thrilling YA mystery series inspired by the classic board game, CLUE! After a tragic accident that forever changed the lives of the Murder Crew—killing one of their own—the students at Blackbrook Academy are just trying to get by. As relationships evolve, strain, and break, Orchid, Green, Scarlett, Mustard, Plum, and Peacock find t The dramatic and deadly conclusion to the thrilling YA mystery series inspired by the classic board game, CLUE! After a tragic accident that forever changed the lives of the Murder Crew—killing one of their own—the students at Blackbrook Academy are just trying to get by. As relationships evolve, strain, and break, Orchid, Green, Scarlett, Mustard, Plum, and Peacock find themselves lost. When the dark secret at the heart of Blackbrook forces its way into their lives, and another suspicious death drives the school into chaos, differences will have to be put aside if anyone expects to survive until the most dramatic prom of all time. 


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The dramatic and deadly conclusion to the thrilling YA mystery series inspired by the classic board game, CLUE! After a tragic accident that forever changed the lives of the Murder Crew—killing one of their own—the students at Blackbrook Academy are just trying to get by. As relationships evolve, strain, and break, Orchid, Green, Scarlett, Mustard, Plum, and Peacock find t The dramatic and deadly conclusion to the thrilling YA mystery series inspired by the classic board game, CLUE! After a tragic accident that forever changed the lives of the Murder Crew—killing one of their own—the students at Blackbrook Academy are just trying to get by. As relationships evolve, strain, and break, Orchid, Green, Scarlett, Mustard, Plum, and Peacock find themselves lost. When the dark secret at the heart of Blackbrook forces its way into their lives, and another suspicious death drives the school into chaos, differences will have to be put aside if anyone expects to survive until the most dramatic prom of all time. 

30 review for In the Ballroom with the Candlestick

  1. 5 out of 5

    Credits & Canon

    A celebration of the Clue franchise with welcome lore and great character arcs! In the Ballroom with the Candlestick is the final book (supposedly though hoping to see more of these characters) in the Clue Mystery trilogy. We pick up shortly after the events of In the Study with the Wrench with the Murder Crew at a now depleted Blackbrook Academy. By having a series of murders from the previous books drive most of the students away, you have a believable "isolated closed circle mystery" involving A celebration of the Clue franchise with welcome lore and great character arcs! In the Ballroom with the Candlestick is the final book (supposedly though hoping to see more of these characters) in the Clue Mystery trilogy. We pick up shortly after the events of In the Study with the Wrench with the Murder Crew at a now depleted Blackbrook Academy. By having a series of murders from the previous books drive most of the students away, you have a believable "isolated closed circle mystery" involving a small group of individuals composing of victims and suspects. The book does a good job of building on characters we have met briefly before (Mustard's roommate, Tanner) and involving them into the overall mystery surrounding a former inventor student of Blackbrook and the history of exploiting the work of the students. Peterfreund's weaving through perspectives pays off big time at the end and most of the characters get satisfying conclusions to their arcs. The favorites here are Finn Plum, Mustard and Scarlett and I wish we had more time with those characters. I cared less about Orchid and Greene but they are the main characters and one is tied to the overarching mystery. Beth Peacock is the one who ends up getting short changed and has the briefest POV time. Overall a great end to the trilogy but wouldn't mind seeing Murder Crew, college edition with Peterfreund at the helm.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Kinda anticlimactic for me, though it doesn't help that REALLY this is a series where you should probably read the books back to back (or just have a better memory than I do) and I read them with a year in between each installment. (view spoiler)[Maybe it's a nod to the movie or something (I haven't seen it), but the alternate endings REALLY didn't work for me. I don't think you can do that in the last book in the series. Also I don't think the Vaughn reveal worked because of course we were expect Kinda anticlimactic for me, though it doesn't help that REALLY this is a series where you should probably read the books back to back (or just have a better memory than I do) and I read them with a year in between each installment. (view spoiler)[Maybe it's a nod to the movie or something (I haven't seen it), but the alternate endings REALLY didn't work for me. I don't think you can do that in the last book in the series. Also I don't think the Vaughn reveal worked because of course we were expecting that all along. (hide spoiler)]

  3. 4 out of 5

    Reyes

    The author requests that nothing is given away at the beggining of the book and I'm happy to comply as there was not a single thing I liked about this. I enjoyed book 1 and thought book 2 was on the meh side, but this... this was such a craptacular mess... I'm glad I read Secret Society Girl before this series because otherwise I would never have touched another Diana Peterfreund book in my life 🤦🏻‍♀️ The author requests that nothing is given away at the beggining of the book and I'm happy to comply as there was not a single thing I liked about this. I enjoyed book 1 and thought book 2 was on the meh side, but this... this was such a craptacular mess... I'm glad I read Secret Society Girl before this series because otherwise I would never have touched another Diana Peterfreund book in my life 🤦🏻‍♀️

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Royal_Reading_Company)

    This was my least favorite of the series. I am giving it 3 stars because of all the nods to the movie. The entire series was fun and nostalgic & overall I give the whole thing 3 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason Weber

    4.5 stars. Book 3 of the Clue series! This trilogy was a really fun read. The Murder Crew is back at it, and it’s prom time. Who did it? No spoilers here!!! Props to the author for paying homage to the movie at the end of the book! #MurderCrewForever

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shell S.

    I began reading this series for the promises the author made in an interview with Novel Lives, and having finished it I can assure you it lived up to those promises: wicked fun in a boarding school where everyone has secrets, and an abundance of sly references to the screenplay of the whodunnit comedy Clue from 1985. There are even THREE twist endings to this book, just like the twisty film! Unlike the film, only the third and final 'true' ending is plausible, but that's just my opinion, folks. Th I began reading this series for the promises the author made in an interview with Novel Lives, and having finished it I can assure you it lived up to those promises: wicked fun in a boarding school where everyone has secrets, and an abundance of sly references to the screenplay of the whodunnit comedy Clue from 1985. There are even THREE twist endings to this book, just like the twisty film! Unlike the film, only the third and final 'true' ending is plausible, but that's just my opinion, folks. The satirical, farcical aspects and multiple points of view are definitely two strong appeals of this series. Here's my personal, unapologetically favoritist ranking of my top three Blackbrook Academy student narrators: Beth 'Peacock' Picach the uber competitive blonde tennis player was the most fun. She took herself so seriously while being so over the top and blunt in her reaction to every curveball and perceived slight or suspicious behavior. Plus her ill-fated attempts to play detective were hilarious because she was oblivious so much of the time. But she wanted healthier relationships with herself and others and I applaud her efforts, in addition to her determination to see justice done and protect herself and fellow students. In the end I wanted to give her big moment a standing ovation. My close second favorite was Scarlet Mistry: opportunistic, opinionated, and fierce (okay ruthless is more like it). Yet vulnerable deep down in a way that was touching when she let it show, and just an overall gem. And she was right---people really should have listened to her more because she was the most perceptive person of all. And she was ready to be a good friend if you met her half way. In third place for me, devious inventor Finn Plum. He got more endearing as the series went along as he became less glib and manipulative and more heart-on-his sleeve and also craving open, fulfilling relationships. I was glad he patched up the friendships he largely sabotaged or neglected, and I enjoyed seeing him happy together with his crush in the end, but I won't spoil who that was. Wait, I just realized what my three favorite narrators had in common. They knew their own strengths and they loved themselves, and that set them apart from their peers...and I found it aspirational. I relished little jokes and 'Easter eggs' along the way like how everyone's name (first or last) was also a color, or else a Clue film reference. I wouldn't say the (third and final, true) ending was entirely predictable how it all fit together, but the author did a superb job laying the clues (and not just the red herrings, but that too) if you're smart enough to stay on the trail. My only reason to drop from 5 to 4 stars of sheer joy with this series was a pair of characters I think the books would have been more fun to read without, and they are twins. They drove up the angst level past my personal limit, but your mileage may vary and I hope it will. If you like mysteries, humor, boarding school stories, conspiracies, and Agatha Christie levels of everyone acting suspicious and keeping secrets even though most of them are ultimately decent folks when it counts---don't miss this series. WHEN A WHODUNNIT SERIES KEEPS THE SATIRE AND MURDERS SHARP, SPEAK UP---BOOST THE SIGNAL!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Excellent conclusion to the Clue Mystery series, with some stellar nods to the movie. 'Ballroom' keeps us guessing through most of the book, and even second-guessing some of what we read in the previous books. This is exactly the kind of edge-of-your-seat, plot-twisting mystery that makes you want to re-read the series to pick up on any clues that may have been sprinkled throughout. Highly recommended YA mystery/thriller series! Excellent conclusion to the Clue Mystery series, with some stellar nods to the movie. 'Ballroom' keeps us guessing through most of the book, and even second-guessing some of what we read in the previous books. This is exactly the kind of edge-of-your-seat, plot-twisting mystery that makes you want to re-read the series to pick up on any clues that may have been sprinkled throughout. Highly recommended YA mystery/thriller series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hisgirl85

    4 stars for story, but 5 stars for narration. Great audio book. I love this series and am biased for all the movie references and little delightful bits. Murder crew for life!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    This hit my Clue loving nerd heart in the right way. I'm sad this is over now. :( This hit my Clue loving nerd heart in the right way. I'm sad this is over now. :(

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I absolutely loved this book! It was such a fantastic way to end the series!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy Aelleah

    All aboard for the Orchid Drama Express. I guess one of the best things I can say about this book is that it's a short, quick read. Though that isn't fair to how much I adore Scarlet, Plum and Mustard. They are wonderful and the whole reason I made it through this book. Peacock is…still just as irrelevant today as she was at the start of the first book. (Honestly, what is even her point? What does she do?) I don't have any real feelings towards her. I'm just neutral. Orchid, on the other hand, I ki All aboard for the Orchid Drama Express. I guess one of the best things I can say about this book is that it's a short, quick read. Though that isn't fair to how much I adore Scarlet, Plum and Mustard. They are wonderful and the whole reason I made it through this book. Peacock is…still just as irrelevant today as she was at the start of the first book. (Honestly, what is even her point? What does she do?) I don't have any real feelings towards her. I'm just neutral. Orchid, on the other hand, I kind of hate. I mean, she was my least favorite in the first book, and she basically takes over the storyline. Any storyline, that is, that Green didn't take over. (Or, even some he did, because they are in deep teen love.) (Which means they kissed twice and are obsessed with each other.) Because between the two of them, they are pretty much the whole plot for three books. And I don't like Green much more than I like Orchid. So this was particularly fun for me. (Honestly, I never even understood why Orchid was here. I mean, until I looked up the characters for the newest Clue re-do game, I didn't even know we had an Orchid - I'd never even heard of her before. So, she felt out of place the entire time I was reading the first two books, partially because of that, but also because she isn't even Orchid. I mean, there are so many secondary characters that have names that tie into Clue, but one of our main characters doesn't. (Also, I would give that complaint a pass, if Orchid herself did constantly harp on about how she's really Emily. I mean, if it was a real name change and 'this is who I am' I'd be cool with it. But Orchid thinks that Orchid was a front while really, she's Emily.) (Also, there is a character from Clue itself that's called Rusty Naylor. So…definitely less credit to the author for that pun than I originally gave.)) (And then there's the ending. Or, should I say, endings? The whole this could have happened, but didn't works okay in a visual medium, for me, but is a total failure in print medium, for me.) (Also, the whole naming the book after how and where of the murder victim only really works when there's a murder victim in that room that was killed by that method. The second book title was a stretch and this one doesn't work at all.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liberty

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of this one. The store I pre-ordered this one from kept having to push back the delivery date thanks to the supply chain issues, but I finally got to finish this series. The Clue Mystery series is a YA Mystery series that takes inspiration from the board game AND the movie Clue. As someone who has loved and watched the movie at least dozens of times, how could I not read this series? In rural Maine, a private boarding school ex Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of this one. The store I pre-ordered this one from kept having to push back the delivery date thanks to the supply chain issues, but I finally got to finish this series. The Clue Mystery series is a YA Mystery series that takes inspiration from the board game AND the movie Clue. As someone who has loved and watched the movie at least dozens of times, how could I not read this series? In rural Maine, a private boarding school exists with a history colder than Maine’s most brutal winters. During one of the most brutal winter storms, Headmaster Boddy and a handful of students find themselves trapped in Tudor House only to find one in their number murdered the next morning. The best things about this one almost all come from the references to the board game or the movie. There are moments when direct lines of dialogue from the movie are inserted into these characters mouths and I was absolutely living for it. This is also a really fast and easy read. I normally read about 50 pages an hour on average and with this book I could easily read between 60 and 70 pages. It does feel a little young for YA, but it’s still such a fun read. And the Mystery is actually a pretty good one that ends up spanning over the three books. I think it does a good job of making the reader work for the answer. Overall, it’s just a really fun time, especially if you like Clue at all. I’m a little sad this series is ending, but I found the ending to be pretty satisfying. I’d definitely be willing to check out other books by this author in the future.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A thrilling conclusion to a trilogy. It is going to be nearly impossible to write a review without spoilers. So what I will say, is that the Murder Crew is back in the final installment. It is springtime of their junior year and they are reeling from the events of the 1st two books. Then a couple more people die, one that seems like natural causes, then one that was suspicious. Who is to blame and what was the motive? We get two fake endings and then a real one which gave me "choose your own adv A thrilling conclusion to a trilogy. It is going to be nearly impossible to write a review without spoilers. So what I will say, is that the Murder Crew is back in the final installment. It is springtime of their junior year and they are reeling from the events of the 1st two books. Then a couple more people die, one that seems like natural causes, then one that was suspicious. Who is to blame and what was the motive? We get two fake endings and then a real one which gave me "choose your own adventure" vibes but was a little confusing. The thing I wished for hard at the end of the 2nd book? Maybe it came true. Either way I will miss these characters so interestingly named- Orchid, Scarlett, Peacock, Plum, Mustard and Green.

  14. 5 out of 5

    endeavoursofvic

    In the Ballroom with the Candlestick: 4.5 Stars ♥ -I read this book in one sitting- Book 2 is my favourite within the series but this was sooo freaking good as well. I simply adore these books - the characters - the mystery - everything :) (there is one thing I wish we wouldn't have mentioned 3 times because the first time was poignant enough... but it's fine - I can forgive it) Very satisfying ending and I will say that If you liked books 1 and 2 I think you will enjoy this finale as well - if you In the Ballroom with the Candlestick: 4.5 Stars ♥ -I read this book in one sitting- Book 2 is my favourite within the series but this was sooo freaking good as well. I simply adore these books - the characters - the mystery - everything :) (there is one thing I wish we wouldn't have mentioned 3 times because the first time was poignant enough... but it's fine - I can forgive it) Very satisfying ending and I will say that If you liked books 1 and 2 I think you will enjoy this finale as well - if you thought they were only fine and predictable you will think the same about this. + If you haven't seen the Clue movie - please do it's great and you will not want to miss the easter eggs in here^^

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bella Starr

    ~3.75 stars~ This book was good. I really like how the ending was. The only characters I really liked were Scarlett and Orchid. This book, in my opinion, wasn't focused a lot on the murders this time. I feel like the first book was the best because it was so focused on the murder. I liked that this whole book is using the Clue board game, and that made it interesting. Overall, it was a good quick read. ~3.75 stars~ This book was good. I really like how the ending was. The only characters I really liked were Scarlett and Orchid. This book, in my opinion, wasn't focused a lot on the murders this time. I feel like the first book was the best because it was so focused on the murder. I liked that this whole book is using the Clue board game, and that made it interesting. Overall, it was a good quick read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caitie

    I thought this was a good conclusion to the Clue Mystery series, lots of twists and turns, and of course some high school drama. I have a soft spot for books about boarding schools and Clue, so this was perfect series for me to read. I recommend this series to anyone who likes a somewhat fun mystery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mindy Carlson

    I loved this book. It's a triumphant finale to a great trilogy. It even has you wondering if the solution to the first book was the right solution. Plus there are delightful hat tips to the movie, including the "that's how it *could* have happened. but what about this" endings. A must read if you love mysteries. I loved this book. It's a triumphant finale to a great trilogy. It even has you wondering if the solution to the first book was the right solution. Plus there are delightful hat tips to the movie, including the "that's how it *could* have happened. but what about this" endings. A must read if you love mysteries.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joe Fruscione

    I’ll have more to say later, but for now suffice it to say that this is a solid ending to a fun and twisty trilogy. The last 50 pages pay great homage to the movie and are a fun ride…although I’m not entirely sold on the “Six Months Later” epilogue.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I didn’t really enjoy this installment. I had to force myself to push through. I’m not exactly sure why it felt weaker than the others, but it did. It also felt really drawn out with a subpar ending/resolution.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I'm so sad that this series is over. I've loved the whole series. I loved all the twists and turns of this last book. I would give the whole series an all around 5 stars. I'm so sad that this series is over. I've loved the whole series. I loved all the twists and turns of this last book. I would give the whole series an all around 5 stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    3.5 stars, I figured out all The Who dunits, and enjoyed this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kath Hurdle

    Very disappointed with that book, I was expecting more for the grand finale of the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gretal

    What a great conclusion to this trilogy. So much fun.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan Leahy

    Only read this (and number 2) as I'd preordered them before reading book 1. 100% better than book 1. Worth a read if your looking for a quick ya book. But I wouldn't go out of my way to read them Only read this (and number 2) as I'd preordered them before reading book 1. 100% better than book 1. Worth a read if your looking for a quick ya book. But I wouldn't go out of my way to read them

  25. 4 out of 5

    Megan (ReadingRover)

    4.5 rounded up to 5 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Maybe one day I will come back to this. However, I didn't like the direction this was going in. Maybe one day I will come back to this. However, I didn't like the direction this was going in.

  27. 4 out of 5

    sophia

    made me upset on the first read, enjoyed it on the second, and overall i was satisfied with the ending

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Probably more like 3.5 stars, but it was a very satisfying conclusion to the triology.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    An extra half star for doing multiple endings separated by silent movie cards, just like the film version

  30. 5 out of 5

    Liza

    I loved this book and these characters and the setting of Blackbrook. The ending was absolutely amazing and I loved the epilogue. I need more from these characters and the clue mystery set up.

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