Review: In the Ballroom With the Candlestick

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.

Let me start off by saying… I KNEW IT!! 

I mean, I didn’t know who committed the murders in this book, but there were some suspicious people and I wasn’t surprised. However, I did know one little tidbit about one of the characters since the second book and I was pretty pleased to find that I was right. I mean, in a way, it’s also kind of obvious, but you also never know what an author is going to pull when a situation like that comes up.

Man, I hate not being able to be specific because of spoilers. Ugh.

In any case, this was a great conclusion to the Clue Mystery trilogy, starting off with a brand-new murder to rock the students and staff remaining at Blackbrook Academy. Unlike the other murders, there was no evidence of foul play, so the administration writes it off as a natural death. Of course, that’s not enough for some of the Murder Crew, especially Peacock, who’s had enough of death after being involved in a fatal car crash in which she was the only survivor.

Honestly, this is the first book series where I never found myself fully loving any characters. They’re all unreliable characters, which I think is what Peterfruend was going for. Out of the Murder Crew, I liked Peacock the best because of the way her chapters are written. It’s a direct look into her mind as her chapters are journal entries, and in this book her journal is now her investigative notebook, since she cannot play tennis with two broken legs and her arm in a brace. I definitely found myself more sympathetic to her in this book because she couldn’t do what she loved.

There are some minor subplots that don’t bode well with me – mainly a relationship between two of the characters – as they just feel a little forced, but I’ve thought that since the second book. But my opinion isn’t the same as everyone else; they might love the pairing. Or not. I don’t know.

Other than that, there was one thing I didn’t care for at the end, which was the alternate endings. It got annoying to reread the start of prom over and over and honestly, it just wasn’t needed. Especially because at that point it’s easy to figure out who was involved in the murders (as well as some other things). So that’s a star knocked off because needless alternate endings.

Again, this was otherwise a good ending to the trilogy, if a bit anticlimactic, that wraps up some of the mysteries that started from the first book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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