In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterferund is the first book in the Clue Mysteries series. The characters in this series have similar names to characters from the Clue franchise. A storm causes some students from an elite prep school to be stranded in one of the buildings. During the night, Headmaster Boddy is murdered, and the mystery ensues. As a murder mystery, this book is okay, the rating on Goodreads is 3.57/5 and I would agree with that. There are three books as of now in this series: In the Study with the Wrench, and In the Ballroom with Candlestick. I have only read the first book.
This spinoff of Clue adheres to the tradition of the Clue characters being heavily portrayed by their identity. I am a fan of the board game and the movie, so I enjoyed this nostalgia. In this rendition, their identities were as follows:
Mother Type: Mrs. White
Military persona: Mustard
Whiz kid: Plum
I have already written about our identity being a loved child of God. You can read that in my post about the book Sweet.
I want to take this post one step further and discuss our vocation as a person. Since this book was about late teenagers, there was a focus on their future careers. In turn, Headmaster Boddy and Mrs. White’s characters were heavily dependent on their vocation.
Spoiler: the murder is because someone’s vocation is about to be taken away.
As a society, we tend to focus on a person’s career or what they do for a living quite heavily. We often ask young kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Or college kids, “What is your major, and what are you going to do with it?” When we meet someone for the first time, we often find out what they do for a living quite early in the conversation.
These things are generally okay because it helps us see someone’s interests or role in society. It also allows us to draw on stereotypes about these fields, which helps orient us in our conversations with people. All of this, of course, can be both a positive and negative thing.
Problems can occur, like the murderer in this book, when our whole being is tied to our careers. Mainly because our careers are not definite or everlasting. We can lose our jobs. Become too injured or sick and can’t work. If we are blessed with an incredible, long-lasting career, there is always retirement in the end. If we are our careers, what happens if we no longer have them?
To determine who we are we must choose an everlasting vocation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines vocation as:
The calling or destiny we have in this life and hereafter. God has created the human person to love and serve him; the fulfillment of this vocation is eternal happiness. The vocation of the laity consists in seeking the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will.
We were created solely to love and serve God, which is everyone’s ultimate vocation. What is excellent about this vocation is that it can’t be taken away from you by your circumstances or by others. God lives in the present, and His will for us is whatever affairs we have to take care of that day and the people He places in front of us each day.
Suppose we focus on loving and serving God through things and people in front of us each day; we don’t have to worry if something happens to our current job. It no longer matters if our current job is our dream job or something we took solely to support our family.
I’m not suggesting you quit trying to reach your dream career. Instead, I am suggesting if there is rejection or struggle, this doesn’t negate who you are or your purpose in life. You still have a vocation to love and serve God in your daily duties and those people around you. This is also why we should never judge the importance of someone based on their job. Someone may love and serve their neighbor exceptionally well in a mediocre job, and someone in an established career may reject God and harm their neighbor significantly.
All of this is tied to the dignity of every human person and their vocation in life (CCC 1700-1876).
CCC 1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son (Lk 15:11-31) to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.