The Vanishing Stair

The Vanishing Stair

eBook - 2019
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In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson's second novel in the Truly Devious series, there are more twists and turns than Stevie Bell can imagine. No answer is given freely, and someone will pay for the truth with their life. The Truly Devious case—an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936—has consumed Stevie for years. It's the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.Stevie's willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, and the guy who lied about his identity—Edward King's son.But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What's the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn't just a piece of history—it's a live wire into the present. Praise for Book One: "The Agatha Christie-like ecosystem pairs with lacerating contemporary wit, and alternating past and present scenes makes for a multilayered, modern detective story." —New York Times Book Review"Remember the first time reading Harry Potter and knowing it was special? There's that same sense of magic in the introduction of teen Sherlock-in-training Stevie Bell." —USA Today (four stars)"Be still, my Agatha-Christie-loving beating heart." —Bustle
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9780062338105
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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PimaLib_ChristineR Apr 12, 2019

This is the second book in the Truly Devious series and book one needs to be read first.

Another mystery home run from Maureen Johnson! There are two things about this book that I love outside of the usual suspects like plot and character development. The first is that this series is a real whodunit from the classic school of mystery. We've got the continuing saga of Stevie and her search for the perpetrator of crime nearly a century old, while a more recent death is like a scab she can't stop picking at. Secondly, the writing is funny! Quips like, "they had been reunited for all of ten minutes, and already the library was infested with squirrels and he was calling on her to break into a room," "There was the moose sign again. There would never be a moose" and "'How does this keep happening to you?' David said. 'Because I look,' Stevie replied. 'A lot of things happen when you go out and do them on purpose'" all had me cracking up. (You have to read the book to get the running moose joke).

And we need the humour because the bodies just keep coming, Stevie begins an internship with a stinky cat lady, and Stevie's relationship with David is a roller coaster of emotion. If you aren't into teen love angst, this may not be for you, but I found that Stevie's worries rang true and her anxiety was handled admirably. My only gripe is that making this story into a series feels like a money grab (yeah for libraries!). The font in the physical copy is large and double-spaced. I have a feeling Johnson had the whole book written and it was broken up in thirds based on what fit comfortably rather than a natural ending. Still, I would recommend this series to anyone who loves a good murder mystery. As Johnson reminds us in the dedication, SSDGM.

Feb 21, 2019

Truly Devious is one of my favorite YA mystery series--this second installment did not disappoint!

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jan 23, 2019

I love this series so much. I sometimes lament the relative lack of really excellent mystery series in YA (compared to how many there are for both kids and adults), and these books feel like the best possible answer to that complaint. I read this in two sittings, just like the first one, and the pacing is just as brisk, the twists and turns just as unexpected, and the romantic subplot just as... frustrating? confusing? conflicted? as in book 1. Kudos also for such an excellent depiction of a character struggling with her mental health in a real and honest way. I cannot. wait. for the final book in this trilogy.


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