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The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious)

Review

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious)

From the author who brought the thrilling tale of TRULY, DEVIOUS to the young adult world comes the equally as thrilling sequel, THE VANISHING STAIR. This book is sure to grab readers by the hand and drag them on a wild ride that lasts until the very last page.

After the tragic death of a fellow Ellingham Academy student, Stevie’s parents pull her from the only place she has ever felt at home. That is until infamous politician Edward King shows up at Stevie’s house and ensures her parents that her returning to school will be a good thing. Unsure of what King will want in return for this favor, Stevie decides to take the bargain as it is her only opportunity to go back to Ellingham.

"THE VANISHING STAIR is an incredibly intriguing story that surpasses any expectations. Maureen Johnson somehow made this sequel...as good as, if not better than, the first book."

Back at her home away from home, Stevie can get back to solving the cold case of the Ellingham kidnapping and murder with the new evidence she discovered. However, a new mystery unfolds as she stumbles upon another mystery in the form of a second dead student. Convinced that she is close to solving both cases, Stevie investigates further. This leads to her teaming up with a local professor who is wacky but knows her way around the Ellingham case. Of course, Stevie must also deal with the other pressures of school like cute, enigmatic boys and their crazy politician fathers who want to control your life.

With each day Stevie gets closer to solving the riddles behind the Truly, Devious kidnappings that happened on Ellingham premises so many years ago. And with each day Stevie feels something dangerous looming closer and closer.

Told in a mixture of first-person narrative and case files from the original Ellingham mystery, THE VANISHING STAIR is an incredibly intriguing story that surpasses any expectations. Maureen Johnson somehow made this sequel to TRULY, DEVIOUS as good as, if not better than, the first book. Each character and line of dialogue is perfectly written to capture a unique perspective. Readers are forced to cheer on Stevie as she fights to solve the case in a true Sherlockian manner. At the same time, Johnson compels readers to think like detectives themselves, lining up clues and dropped hints to try to guess the identity of the criminal.

Truly, THE VANISHING STAIR and its primary novel TRULY, DEVIOUS are unlike any mystery novel I have read. Even by the end of this second book, I still had relatively little sense of who the real murderer and kidnapper was in either mystery. The end of this second novel had me gasping with shock, awe, delight and horror: all of the emotions that could possibly be evoked from a suspenseful ending.

Readers who enjoy classic mystery stories like SHERLOCK HOLMES or more modern enigmas like THE GALLAGHER GIRLS are sure to fall in love with Stevie and her sleuthing skills in Maureen Johnson’s Truly, Devious series. Each word will capture a reader’s attention and make them wish that they too, could attend a prestigious boarding school and spend their days solving mysteries.

Reviewed by Ellie Tiemens on March 19, 2019

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious)
by Maureen Johnson

  • Publication Date: January 22, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062338080
  • ISBN-13: 9780062338082