My Rating ~ Four stars
RELEASED: 22 January 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.
For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.
The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.
As this review is for book two in the series, there may be spoilers for book one in my review!
After the cliffhanger Truly Devious left us on, I couldn’t wait to read The Vanishing Stair! I found it a little hard to remember all the characters in book one, so I was glad we didn’t have too many new characters introduced in book two – I finally felt like I had them all straight in my mind!
This time, the story is mostly kept in the present, with a few flashbacks to the time of Albert Ellingham. Stevie is now attempting to solve three mysteries – the original Ellingham case, the death that occurred at the school the year before and what happened to the person she accused of that crime. I liked the way the layers of the mystery were peeled back slowly in this book. Some of the mysteries left unsolved in book one were revealed here, but NOT ALL OF THEM. Which means I still have to wait until next year to find out the rest of what happened! I was a little worried from the synopsis that Stevie and David’s ‘kind of sort of maybe relationship’ would take over the story a little, but it didn’t at all. The book stayed focused on the ‘who dunnit’ aspect really well. My absolute favourite character in this whole series is the dry witted, sarcastic Nate and I was so glad he formed such a huge part of this book too!
There were a couple of things that bothered me, but they were mostly the same things as in the last book (like why is it such a big deal to David to admit who his father is? I mean, for security reasons, fine, but he acts like anyone he tells will completely shun him for life. I don’t quite get that.) But all in all this has been a great series so far and I’m so looking forward to book three (in the hope Maureen Johnson WILL put me out of my misery and let us know that final piece of the puzzle!!)
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