The Vanishing Stair

Author: Maureen Johnson

Series: Truly Devious #2

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: December 10, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The second book in the Truly Devious series picks up right where the first left off with even more mystery, intrigue and action keeping me glued to the page.

Ellingham Academy was established in 1936 but quickly became the site of an unsolved murder and kidnapping. Years later, amateur sleuth Stevie Bell is determined to solve the case. When she is invited to the school, she hopes to figure out the clues no one else has been able to, that is until one of her classmates is murdered and another goes missing. Her parents have her come home, but she is willing to do anything to get back to the school and the mystery. When Senator Edward King, an unlikely source, helps her get back to the academy she is reunited with his son David, who lied about who he was to her when they first met. Now Stevie has bigger problems to worry about than David and his father: where did the murderer hide? What does the riddle mean? And how does it all tie together?

I am falling in love with the Truly Devious series. Stevie is a feisty protagonist that is fun to follow along on her adventures solving mysteries. There were nice twists and turns that I enjoyed, especially the way Stevie made it back to Ellingham. There is more depth for Stevie and most of the characters that brings the story to a higher level. My only real complaint for this one would be when a scene involved Vi, the way the pronouns were they/them just confused me. I’m not saying I have a problem with that issue, but not having encountered this issue in person. I just got confused with what was happening. Were we talking about multiple characters? Or just one? I know that it is becoming more common and I’m sure it will be more explained to me in the future. Any other scene was engaging, fun and full of tension that kept me glued to the page until the very end. New clues brought about answers to some of the questions while leaving some unanswered to be a solved in the next installment. I ended up starting this series with book four without realizing it and once I finished, I had to dive into the first three in the series. These are great books that I recommend to those that enjoy mystery, thrills, and adolescent angst.

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