2019 Books · Book Review · Books · Mystery · Review

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – Review

Welcome back to the review of the sequel to Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. The Vanishing Stair was an amazing sequel and a definite four star read for me. The mystery was explored some more, new secrets were revealed and the cliffhanger ending was amazing.

This review may contain minor spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Book: The Vanishing Stair

Author: Maureen Johnson

Series: Truly Devious

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: 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.

Quote: “All the money, all the power—none of it compares to a good book.”

The Good:

*Mystery. In this book, the Ellingham mystery takes center stage and I really like that because that’s the main reason why I picked up the first book to start with. I was also eager to find out what happened to Ellie and what her secret was. Solving two mysteries at the same time was a little mind-exhausting, but still so much fun.

*Characters. I liked Stevie much more in this book. She didn’t sound so whiny, and she seemed much more mature. Nate was always my favorite, but I loved him even more in this book. His reluctant but fierce loyalty to Stevie and always helping her when it is against his better instincts is very touching. My favorite quote by him: “Why. Do. People. Do. Stupid. Things.” (Stevie answers: “Because we’re stupid.”)

*Ending. Chaima’s review of The Vanishing Year conveyed my thoughts on that ending so well. That cliffhanger is probably the best I’ve ever read and it’s making me crave the third book so much! So many questions were answered, but at the same time, they opened doors for even more theories. I’m pretty sure I’ve solved it, but there are still several unanswered questions and it ended on such a tense note and I really really need the third book.

(As you can see, there is a reason why I usually read series when all the books in it are out, instead of waiting a WHOLE YEAR for the next one.)

Quote: “The real magic rocks are the friends we make along the way.”

The Bad:

*David. What. Is. His. Deal. He totally went off in this book and seems to have no regard for his or anyone else’s future. I understand that Stevie might have broken his heart, but he shouldn’t just throw his life away just for the fun of it.

*Riddle. There’s a crucial riddle in this book and it’s solution wasn’t what I expected at all. I thought that the answer was something no ordinary person would think to do. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not good at solving riddles/thinking outside the box?

Quote: “Detection has many methods, many pathways, narrow and subtle.”

The Wrap:

All in all, I REALLY liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it.

One sentence summary: A great sequel with an intriguing mystery, amazing cliffhanger, and lovable characters.

Overall, 4 shinning stars

Have you read The Vanishing Stair? What did you think? Did that ending make you crave more of the Truly Devious series? Do you think you’ve solved it? Let’s chat in the comments!

2 thoughts on “The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – Review

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