The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious Series #2)

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious Series #2)

by Maureen Johnson


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New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller!

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062338082
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/22/2019
Series: Truly Devious Series , #2
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 15,854
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile: HL670L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and The Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at 

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The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious Series #2) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
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Anonymous 12 months ago
The second books of trilogies are often times my absolute favorites, but only when they’re done well. And The Vanishing Stair is done WELL. This novel picks up almost immediately after Truly Devious left off, give or take a few weeks. Still reeling from the events on the Ellingham campus and forced into a sort of exile, Stevie is still working on the unsolved 1930s murder case when one of the most powerful and dangerous people in the country whisks her away from home and back to school, all in exchange for keeping an eye on his son. Soon, Stevie is thrown back into campus life for better or worse. Her fellow classmate Ellie still hasn’t been found. Her other fellow classmate Hayes’ murder has yet to be solved. And now there seems to be growing pressure to solve the classic murder/kidnapping case from an unseen and intangible force. The Vanishing Stair is all killer, no filler. Or, well, partial killer and no filler. This book moves along at such a natural but brisk clip that I didn’t realize I had read an entire novel’s worth of story until I flipped to the acknowledgements page. I was just so engaged with everything going on and trying to untangle all of the strings along with Stevie that I lost track of time, as it were. One of the things I was nervous about going into this installment was the fact that it has been almost a full year since I had finished Truly Devious and I hadn’t gone back to it before picking up The Vanishing Stair. Sure, not every reader is a devoted one that’ll reread everything that came before, but I was still worried I’d be missing/have forgotten a few details (which, in a mystery novel, is one of the worst things a reader can do). But Maureen Johnson skillfully starts this saga with the smallest details and throwbacks to the first novel. While they’re substantial and enough to jog the memory, they’re not so large and obvious and time consuming that it feels like an arduous rehash of what came before. Speaking of skill, Johnson’s storytelling has never been more masterful. She expertly juggles two timelines, multiple perspectives, multiple deaths, AND all of the secrets that go with these elements. There’s never a moment where, as a reader, you’re unsure of what you’re reading, where you are, or why what you’re reading may be important. Not only that, but every aspect of this novel is engaging. It’s impossible to go through this novel and not have your Spidey senses tingle alongside Stevie’s, sometimes even moments before hers do. And the best part about all of this is that the reader has everything they need to solve the mystery if they really want to be proactive. Other mysteries generally leave out pertinent information, making it impossible for the reader to try to outsmart the detective and solve the mystery. Here, all of the clues are there and it’s Stevie’s journey that serves as the red murder board yarn that connects them all and paints the picture of what happened. I could go on and on about the new characters introduced in this novel, the wonderful relationship between Stevie and security honcho Larry, and the ever-intriguing Ellingham campus, but I won’t.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it even more than the first!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book! Just as good as the first. I can’t wait for the third and also hope it ends because I’m wanting my questions to be answered. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for the third to come out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate and love this book so much. Can’t wait for book #3. Maybe she’ll end it this time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in the middle of this book and it is even better than the first one!