The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

June 6, 2019     erinthebooknut     Book review

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen JohnsonThe Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2) by Maureen Johnson
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 22, 2019
Pages: 384

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.

5 Nuts

Oh hi, it’s me. A long hiatus, I know, but life got a little screwy there for a bit. Not to worry, reading has NOT taken a back seat. In fact I have tons of reviews coming your way. Including this one.

If you have followed me for a year or so you’ll know how much I adored TRULY DEVIOUS and it seems that Maureen Johnson is intent on keeping me enthralled.

VANISHING STAIR takes what I loved about TRULY DEVIOUS, ups the ante, and then turns it on its head. All the things I thought I knew, thought I’d figured out, were oh so wrong. And now, even though many of my questions have been answered they’ve given way to even more unanswered ones. It is both frustrating and enjoyable.

This series is everything I love in a mystery. You’ve got the Agatha Christie style crime, the all intelligent detective, and the added bonus of a boarding school setting (which I always appreciate). Plus a hodge podge of different quirky characters to fill out the cast. VANISHING STAIR fleshes out the characters from the previous book and also add to the cast with a few new members.

I really could wax poetic over VANISHING STAIR all day if I wanted, but it’s nearly impossible to do without giving away all the spoilers and plot twists. And we rarely do that here, it’s not nice. And besides, a mystery is no fun if you know everything ahead of time.

That being said, I will say that Johnson’s mastery of this mystery is incredible. She has everything delightfully planned to the smallest detail. I’m pretty good at figuring out whodunnit but this book and the previous installment have kept me on my toes and guessing the whole time. Even with the major mystery solved, there’s still another to answer. And I have no clue as to the answer to that one either.

I can’t wait for the next book. In fact, I’ve already preordered it. I only wish I didn’t have to wait so damn long. Maureen, you’ve got me hooked. I know you won’t let me down.


What’s your favorite mystery? Share in the comments below.

From my shelf to yours,


One response to “The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

  1. Hello, Erin! It is so refreshing to see a short yet detailed review of your thoughts of The Vanishing Stair. Although I would’ve loved a ballad of you stating your everlasting love of Johnson and her books, which i will gladly partake in, you described the setting wonderfully (I love when you compared this series to Agatha Christie aka the kween of detective bois!) and the elements that make you adore Johnson’s books more and more! I hope that you enjoy the next addition, especially since you preordered it! Have an amazing day! Also, I’m so glad that I found your blog-it’s sooooo pretty!!!!

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