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: 18,317
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) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Take_Me_AwayPH 8 months ago
After finishing the first one, I was SURE I would jump right into this one. But for some reason, it took me numerous attempts and multiple formats before I finally got to it. The dry writing style worked for the first one, but I wasn't too big a fan for the second one. But the mystery and everything was still a definite winner. After Stevie is forced to go back home by her parents, a weird turn of events puts her in awful position.... she goes back to Ellingham and his son finally begins to act right. So, Stevie tried her best to hold up her end of the deal. While there, David gives her another deal, "do that thing you do." I loved the first one so much and I'm not even sure why.... The writing style was weird and it just worked. This one was much the same. Definitely one you have to be in the mood for. And for the most part, I had to work up to it. Finally, when I was ready, it worked. The plot was what I loved most about this book. I love how Johnson wrote two different stories at two different time periods and still made them connect in some way. And the way she revealed everything was pretty cool too. Its these types of stories that impress me so much about authors and their books. This series is incredibly cool and has such a great storyline and I can't wait to see what the next one will bring. That ending though was NOT great lol Another one that made me hate that I didn't wait until right before the next book, because LAWD the ending of this was stressful. All the reveals made my heart almost pop out my chest, but it was the ending that made me want to say forget everything else lol This ending isn't for the weak. This book was great in some ways and definitely needs some work in others. Make sure you're in the mood for it, and once you are, have fun with it. But still prepare yourself for the ending. This book, as with any mystery, is a roller coaster and will leave you satisfied but angry when you turn the last page
Anonymous 12 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year 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!