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The Vanishing Stair

Truly Devious Series, Book 2
Written by: Maureen Johnson
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 38.59
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Publisher's Summary

In New York Times best-selling 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 his or her 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. 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. 

©2019 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

“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)

What members say

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  • Overall
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  • C. McCannon
  • 2019-01-23

oh my word

How exactly am I supposed to wait for the next book? This one took us on a very wild ride and I don't want to get off! Kate Rudd is fantastic as a narrator, her performance brings the text to the next level.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • KK
  • 2019-03-06

MJ'S BEST

I love love love this series. Been reading Maureen Johnson for a long time and this is my favorite series yet. Need her next book to come out lickedy split!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michele Pisano-Marsh
  • 2019-02-15

Enjoyable but no resolution

The story is good as was the first although I don’t care for the weird flat affect the narrator has chosen to depict an anxiety disorder. I just wish that there had been more movement in the story - the first was definitely better. This time there was obvious slowing down so as to get another book out of the series

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  • Cami H
  • 2019-02-08

Bad narrator, decent mystery

I think I would have liked this book more if it weren’t for the narrator. Her male voices were just ridiculous and they all sounded exactly the same, like a jolly crazy person. Plus, her female character voices were all weird too, especially Janelle.
The book was fine, I liked the 1930s part much more than the present day parts. I don’t care about any of the present day characters, the author didn’t make anyone very likable.
I probably won’t be reading the next one when it comes out.

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  • kira
  • 2019-01-30

This better have a sequel!

Good book but ending is terrible. I NEED to know more! When you become invested in the characters you cannot just end on that note.