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The Vanishing Stair

Truly Devious Series, Book 2
Written by: Maureen Johnson
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Series: Truly Devious, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times and Publishers Weekly best seller!

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 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 sayShe 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.

* Junior Library Guild Selection * Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books of 2019 * Hypable's Best Books of 2019 *

©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 listeners say about The Vanishing Stair

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Abigail
  • 2019-05-03

Don’t read this one yet!

Major cliffhanger. Continuation of book 1. Equally as good or better than book 1 BUT I wish I had waited until the full series is published before listening. There is no resolution. You are given some answers but even more questions. Then the book just stops! The end almost felt mid-chapter much less mid story.

6 people found this helpful

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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

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheila Enright
  • 2019-12-23

The Never Ending Series

You can skip Truly Devious since everything is repeated in The Vanishing Stair! You may be able to skip this book too. I’m betting the author tells everything again. When will this series end?

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • C. Bruce
  • 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.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • The Chief
  • 2019-12-28

WAITING

For the next book - I agree with the reviewer who said not to start the series until all the books have been published.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Irina
  • 2019-12-18

So much worse than first book

I read the first book and Immediately got second, because I loved Truly Devious. Very disappointed in this one.... The first book had a story - interesting plot - and was very dynamic. Of cause it also had elements of adolescent love story which was pretty boring, but it went with the plot nicely. Second book just drugged. There was little of the interesting story development - only last chapters delivered some progress. Mostly the second book is a boring relationships story between dusfunctional boy with good talent for abuse and gaslighting, and victim type girl, who's supposedly very smart when it comes to solving crimes, but in her own life is very gulluble and poor judge of character.
Story is not over in this book, but I'm not buying next one - so not interested in bad angree dialogs of 15 year olds between attempts to have sex.

2 people found this helpful

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  • R. Kadet
  • 2019-04-18

Can't wait for the Next

I just listened to the first and then this book w/my 14 yo and we loved it but the cliffhanger is too much. We really need to wait to find out what happens?

UGH....anyway, enjoyed the story very much. The Narrator was good--I did get used to her after a while but think this book could have done well with an ensemble group narrating as there are a lot of characters and many of the voices sounded the same.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Charlenann
  • 2019-08-16

Now to wait...

A book series is the worst waiting game. I will have to re-listen before book three. I am excited to see what is in store for Stevie!!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 people found this helpful