The Vanishing Stair
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.
The book picks up where the last one left off with Stevie's new clues, and more clues are collected throughout. At the same time, she is also wondering about what happened to Ellie, who seemed to disappear into the mountains after Stevie brought forward some new facts about another student's death.
The pacing was again a little slow at the start, but this book makes huge leaps forward for both the past and present crimes here. This is not just a middle book which stagnates- a lot happens in this text. There are also some new characters and old characters who we get to view in new ways. I think I am finding connections that may appear in the final book, but I am excited to keep reading and find out.
This is a series that gets better with the additional books, and I definitely can't wait to continue it. Although the romance is pretty meh, the mystery plots make this a highly engaging and creative series that I cannot wait to continue with. Highly recommend for fans of SHERLOCK HOLMES and murder-mysteries.
As soon as I finished the first book I was so eager to continue. I absolutely loved Truly Devious and after the way the book ends - I needed more information. This books picks up pretty closely following the events of the first book. Stevie is pulled from Ellingham because of her parents. She isn’t happy and all she wants to do is go back. Edward King strikes a deal with Stevie for her to return. Again, this book is cleverly set up by the back and forth between the past and present. I really liked the way Johnson did this because it gave the readers an insight of the events on how they actually happened instead of the guessing. This was crucial in this book because of the evidence Stevie found in the first book. Meanwhile, more clues keep getting uncovered and it was just so much fun uncovering them with Stevie and the gang. There were no dull parts and the books pacing was just as god as the first. I am so invested into this story and what’s going to happen next. The final reveal was a lot of fun because it was who I suspected and this is always my favorite part of mysteries - the “who done it”. Following Stevie unfold the story really made me feel apart of it also because of Johnson’s writing. The only issue I had with this story was the “miscommunication/not telling a secret” trope. This drives me crazy because it could have been so easy from the beginning to just explain the situation instead of it blowing up later. Other than that, my only issue is that book 3 is still so far away!!
Again, such amazing characters. I really like how they all click and their relationships just feel natural. The only thing that bothered me this time around was David. He was a little excessive, and I know he is supposed to be but I was just a little over it by the end. Stevie was still a great protagonist and I really liked how she focused more on the case this book. This is when Stevie shines and it’s great to see her knowledge of the kidnapping really push her forward. Janelle is perfect as always. Her character in the first book was so enjoyable that I’m not surprised I still loved her so much in this book. Nate grew on me so much more this book which is saying a lot because he was one of my favorite characters in the previous books. I just love how he interacts with Stevie and Janelle. Even though he is not trying to be funny, he cracked me up the entire time. I can’t wait to see the trouble they will get in the next book.
Overall, The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson is fantastic. With such a gripping story, I could not help but fly through this book. Even though one of my least favorite tropes was present in this story, it did not diminish how great the book was. It is quirky, smart, and mysterious all in one. The characters are still fantastic and I really enjoyed unfolding this mystery with Stevie. I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed the first one but be aware that you’ll be upset with how far the next on in this series is! I cannot wait to continue this story.