The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)
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Release Date
January 21, 2020
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New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the witty and pulse-pounding conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years. Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . . She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century. At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers. Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer. In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

Editor review

1 review
thrilling and satisfying conclusion to this mystery trilogy
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Writing Style
THE HAND ON THE WALL is a thrilling conclusion to the TRULY DEVIOUS series. Here, the students are at Ellingham, and Stevie is still solving the crimes of the 1930s, as well as the more recent seemingly-accidental deaths at the school. Stevie is watching David spiral downward, and sharing Janelle's excitement about her machine. However, things are changing once again, when there is an accident with Janelle's machine, and the professor Stevie was helping with her research on the Truly Devious case dies.

Time is ticking as the school is set to shut down and Stevie's time to solve the cases is running out. Bringing together all the events of the past books, this final story wraps up the plots perfectly. Johnson did some miraculous plotting to make it all come together just right in this thrilling conclusion. This book was certainly the fastest in terms of pacing, and it was just the right amount of suspense, glimpses into the past, and Stevie's mind to see how these crimes are solved.

This book was every bit as satisfying as I ever could have hoped. The characters are all eccentric but completely grow on you, and I loved seeing the end of their story. I certainly would not mind reading more books with Stevie- she's quite the tenacious investigator, and the way everything fits together is so clever. I do wish there had been either more connections with David or only friendship, as this seems to be an afterthought to the main plot (and romance was not necessary), but he fits into the plot in his own creative way.

Overall, this was an absolutely perfect finale to an engaging series. The questions we had have all been resolved, and it is quite satisfying.
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