Review | The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)Title: The Vanishing Stair (Truly, Devious #2)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Rating: ★★★★☆

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: January 22, 2019

“Where do you look for someone who’s never really there? Always on a staircase but never on a stair?”


I finished this a few days ago, and I thought I liked it. But then I realized I can’t stop thinking about it and it has just stuck with me, and won’t leave my brain. The Vanishing Stair is another fun and thrilling story that builds on Truly, Devious wonderfully, pulling you deeper into the mystery, danger, and legacy of Ellingham Academy.


Things I Liked 
I feel like the flashbacks in this book were so well utilized. In Truly, Devious I felt like the flashbacks were parallels to what was happening present day, but in The Vanishing Stair they build the world, flesh out the past characters. I feel like I know Albert Ellingham, Dottie, and the other students. They stood on their own more, but felt more connected to the story at the same time.

And I really loved the transcripts of the case. It was fun to read along with Stevie and try and discover what happened at the same time.

If you were looking for answers to the mysteries introduced in book 1, I am happy to tell you that we get a lot of answers in book 2. We find out who Truly Devious is, we know who murdered Dottie and Iris, we get answers about Element. It made me even more excited for book 3 because there’s still so much we don’t know.

The money thing around Alice is super suspicious and I don’t trust the school board one bit, especially after learning the money reverts to them after a certain amount of time and they were starting to talk about expansions and things. Very sketchy.

I have no idea why, but Larry had such a soft spot in my heart in this book. He was such a kind, but stern, grandpa to Stevie and I loved it.


Things I Didn’t Like 
I feel like David was a completely different person and I don’t know if I’m just not remembering how he acted in book 1, but I don’t think he was this flaky.

So I loved the answers we get in the story, but the Truly, Devious reveal was a tiny bit disappointing. It took away a bit of the mysticism surrounding the case. But I do think it strengthened the overall story.

This is a very stupid complaint, but Mudge not knowing that the Country Bears Jamboree attraction totally has a movie bugged the hell out of me. It was something that a self-proclaimed Disney buff would have known, and was just a dumb error.


The ending of book really left me wanting more in the best way and I’m dreading the wait for book 3. The Vanishing Stair really moved the story along without feeling rushed or unsatisfying. The stakes are higher and mysteries more complex. It a wonderful mystery that can be enjoyed by all.


I just love this series because it’s like a mix between a cozy mystery and something with a bit more bite! Have you read THE VANISHING STAIR yet? Thoughts on Truly, Devious? Share below!

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