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The Hand on the Wall
Cover of The Hand on the Wall
The Hand on the Wall
Truly Devious Series, Book 3
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New York Times and USA Today bestseller!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...
New York Times and USA Today bestseller!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...
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  • New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

    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.

    Praise for the Truly Devious series:

    "Readers, hang tight: there's one more round to come, and if the signs are right, it'll be to die for." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "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

About the Author-

  • Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and The Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 1, 2019
    The final, riveting chapter of the Truly Devious murder series. The initial incident in the series involved the 1936 abduction of newspaper tycoon Albert Ellingham's wife and daughter; the present volume probes several unsavory events that transpired afterward, including Ellingham's own death in 1938, in a sailing accident on Lake Champlain, and the recent immolation of University of Vermont history professor and Ellingham mystery enthusiast Dr. Irene Fenton. Fenton was introduced to protagonist and contemporary "Ellingham Sherlock" Stevie Bell in The Vanishing Stair (2019). As Stevie gets closer to making good on her resolution to solve the Ellingham case's past and present riddles, Johnson makes the most of the exclusive institution's remote, wooded mountain locale, provocatively setting the climax of Stevie's investigations during the throes of a cataclysmic blizzard. Stevie and her motley crew of misfit high school geniuses are stranded à la Agatha Christie with members of the Ellingham Academy administration, who may have a stake in the revelations of several secrets linking the Ellingham kidnappings with present-day murders. Throughout this intricately woven, fast-paced whodunit, Johnson demonstrates how proximity to wealth and power can mold and bend one's behavior, whether with good or--here largely--devious intent. The brainy secondary characters' quirky talents and interests complement Stevie's sleuthing skills; while mostly white, they include diversity in socio-economic background, mental health challenges, physical disability, and sexual orientation. A richly satisfying, Poirot-like ending for Johnson's inspired and inspiring teen sleuth. (Mystery. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 13, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Stevie Bell and her friends are snowed in at Ellingham Academy, which was mostly evacuated ahead of a blizzard. Her (possibly ex) boyfriend David shows up with drives containing thousands of files relating to his despised senator's father's presidential campaign, asking for their help to read and interpret them. And while her friends look for connections in spreadsheets and emails, Stevie can get back to work solving crimes. And solve crimes she does, figuring out the answers to mysteries and riddles worthy of the school's founder, Albert Ellingham, himself. This will be essential reading for the many fans of the first two books. VERDICT This trilogy ender is fun, satisfying, and a genuine treat for teens and adult mystery fans.-Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 At the end of The Vanishing Stair (2019), Stevie Bell solved the infamous, impossible mystery of the Ellingham disappearances. But it's an accomplishment that she's kept to herself: people have been dying in strange accidents around Ellingham Academy, and Stevie, always the detective, is starting to wonder if there's more going on than meets the eye. As Stevie puzzles her way through the mysteries of the past and present, a storm barrels toward Ellingham Academy, and if Stevie is right, it could trap her and her friends with a killer and bring with it a reckoning that will redirect the future. In this hotly anticipated trilogy finale (beginning with Truly Devious, 2018), Johnson pulls out all the stops, filling the thrillingly nimble narrative with classic mystery conventions. Stevie's anxiety reaches a fever pitch as the storm hems her in, and her struggles with her disorder remain honest to the core. A striking foray into an examination of what mysteries can ever truly be solved, and a satisfying send-off for a series that will be missed.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "The final, riveting chapter of the Truly Devious murder series. Throughout this intricately woven, fast-paced whodunit, Johnson demonstrates how proximity to wealth and power can mold and bend one's behavior, whether with good or—here largely—devious intent. The brainy secondary characters' quirky talents and interests complement Stevie's sleuthing skills; . . . they include diversity in socioeconomic background, mental health challenges, physical disability, and sexual orientation. A richly satisfying, Poirot-like ending for Johnson's inspired and inspiring teen sleuth."
    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "In this hotly anticipated trilogy finale, Johnson pulls out all the stops, filling the thrillingly nimble narrative with classic mystery conventions. A striking foray into an examination of what mysteries can ever truly be solved, and a satisfying send-off for a series that will be missed." — Booklist

    "Maureen Johnson brings her delectable 'Truly Devious' murder mystery trilogy to a thrilling conclusion, neatly tying together her dueling narrative threads, one set in 1936 and the other in the present day, with an action-packed finale during a blizzard at Ellingham Academy in the mountains of Vermont." — Buffalo News

    "This will be essential reading for the many fans of the first two books. This trilogy ender is fun, satisfying, and a genuine treat for teens and adult mystery fans." — School Library Journal

    "Readers will be eager to know the novel's conclusion but will never want the book to end. Replete with intrigue, thoughtfulness, and depth, The Hand on the Wall is a mystery of the moment and for the ages." — San Francisco Book Review

    "The perfect mix of intimate character moments, intriguing epiphanies, and dangerous situations make it an overwhelmingly satisfying conclusion." — Hypable

    "This was an absolutely perfect finale to an engaging series." — YA Books Central

    "This inclusive, inventive, and vastly entertaining series has been a boon to YA literature. As a layered, complex character who solves crime while also battling anxiety, Stevie Bell reads like the redoubtable love child of Jessica Fletcher and Adrian Monk. There will hopefully be more Stevie Bell mysteries to come." — Horn Book Magazine

    "This hip mystery trilogy finale is an addictive page-turner that piles on the murder plots and intrigue in two time periods. This is the kind of absorbing series that teens and up will be reading and rereading for years to come." — Common Sense Media

    "With a cast of unique and lovable characters, The Hand on the Wall is an exciting read. You'll be wondering the whole time who did it and rooting for Stevie with the case, and maybe a little bit with her love life as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery." — Suspense Magazine

    "A gripping page-turner with twists and turns nestled within every book, this intertwining mystery series is written to seamlessly blend into the next.... Sherlock Holmes collides with Nancy Drew in this modern day crime mystery." — Independent Voice Newspaper

    Praise for TRULY DEVIOUS "Be still, my Agatha-Christie-loving beating heart."
    Bustle

    "Jumping between past and present, Johnson's novel is deliciously atmospheric, with a sprawling cast of complex suspects/potential victims, surprising twists, and a dash of romance. As in her Shades of London...

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