Hand on the Wall

Posted 08/30/2021 by Stephanie in Reviews, YA / 0 Comments

Hand on the WallThe Hand on the Wall
by Maureen Johnson
Published by HarperCollins
on 01/21/2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Mysteries & Detective Stories
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 384

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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

And the case is cracked wide open!!! Finally! But it was not easy on Stevie.

As she did her research and investigations, she let that take over and it caused her to withdraw from her friends especially after the blowup with David. Not only does she solve the case from 1936, she also solves the various crimes that had happened since she got to the academy. It’s always greed…so sad.

In the past, it was a man’s pride that caused the problem and in the present, it’s a man greed. Even though the case had been solved in the 1930’s the uncertainty of what happened to Alice was always a hot topic. Especially since her dad left her everything. However, Albert put very specific conditions on how long his money was to be on hold for Alice or information that leads to finding out what happened to her. That deadline was fast approaching and the academy is set to inherit all the money since Alice has yet to be found.

While we got to see who the real “culprit” was in 1936, the bad guy was a total surprise and I loved how

 Stevie solved the case and was able to enact the huge reveal that all good detectives have once they have solved a case. Thankfully she learned from her previous mistakes when confronting the suspect and got real backup. Which was really needed.

The whole ordeal from 1936 up to the present was all so so so sad. The one good thing that came from all the things that Stevie and co went through is that the truth from 1936 was finally exposed. Also, something that she doesn’t reveal publicly, she found what happened to Alice and where she was!

Throughout book 1-3, my heartstrings were pulled. Besides the name, I also found a lot of commonalities with Stevie. Things end with what’s next up in the air, this was before I knew there was a book 4 coming. So there’s still a lot for us from our band of misfits.

About Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and Truly Devious. She has also done collaborative works, such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle (now on Netflix), and several works in the Shadowhunter universe with Cassandra Clare. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian, and she has also served as a scriptwriter for EA Games. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and lives in New York City.