All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for.


The Vanishing Stair continues where Truly Devious ended. After the death of a classmate and the disappearance of another classmate, Stevie Bell’s parents took her from Ellingham Academy. They don’t think it’s safe. Still, Stevie continues to investigate the Ellingham mystery and dreams of going back to school. If she gets the chance, even if it is an offer from the devil, she will take it with both hands. However, there is a catch …

Stevie receives an additional assignment for school, a kind of internship with a researcher who focuses on the Ellingham murders of the past. The woman is rather strange and also gives Stevie fairly meaningless assignments in the beginning. If Stevie solves these quickly, she will gain the trust of the researcher and hear some new details from the research. New facts are revealed and Stevie has also found new evidence herself, but the puzzle is not yet complete.

So Stevie goes back to Ellingham Academy and plunges back into life there. She and her friends search for her missing girlfriend and the secrets of Ellingham Academy.

There are so many secrets hidden in this school that you as a reader are completely carried away in the mystery. There are secret corridors, tunnels, passages and hiding places everywhere. The entire building has been built with the idea that students are challenged and investigate and that is exactly what Stevie does.

For mystery lovers, from A Study in Charlotte and puzzles (yes, puzzle lovers eat this book). A fascinating book and a sequel better than the first part. Continuously fascinating, with lots of fun characters (really a lot, because you have two mysteries mixed up in different times) where you stay on the edge of your seat.