Published by Katherine Tegen Books on December 27, 2022
Series: Truly Devious #5
Genres: contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
Also in this series: The Hand on the Wall, The Vanishing Stair, Truly Devious, The Box in the Woods, The Vanishing Stair, Truly Devious
Senior year at Ellingham Academy for Stevie Bell isn’t going well. Her boyfriend, David, is studying in London. Her friends are obsessed with college applications. With the cold case of the century solved, Stevie is adrift. There is nothing to distract her from the questions pinging around her brain—questions about college, love, and life in general.
Relief comes when David invites Stevie and her friends to join him for study abroad, and his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double-murder cold case. In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge University went to a country house and played a drunken game of hide-and-seek. Two were found in the woodshed the next day, murdered with an ax.
The case was assumed to be a burglary gone wrong, but one of the remaining seven saw something she can’t explain. This was no break-in. Someone’s lying about what happened in the woodshed.
Seven suspects. Two murders. One killer still playing a deadly game.
The Truly Devious series is a young adult murder mystery series by author Maureen Johnson. I absolutely LOVED the first three books in the series, which follow our teenage detective friend Stevie Bell as she tried to solve the famous Ellingham Academy mystery from the 1930s, and then I also loved the fourth standalone mystery- The Box in the Woods. Once she solved that famous case, she is now being hit up by all kinds of people that want her to solve their new case. Though Nine Liars is a standalone mystery, I would read this book after you finish the first trilogy.
The mystery in Nine Liars takes our favorite gang to London. Stevie’s boyfriend, David is studying abroad and his friend tells him about a cold case where nine friends went to a party after graduating Cambridge and only seven of them left the weekend alive. David’s friend is the niece of one of the surviving seven and when her aunt is in the hospital, she says some pretty strange things about that infamous weekend that concern the niece, so in come Stevie and the gang to look into the cold case. It is perfect timing for Stevie because she has been in a rut. None of the of the mysteries that she has been sent have piqued her interest and she misses David.
I love the way Maureen Johnson tells stories. She does such a fantastic job scattering clues and red herrings throughout the book that she honestly keeps me on my toes and keeps me guessing the whole time! Plus, I love the dual timelines between the past and present. Here, because we already know the core characters so well, we are really delving into some of their interpersonal issues in the present timeline, and I loved it. I thought it added a lot of depth to the story. I also really enjoyed the mystery in Nine Liars, and the England setting. Another great installment in the series, and I am so pumped that after the ending, I feel like we are going to get even more Stevie Bell mysteries. This series are some of the very best Young Adult mysteries that I have ever read. If you are a fan of mystery books, the Truly Devious series is a MUST READ. It is one of my favorite series of all time.