BOOK REVIEW: The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson


Title: The Hand on the Wall
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publication: January 21, 2020
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Publishers
Genre: YA Fiction, Teen, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 375


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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


Another Maureen Johnson book under my belt and I cannot get enough. The Hand on the Wall is the third book in the Truly Devious series as we see Stevie wrap up all her loose ends.

While I really enjoyed this book because I love Stevie and her friend group, this was not my favorite story. Probably because David is acting so weird and I love their banter usually. I feel like we saw a different side of the friend group in The Hand on the Wall that we hadn’t seen in the past. This is not a bad thing, but I think it took me some time to get use to.

I love the lockdown scenario with the snowstorm and how we get to know these characters even better. Hunter was a fun new addition to campus and his and Stevie’s friendship was interesting to watch because he was an outsider. Johnson did an incredible job continuing to grow these characters and let us learn a little more about them to make us love them even more. I also feel like the mystery itself and watching Stevie figuring things out was well written and believable. This was the perfect wrap up to her story.

Again, if you love a good YA Mystery where a teen is like a detective, but in a realistic, believable way, this series is for you. I can’t wait to see the next adventure this group of friends go on.

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