I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson
Series: Truly Devious #5
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Published by Harper Collins on December 27, 2022
Also by this author: Let It Snow, Truly Devious, The Vanishing Stair, The Hand on the Wall, The Box in the Woods
Format: eARC (464 pages) • Source: Publisher
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
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.
Are you kidding me with that ending?! Okay I know I should get more into other things but my jaw literally dropped. I won’t spoil anything about the actual end (and it wasn’t even a cliffhanger for the mystery but more for the personal/interpersonal stuff).
As always, I’m thrilled to see more books added to this series. I’d keep reading and reading. Based on that ending I also have to assume there’s some kind of sequel coming. I’ve seen that some folks get sick of these books and the characters but I just find them compulsively readable. I need that in my life at this point because it takes me so long to read books unless they’re addicting and fun.
The mystery at the center of this one was really interesting. Stevie and crew head to London to visit David and have some “cultural experiences” for school. While there, David’s new friend asks Stevie to help solve this mystery surrounding her aunt and her eight friends. Two of them were murdered one night and she’s never believed that it was a random robbery gone wrong. Naturally, Stevie can’t resist, and spends the whole trip trying to figure out what happened that night with “the Nine.” It was really an intriguing mystery especially because there were so many people involved. There were so many little clues that I absolutely could not put together but knew they all meant something, so it was really fun to try to figure out.
David annoyed me for really the first major time in this series – I think that’d be my biggest gripe. Most people grew sick of him a couple of books ago but I haven’t minded him. I’m officially uninterested in their relationship but it also doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the books. Overall, still love Stevie’s sleuthing and the cozy mystery vibes of this series.