It’s senior year for Stevie and while her friends are obsessed with applying to college, Stevie isn’t. Her boyfriend, David, is studying in London and all she wants is an excuse to go see him. When David arranges a study aboard trip for the whole group to come visit him, the gang & Stevie especially is stoked. Almost as soon as they arrive, David’s friend Izzy pleads with Stevie to find out what happened to her aunt’s friends, who were murdered in the 90s. The Nine as they were called, were celebrating graduating from Oxford when 2 of the group were murdered. They never found the murderer and now Izzy is asking for Stevie to help solve the cold case before something bad happens to her aunt.
I loved Stevie in the first 3 books of this series and still liked her in Box in the Woods. But she drove me nuts in this book. She has major insecurities which is totally realistic considering she’s 17, but they drive her to lie to her friends and other things, and I didn’t love that. Stevie just seemed to be in a rut and all of her actions seemed a bit forced to me.
The mystery of the nine though was super Agatha Christi-esque, which I loved. We first meet The Nine all at once, and while it was hard to keep track of them all at first, I ended up really loving them and their story. My biggest problem with this book though was that it felt like two separate stories being smashed together. I find it hard to believe that a group of 17-year old’s would be allowed on a study abroad trip, to London, with no chaperone, over Thanksgiving week. Add in that they were only in London for less than a week, and there is just no way they were getting through all that sightseeing plus investigating in that amount of time. I lived in London in college, and you could spend literal weeks doing things. I know this is a YA mystery, but the whole reason for being in London felt lackluster. I would have loved to just see the story of The Nine be its own locked room mystery, as I didn’t feel Stevie added much to it this go around.
As happy as I was to be back in the Truly Devious universe, felt that Stevie’s actions & the gang being in London was all a bit forced. While I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery of The Nine, and think Maureen wrote an amazing locked door mystery that honestly kept me guessing, Stevie’s characters especially just didn’t do it for me. I also felt that the whole David thing came out of nowhere, and missed getting to interact more with Nate, Janelle, and Vi.
Even though this wasn’t my favorite in the series, I would still read a 6th book if it comes out!
Nine Liars comes out December 27, 2022! Huge thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.