Genre: Young Adult/ Mystery
Publication Date: 2018
Page Count: 416
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Also by Maureen Johnson
The Name of the Star
The Madness Underneath
The Shadow Cabinet
Stevie Bell is obsessed with solving crimes, one crime in particular: the disappearance of an American billionaire's wife in daughter in the late 1930s. When Stevie is accepted into the boarding school started by the billionaire, and the scene of the infamous crime, she is determined to solve the mystery once and for all, but first, she may have a few other crimes to solve.
Back in 2014 I read the first book in Johnson's Shades of London mystery series and I loved it! The next books in the series were less-great (though still good) so I was excited to hear that Johnson had a new YA mystery series coming out this year, but also a little unsure of how I would feel about it.
I really enjoyed this book! It was such a quick read. I read the ebook and couldn't believe when I finished it that it was four hundred pages because I flew through it. As usual, Johnson's characters were super loveable and interesting. I loved the dual mysteries and time-lines that were in the plot, and thought both of them were equally intriguing and entertaining. We receive information on the 1936 case in alternating chapters alongside Stevie's story, and I was just as invested in the past crime as the current story-line. I think the two will come together in a brilliant way in the upcoming novels.
All elements of this novel were high-quality including the mysteries, the characters, the setting, and the slow-burn and confused romance. I loved the idea of the boarding school for super-smart and creative kids, and I thought it made a great setting for a mystery. I think that this plot will really expand in the upcoming novels, as there is a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book. I'm not looking forward to the wait for book two! I also loved all of the side characters, and found Stevie's classmates to be so interesting. I'm hoping that we will get to know these characters more in the upcoming books. There is a lot of natural-feeling diversity in the side characters, which is always appreciated.
I'm really looking forward to more books in this series. The end of this book had me trying to turn the page to the next chapter, and being shocked to see it was done. If you've been thinking about picking this one up, go for it!