Nine Liars

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. (Truly Devious). Dec. 2022. 464p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063032651.
Gr 9 Up–After solving the infamous Truly Devious mystery and then working on The Box in the Woods podcast over the summer, Stevie feels unmoored and restless during the beginning of her senior year. Her friends are busy applying to colleges and seem to have everything figured out. And to make matters worse, her boyfriend, David, is studying abroad in London. When the opportunity arises for Stevie and her friends to study abroad in London the week after Thanksgiving, she jumps at the chance. What is supposed to be a very structured school trip quickly unravels after the suspicious disappearance of the aunt of David’s friend Izzy. Stevie’s preoccupation with uncovering the truth behind the disappearance leads to a decades-old murder mystery involving the aunt and eight of her friends—two of the university students were found murdered with an ax in a woodshed. Stevie’s desperation to feel useful and smart, her incessant worrying about her relationship with David, and guilt over how she’s treating her friends only intensifies her singular focus on the case and leads her to spin her own web of lies.
VERDICT Johnson delivers another satisfying mystery, with diverse characters, authentic depictions of mental health, and friends holding one another accountable for their actions in loving, supportive ways. Highly recommended.

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