Cover of Nine Liars, with a circular staircase and floating autumn leaves

About the Book

Title: Nine Liars (Truly Devious #5)
Published: 2022
Series: Truly Devious
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: The Falling Leaves Drift By My Window
BFF Charm: 100% that B
Talky Talk:  Snappy!
Bonus Factor: Precious Friends
Relationship Status: OMG

Spoiler Alert! This is the fifth book in a series. Though it’s a standalone, if you don’t want to be spoiled for books 1-4, stop now and start over at Truly Devious.

Cover Story: The Falling Leaves Drift By My Window

The mystery of Nine Liars happens in an English country manor, so it makes perfect sense that the cover would have autumn leaves drifting around a ceiling with a pendant light hanging from it, right? No matter that the murder occurred in the rainy summer… 

The Deal: 

Stevie Bell is in a rut. She has solved the Ellingham murders (plural!) and the murder that happened at a summer camp in the 70s. Her boyfriend David is studying abroad in London and she misses him terribly, and she doesn’t know where she wants to apply to college. So when David asks Stevie (and by extension, Janelle, Vi, and Nate) to come to London for a quick Thanksgiving break with their headmistress’s approval, she (and her friends) quickly say yes. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Stevie Bell story if she wasn’t pulled into a story of a murder. In 1995, nine friends from Cambridge went to a manor in the countryside after finals week and two were brutally killed with an axe. Police say it was a burglary gone wrong, but one of the nine, Angela, thought she saw something. And maybe Stevie can figure out what happened…

BFF Charm: 100% that B

BFF charm with Lizzo's face.

Stevie is THAT BITCH, yes she is. She wrangles her friends to go to London so she can get some ass from David, which, if you have read my previous reviews, you know how I feel about that (yuck). She steers the crew to help Angela’s niece Izzy try to make sense of what really happened in that woodshed, though she steps on their toes to do it. And she ignores her headmistress’s instructions and simply does what she wants. Oh, how she will get into trouble, but oh, how we love you, Stevie, for doing what needs to be done!

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Listen, I hate David, but he is HOT in this book. Maybe it’s been a while since I last read a Stevie Bell so I don’t remember his crappiness from before, but he’s all long jacket, tousled hair, stubble and Stevie gets weak in the knees so, hell, so do I! Not many makeout sessions, unfortunately, but that could also be good for the David-haters in this group.

Talky Talk: Snappy!

Maureen, Maureen, you did it again. Stevie’s inner monologue is so sharp and witty, even when she’s meandering and trying to understand and process what she’s heard and observed. And the Nine, whose voices could totally blur together with a less-awesome author, are individuals who are easy to pick out once you read a little bit about them. 

Bonus Factors: Precious Friends

Characters from Baby-Sitters' Club show sitting on a bed talking and laughing.

I would DIE for Nate. And Janelle. And Vi. Die. For. Them. The quartet (rounded out by Stevie) is, as David would say, all one package. Where one goes, the others go too. And while Stevie abuses this fact, as you’ll see when you read the book, it doesn’t lessen my love for her friends. They are understanding but not to a fault, quirky but not twee, and just overall wonderful. After all, Janelle thinks Stevie’s “sex hoodie” is very “Stevie.”

Relationship Status: OMG

I didn’t think I would be enraptured by another Stevie Bell, but who am I kidding? This one was just as good as the rest. I want to tongue-kiss this book. I would fling this book into the arms of everyone in my near vicinity. It’s good, y’all. Read it. (But read the other Truly Devious books first!) 

Literary Matchmaking

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Revisit the beginning of Maureen Johnson’s slow-burn mysteries with Truly Devious.

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1)

There are mysteries and puzzles aplenty in The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

One of Us is Lying

Sleuth around another suspenseful mystery with Karen M. McManus’ One of Us Is Lying.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Katherine Tegen Books, but got neither ice cream nor money in exchange for this review. Nine Liars is available now.

Scout Luna is a writer living in Austin, TX, with her husband and three cats. Her hobbies include water coloring and reading!