Winter is upon us! And as the chill in the air turns colder, there’s nothing we’d rather do than curl up with the most bone-chilling thriller we can find. Did you expect us to say a cute romance to warm our hearts? While we love our fair share of romance novels, now is the time for murder mysteries, specifically Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson!
Nine Liars is Johnson’s newest YA mystery and her latest addition to the Truly Devious series. And now that we’ve read the fifth novel, we’re tempted to buy the rest of the series. Though the settings and characters are part of a series, you can read Nine Liars by itself. Here are some things we love about Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson!
Content Warnings: violence, death, and murder
Summary: In Nine Liars, Stevie and her friends go to London to visit her boyfriend, David, and become embroiled in solving a cold case. In 1995, nine friends—all recent graduates of Cambridge University—travel to Merryweather, the country manor owned by one of their families. After a night-long drunken game of hide and seek on the manor grounds, two members of the group go missing. They are soon found in the woodshed, murdered with an ax. The case was assumed to be a burglary gone wrong, but one of the remaining members of the group 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.
This country house murder mystery, featuring a colorful cast of characters and plenty of Britpop tunes, is certain to delight Maureen Johnson fans, true crime devotees, and mystery and thriller readers of all ages.
Let’s start by saying how much we appreciate Maureen Johnson for LGBTQIA+ representation in Nine Liars. The characters are open about their sexuality, and it’s refreshing to see it so normalized. There are non-binary, lesbian, gay, and asexual characters. And the author doesn’t outright reiterate these characters’ identities every time they’re mentioned. She weaves it subtly into the rest of the narrative, and readers can understand the context without being told directly.
The Unpredictable Ending
We admit it: we had no idea who the killer in Nine Liars was until Stevie figured it out. While we tried to keep our eyes on the details from the beginning, both our guesses were wrong! The author gives us just enough information from the witness testimonies to draw conclusions and then saves the most telling details for later. The chapters with alternating perspectives are well-timed, and multiple plot twists take us for a spin. Even when we thought we knew what to expect, we didn’t.
Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson is out December 27th and is available for preorder here!
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