The Vanishing Stair

Number two in the Truly Devious teen mystery series, The Vanishing Stair has Stevie Bell returning to the prestigious Ellingham Academy, where the murder of a student took place before she was sent home. Edward King, a politician that her parents work for, convinces those parents to let Stevie go back to the school. In turn, he expects her to keep an eye on his son, whom Stevie likes very much. Actually, the same intensity of feeling with which she dislikes Edward King. Another student’s dead body turns up, and the stakes are raised. Can Stevie solve the mystery of Ellingham and catch the murderer before it’s too late? Tune in to find out…

Stranger in the Mirror

The Stranger in the Mirror starts off strong and then the plot seems to go off the deep end. The main character, Addison, is about to get married to a wonderful man, but has a past that haunts her. Actually, she can’t remember anything about her past beyond two years ago when she was found walking on the side of the road and rescued by a kind stranger. In those two years her memory has failed to return and she has moved on. Alternate chapters are from the point of view of Addison’s husband, Justin, who has been looking for her for the past two years after his beloved wife and mother of his young daughter suddenly went missing. The obvious questions arise: why/how did Addison lose her memory? Is her new husband-to-be or old husband dangerous? Will she recover her memory and remember her old life? Stretching the limits of the reader’s suspension of disbelief, The Stranger in the Mirror entertains for the first half of the story until the plot gets a bit far beyond believable. An entertaining summer suspense read.

Legacy of Murder

This title is number 2 in the Kate Hamilton mysteries written by Connie Berry. Kate, an antiques dealer, travels to England to visit her daughter Christine, where she is interning at an old English mansion. The woman planning an exhibition at the mansion winds up murdered, and Kate steps in. But can she solve the murder of the young woman before the murderer strikes again? An enjoyable cozy mystery…

The Newcomer

Tanya warned her sister, Letty Carnahan, that if anything ever happened to her, Letty should take Tanya’s daughter Maya and run away with her. She also told her that the culprit would be her ex, Evan Wingfield, a slick real estate developer. So when Letty finds Tanya dead in her apartment, she grabs Maya and escapes to Florida. They find solace in a small motel community, where Letty finds work and daycare help for her young niece. But can she prove that Wingfield murdered her sister? With the help of a local cop and his mom, she sets out to trap him and prove herself innocent. Mary Kay Andrews has written a satisfying summer read; I would recommend this to mystery lovers who don’t mind some romance thrown in as well…

The Disappearing Act

Title: The Disappearing Act: A Novel, Author: Catherine Steadman

Catherine Steadman’s latest mystery did not outdo her previous titles. Steadman (an actress as well as author) has written a mystery set mostly in Los Angeles, CA. British actress, Mia Eliot, is sent to LA from London by her agent to audition for a part that may make her career. Looking for a change of scenery since her boyfriend of 5 years just broke up with her (by text!), Mia is eager for a change. While waiting to be called to read for the part, Mia meets another actress (Emily) in the waiting room who is going for the same part. Emily asks Mia to go ahead of her because she has to ‘feed the meter’ so she doesn’t get a ticket. Instead, Mia offers to go out and feed the meter herself. When she returns, Emily is gone. Mia reads next, but when she finishes Emily still hasn’t shown. This convoluted plot continues to become more mired in unbelievable twists as Mia searches for the missing Emily. While she doesn’t seem very heartbroken over the end of her relationship, Mia is determined to find out what happened to Emily. However, Steadman’s chain of events are bogged down in unimportant details and fail to engage the reader. While somewhat entertaining, The Disappearing Act ultimately is not worthwhile.