Death at Morning House

by Maureen Johnson

On Sale: 08/06/2024

Death at Morning House

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Death at Morning House

by Maureen Johnson

On Sale: 08/06/2024

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About the Book

From the bestselling author of the Truly Devious books, Maureen Johnson, comes a new stand-alone YA about a teen who uncovers a mystery while working as a tour guide on an island and must solve it before history repeats itself.

The fire wasn’t Marlowe Wexler’s fault. Dates should be hot, but not hot enough to warrant literal firefighters. Akilah, the girl Marlowe has been in love with for years, will never go out with her again. No one dates an accidental arsonist.

With her house-sitting career up in flames, it seems the universe owes Marlowe a new summer job, and that’s how she ends up at Morning House, a mansion built on an island in the 1920s and abandoned shortly thereafter. It’s easy enough, giving tours. Low risk of fire. High chance of getting bored talking about stained glass and nut cutlets and Prohibition.

Oh, and the deaths. Did anyone mention the deaths?

Maybe this job isn’t such a gift after all. Morning House has a horrific secret that’s been buried for decades, and now the person who brought her here is missing.

All it takes is one clue to set off a catastrophic chain of events. One small detail, just like a spark, could burn it all down—if someone doesn’t bury Marlowe first.

Critical Praise

"Johnson’s signature mix of wit and mystery shines in this compelling sapphic thriller. The secluded island setting—which is described to Marlowe as 'Death Disney World'—ratchets up suspense as narration deftly alternates between Marlowe’s self-deprecating reflections and flashbacks from 1932; the queer romance subplot adds warmth and depth." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Johnson’s latest juxtaposes Marlowe’s clever, funny first-person voice with chapters about a mysterious historical family. Compelling mysteries unfurl in the past and the present. Marlowe serves as an anchor amid the many contemporary characters who seem like they may be deceiving her, keeping readers guessing. An engaging and expansive mystery." — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for NINE LIARS: "The exploration of the importance of friendship adds emotional vulnerability to this book, which has a well-developed sense of place and features the series’ signature humor and layered mystery elements. Immersive and genre-savvy." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A scintillating mystery. Johnson delivers a meticulously crafted fair-play mystery that gratifies as a standalone while also forwarding the richly textured characters’ arcs, a treat for fans of the series. Distinctly written flashbacks to 1995 pepper the present-day narrative, creating resonance and investing readers in Stevie’s case. Stevie cues as white; the supporting cast is intersectionally diverse." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"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."  — School Library Journal

Praise for THE BOX IN THE WOODS: "Johnson’s hallmark charming humor and lovable characters provide a robust foundation for another cracking mystery, this time ingeniously working with summer camp and locked room mystery tropes. Stevie’s relationship with her lifelong anxiety is particularly well portrayed. A fantastic stand-alone mystery companion revisits a much-loved sleuth." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"While fans of Johnson's Truly Devious trilogy (and there are many) will undoubtedly be eager for this spinoff, Stevie's summertime exploit both stands alone and adds compelling layers to the established characters—an impressive feat. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Johnson builds on the success of her NYT-bestselling Truly Devious series with this standalone spinoff that blends mystery and horror conventions in a summer-camp setting—perfectly timed for summertime campfires."  — Booklist (starred review)

"Johnson gleefully takes a stab at the slasher movie trope by sending her teen detective on a cold case at a summer camp. This satisfying standalone mystery will delight fans of teen horror flicks and true-crime documentaries, as well as those who prefer their mysteries wrapped up after one volume. Here’s hoping this highly entertaining volume isn’t the last we hear from Stevie Bell."  — Horn Book Magazine

Praise for TRULY DEVIOUS: “Be still, my Agatha-Christie-loving beating heart.”  — Bustle

“Jumping between past and present, Johnson’s novel is deliciously atmospheric, with a sprawling cast of complex suspects/potential victims, surprising twists, and a dash of romance. As in her Shades of London books, Johnson remains a master at combining jittery tension with sharp, laugh-out-loud observations.”  — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Remember the first time reading Harry Potter and knowing it was something special? There’s that same sense of magic in the introduction of teen Sherlock-in-training Stevie Bell. Parallel mysteries unfold with cleverly written dialogue, page-turning brilliance and a young sleuth just as captivating as Hercule Poirot.” — USA Today (four stars)

Praise for THE VANISHING STAIR: “In this second . . . installment, Johnson gives and she takes away: a few major mysteries are satisfying solved, but other long-standing riddles remain tantalizingly indecipherable, and several new ones come into play by the enigmatic end. Readers, hang tight: there’s one more round to come, and if the signs are right, it’ll be to die for.”  — Booklist

"Ramps up the intrigue. Throughout this volume, Johnson's compelling would-be Sherlock proves to be as bad at personal relationships as she is adept at solving mysteries. Teen angst soars as Johnson delightfully conjures up more nefarious deeds from the mountain mist." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Take it from the world’s most impatient reader: If the Truly Devious series is basically one long mystery book, The Vanishing Stair is a middle part so enjoyable you won’t even want to skip to the end.”  — Entertainment Weekly

Praise for THE HAND ON THE WALL: "The final, riveting chapter of the Truly Devious murder series. Throughout this intricately woven, fast-paced whodunit, Johnson demonstrates how proximity to wealth and power can mold and bend one's behavior, whether with good or—here largely—devious intent. The brainy secondary characters' quirky talents and interests complement Stevie's sleuthing skills; . . . they include diversity in socioeconomic background, mental health challenges, physical disability, and sexual orientation. A richly satisfying, Poirot-like ending for Johnson's inspired and inspiring teen sleuth." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In this hotly anticipated trilogy finale, Johnson pulls out all the stops, filling the thrillingly nimble narrative with classic mystery conventions. A striking foray into an examination of what mysteries can ever truly be solved, and a satisfying send-off for a series that will be missed."  — Booklist

"This will be essential reading for the many fans of the first two books. This trilogy ender is fun, satisfying, and a genuine treat for teens and adult mystery fans."  — School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063255951
  • ISBN 10: 0063255952
  • Imprint: HarperTeen
  • On Sale: 08/06/2024
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
  • BISAC2 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
  • BISAC3 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century

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