Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson
The Hand on the Wall, the third book in the Truly Devious series, by Maureen Johnson releases on Tuesday the 21st and we are thrilled to be a part of this blog tour and share with you a guest post where the author talks about a real-live mystery she wishes was solved!
Be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway!
The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)by Maureen Johnson
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
on January 21, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Bookshop, IndieBound, Audiobook through LibroFM, iTunes, Book Depository, Amazon
New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the witty and pulse-pounding conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years.
Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .
She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.
At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect.
The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.
Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.
In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.
Real Life Mystery Maureen Wishes Was Solved
As trite as it may sound, I’m going with Jack the Ripper. The name means Victorian England. It means foggy streets, and carriages, and the glint of a silver knife. It was a story I was fascinated by as a child. It was a real life mystery, like in the books. There’s something almost romantic about Jack. This, when you think about it, is one of the most disturbing things possible. It would be exactly like saying there’s something romantic about Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. The fifth murder of the Ripper series, the murder of Mary Kelly, is still considered one of the worst crime scenes in English history.
The real mystery is—why is this man famous? He murdered women who barely registered on the Victorian social scale. He worked in East London, a place that was rife with violence. Terrible things happened there many times, every day. It genuinely does not make sense that this man should be an object of interest for over a hundred years.
The answer might be found in an incredibly boring fact. Up until 1855, there was a stamp tax on newspapers in England, making them far too expensive for many people to buy. Once that tax was abolished in that year, there was a surge in activity. Now everyone could afford a paper. One of the papers that popped up was called The Star, and the Star knew a good story when it saw one. Jack the Ripper was a creation of the media. Yes, there was a Whitechapel murderer, but truth be told, no one quite knows how many people he killed. It could have been four, or six, or more. (The canonical five are the five most likely victims, bearing certain signature injuries.) The publishers of The Star newspaper first saw the huge potential in the story, pumping it daily, adding frightening drawings. They were likely the ones who coined the name Jack the Ripper.
Jack the Ripper is a story based on fact, but the lines between fiction and reality are blurry. The Scotland Yard case files are surprisingly paltry. Almost no evidence is still available for examination. The culprit is most assuredly dead. But what we have left is the fear, so carefully cultivated by the editors of that newspaper. The fear is so well drawn, it doesn’t die. Jack the Ripper became part of a collective imagination.
After 123 years, people are still trying to catch Jack the Ripper. The investigation has never stopped, not once. Even though this guy is clearly dead, people are still trying to find him. Jack the Ripper has armies of people investigating his case, filling in the gaps in the files, recreating the scenes. And since someone solves the case every year or so, there’s always a documentary to watch, another story to tell. People have been giving Jack the Ripper the Wikipedia treatment since 1888.
It is likely impossible to solve the case, but if it somehow were solved, it would shed a lot of light on how we tell these kinds of stories—what the Jack the Rippers mean to us. And to be fair, it would be a tremendous feat of investigation. If we could solve Jack, presumably any cold case could be solved.
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