Book Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Published by: HarperCollins
Genre: YA, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
My Rating: 4.25/5
New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.
If you are a YA and mystery fan, or if you have grown up reading Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, pick it up soon! So many references to their books 🙂
This is the first in the trilogy and what mind-blowing book it was!
The whole story revolves around Ellingham Academy, which is like a school but for exceptional students who want to pursue their dreams along with free education. A magnificent school in a very secluded place over mountains – built by Albert Ellingham, the founder. But then things are not going well over here. In 1936, when the school year was started, there was a kidnapping of the founders’ wife and daughter. A few days later, the wife and a student were found dead at different places. The daughter is still missing and unknown to anyone. A huge leap and now they are in the 21st century, and the protagonist Stevie is admitted to the school because of her interest in solving the mystery behind these killings and kidnappings. She is addicted to everything revolving around crime and detectives. She loves reading and going around solving them. As she starts working on the Ellingham mystery murder case, a student gets killed and then there’s more.
The rest of the story deals with her solving these murders and getting hold of the responsible person. As it proceeds, the story grows more interesting and there are twists and turns which keep you hooked on to it! It ends on a cliffhanger, and I need book 2 in this series!
I would totally totally recommend it!