Title – Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)
Author – Maureen Johnson
Genre – Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary
My Rating – 5/5
Author Maureen Johnson weaves a tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a new series.
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.
I’m torn between wishing I’d read this one earlier, while glad I didn’t because now I can start the sequel immediately! Full 5 stars!
Truly Devious has a very Mallory Towers meets Agatha Christie vibe. Stevie is an amateur detective and quite an interesting protagonist. The plot of the book however, is even more so. I loved how the reader got tidbits of the past crimes as well as the present plot piece by piece because it made me just fly through the book! I was absolutely enthralled by it!
This book probably played right into all my interests and that’s maybe why I enjoyed it so much. I’m a 20 year old who loves mysteries so this was right up my alley. I definitely recommend it to readers my age. After that amazing cliffhanger, I really need to read the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it.
As for the story, there is just the right amount of suspense and intrigue and I loved the writing style. If I had one complaint however, it would be that the characters were a little lacking in detail. While they were diverse and interesting enough, I just didn’t quite feel too connected to them. The only character that I was following with careful interest was Stevie herself.
Overall, Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.
And that’s all for today! Hope you have a great day! Until next time –