Book Review – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Title – Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Author – Maureen Johnson

Genre – Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary

My Rating – 5/5

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Goodreads Link

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.

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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.

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And that’s all for today! Hope you have a great day! Until next time –

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