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Truly Devious

By Maureen Johnson
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

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.

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018 * Junior Library Guild Selection * 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * 2019 ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018 * Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction 2018 * 2018 Nerdy Book Club Young Adult Winner * Seventeen Best YA Book of 2018 * Lincoln Award Nominee * 2020-2021 South Carolina Book Awards Nominee * 2020 Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Winner

1606 Reviews

Surprised Face with Open Mouth“WHAT! Huh? I think I'm missing like a quarter of my book. I need the second one. My brain is discombobulated. I don't know what I just read. Its faced pace I can give you that. The mystery (mysteries?) Are different, you'll need the second book. I'm so confused.”
Multi-layered charactersEasy to readFast-pacedImmersive settingComicalThought-provoking
Slightly Smiling Face“Was easy to get into, reels you right in. So many characters I had a hard time bouncing around to remember them all, but eventually did. As you are reading it switches from the present to the past which keeps you on your toes! It gets SO good around chapter 15 you don’t want to put the book down. Excited to continue this series.”
Diverse charactersLikable charactersEasy to readTwistyImmersive settingComing of ageViolence
Thinking Face“I mean, it was fine? I get that the first book was simply an introduction to the rest of the series, and I've heard that the other two are way better than this one, but...either way, i got bored!! ): the final plot twist was not even that big, nothing gets solved and i feel like the plot didn't move or develop in the last 200 pages. Meh, I thought i was gonna like It more, BUT the characters were SOO good and fun. Stevie is my babygirl and Nate the love of my life.”
Diverse charactersLikable charactersEasy to readFast-pacedImmersive settingDarkPredictableUnsatisfying plot
Slightly Smiling Face“Even if I feel like the mystery on this book isn’t that surprising or thrilling, I really liked the paced, the characters and the way it was written because it made me feel addicted to the story, not wanting to stop for a second and making me pick up the second one right after I finished this one. Nate, I love you.”
Diverse charactersEasy to readAddictiveFast-pacedDark settingViolencePredictable
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersDescriptive writingEasy to readSuspensefulDark settingRealistic settingUnsatisfying ending

About Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and the Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at maureenjohnsonbooks.com. 

Other books by Maureen Johnson

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