mystery · suspense · Young adult

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson ★★★★★

Blurb; 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.

My review; This is book one of four it is a great start to the series, introducing the characters, the setting and the past to the whole story. Welcome to Ellingham Academy set in a remote part of Vermont this is not a normal school. This is a free school for the gifted.

Meet main character Stevie she knows all about the past crimes of this school and the kidnapping and that’s why she got into the school she is determined to solve the mystery after all these years. But the past can soon turn into the present and when a deadly incident happens in the present she plays detective again. She is good at what she can do. Brilliant character. We meet her housemates along the way. A few dodgy characters there.

This is a young adult mystery which is full of suspense. It is gripping, fast paced and a easy read to devour. I am so glad I finally got around to reading this series. Its brilliant. Highly recommend. I cannot wait to dive into book two already especially after that huge cliffhanger. Grr. A well deserved five stars. A must read.

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