Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)
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.

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) Details

TitleTruly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 16th, 2018
PublisherHarperCollins
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Contemporary

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) Review

  • Emma Giordano
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED THIS BOOK. If you need a new YA mystery novel, this is the one for you! Truly Devious totally took me by surprise. I had no idea I would love this book as much as I did! Cw: murderI loved our main character, Stevie. I wish this book existed in high school so that I could have had a female protagonist interested in true crime to relate to. I feel Stevie is extremely competent, self-aware, and has a really great head on her shoulders. I also loved her best friends, Janelle – we need more b I LOVED THIS BOOK. If you need a new YA mystery novel, this is the one for you! Truly Devious totally took me by surprise. I had no idea I would love this book as much as I did! Cw: murderI loved our main character, Stevie. I wish this book existed in high school so that I could have had a female protagonist interested in true crime to relate to. I feel Stevie is extremely competent, self-aware, and has a really great head on her shoulders. I also loved her best friends, Janelle – we need more black girls who like girls in STEM fields in media, and Nate – he’s such an apathetic lil bean who I hope gets more development in the sequel. I wasn’t a crazy big fan of David (I guess he is considered the love interest? Truly Devious is FAR from a heavy romance story, but there is definite attraction). He just sort of weirded me out; Motives unclear half the time, sometimes annoying, sometimes charming. I can’t really feel out his character at this point, but I did enjoy him more towards the ending and I’m hopeful he’ll grown on me more in the future.I am not a huge fan of dual timeline books where it jumps from present to past with a completely different set of characters, but it worked well for this book. The scenes set in 1936 do not overtake the present story, but are a great addition to the story. It does not feel “info-dumpy”, rather, it is like reading two mysteries unfolding at once.I adore the mystery of the story. You truly CANNOT TELL who is “Truly Devious”, if the same killer has returned, or else how these two crimes are really connected! There are so many twists and turns and unanswered questions that you will be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how everything fits together.I will add, I do feel like the pacing was a bit slow at some points. There are not many significant plot points until about halfway through. That being said, I keep reminding myself that most thrillers are condensed into one book, whereas this will be a trilogy, so I understand the decision/need to have a more fleshed out beginning before diving into all the drama. I am anxiously anticipating book two and am extremely hopeful that things will be nonstop action from here.Truly Devious is truly amazing. It is a MUST READ. Book #2 is already going to the top of my most anticipated releases for 2019.
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    i swear, there is no better feeling in the world than getting to a big reveal in a murder mystery and being able to shout, ‘I KNEW IT!’maybe that makes the story too predictable and easy, but wow, what a confidence boost and what an enjoyable book! for a plot revolving around a murder, this was surprisingly light? the story had a very easy going and game-like feel to it. this was also a slow burn mystery (nothing really happens until about halfway in), but it was done in a really effective way w i swear, there is no better feeling in the world than getting to a big reveal in a murder mystery and being able to shout, ‘I KNEW IT!’maybe that makes the story too predictable and easy, but wow, what a confidence boost and what an enjoyable book! for a plot revolving around a murder, this was surprisingly light? the story had a very easy going and game-like feel to it. this was also a slow burn mystery (nothing really happens until about halfway in), but it was done in a really effective way where you didnt feel like the story was dragging. i was impressed and cant wait for the story to continue! 4 stars
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  • Kassidy
    January 1, 1970
    Um what?!?! I need book 2 right now. The end was such a teaser, things were just starting to come together. I need answers! Haha
  • April
    January 1, 1970
    That cliffhanger though.
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsI don't think I'm suppose to like this book. I mean I should like it and I did like it but I don't know why I liked it. The plot sounds great Stevie is a True Crime fanatic (something we share in common) who's bookcase is filled with the great detective novels, such as Sherlock and Poirot. She listens to True Crime podcast and is obsessed with the ID channel (again something we share in common) and hopes to become an FBI agent when she grows up. Stevie applies to and is accepted into El 3.5 StarsI don't think I'm suppose to like this book. I mean I should like it and I did like it but I don't know why I liked it. The plot sounds great Stevie is a True Crime fanatic (something we share in common) who's bookcase is filled with the great detective novels, such as Sherlock and Poirot. She listens to True Crime podcast and is obsessed with the ID channel (again something we share in common) and hopes to become an FBI agent when she grows up. Stevie applies to and is accepted into Ellington an exclusive private school with an infamous past. Stevie sets out to solve the mystery. That sounds like a great premise and it is but nothing really happens. We meet what felt like every student at the school(its a lot of people) and we get glimpses of the investigation into the mystery that surrounds the school and we get a brand new mystery that Stevie also investigates. It felt like both mysteries were B-Plots though. Truly Devious spends way more time on teen angst then on the murder mysteries that the book is allegedly about. I know what you're thinking It sounds like you hated this book, then why the 3.5 star rating? Because Truly Devious was fun! I never for one second thought about putting this book down. I enjoyed reading it. I got caught up in the atmosphere of Ellington Academy and I found Stevie's battle with anxiety completely believable. I have never suffered from anxiety but my mother did and sister does. The way Stevie described how an anxiety or panic attack feels is the way they described them. So for that alone I really enjoyed reading this book. Also the ending was great and I can't wait to read book 2. Since I have such conflicted feelings about this book I won't make any recommendations.Around the Year in 52 Books: A book Featuring a Murder.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't know this would have a sequel I AM SHOOK. With most books that switch back and forth between timelines, there is usually one I like more than the other. That wasn't the case here. Between present day and the past, we were presented TWO intriguing murder mysteries to solve. Though I didn't love the conclusion here and felt we weren't exactly given enough clues to solve the present day mystery until the very end, I literally gasped out loud no less than three times while reading, and that I didn't know this would have a sequel I AM SHOOK. With most books that switch back and forth between timelines, there is usually one I like more than the other. That wasn't the case here. Between present day and the past, we were presented TWO intriguing murder mysteries to solve. Though I didn't love the conclusion here and felt we weren't exactly given enough clues to solve the present day mystery until the very end, I literally gasped out loud no less than three times while reading, and that's for sure a five star book to me.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Schools may be famous for many things: academics, graduates, sports teams.They are not supposed to be famous for murders. Albert Ellingham created a school that knows no limits. He wanted learning to be a game for those who attended. Tuition is free and everyone learns at their own pace. It's a dream for anyone to attend. Although, shortly after it opened, Ellingham's wife and daughter were kidnapped and never found. A mysterious riddle listing ways to murder had appeared a week prior signed on Schools may be famous for many things: academics, graduates, sports teams.They are not supposed to be famous for murders. Albert Ellingham created a school that knows no limits. He wanted learning to be a game for those who attended. Tuition is free and everyone learns at their own pace. It's a dream for anyone to attend. Although, shortly after it opened, Ellingham's wife and daughter were kidnapped and never found. A mysterious riddle listing ways to murder had appeared a week prior signed only "Truly, Devious." It remains unsolved.Stevie Bell was accepted into Ellingham Academy with no other specialty than being a true-crime junkie. She has plans to solved the great Ellingham mystery that no one before her has been able to. Of course, no one else this adamant as solving the case has had access to the Academy grounds as a student. There's a cast of characters surrounding Stevie, most of which being her housemates. I wasn't exactly feeling a lot of the characters besides Stevie. She's got a good head on her shoulders, is inquisitive and smart. I do wish her anxiety had been displayed better instead of feeling like a passing detail. I spent the majority of the time trusting no one as I waited for the present-day mystery to, well, present itself. It's a little over 50% when we really get introduced to said mystery.The story flips back and forth between 1936 when the kidnapping occurs and present day. We don't get enough clues to solve either mystery on our own. At least, as of now that appears to be the case because all is not solved at the end. Things are still up in the air waiting to be solved.I prefer my mysteries to have some sort of conclusion, but this book is clearly the first of a series (as of right now, a trilogy). It's setting things up for both mysteries running throughout - one being in present day, the other set in the past in the 1930s - while also introducing us to the series' characters. And, of course, the setting. Also being a bit of a character within the novel as an extension of Albert Ellingham and the kind of person he was loving puzzles and games, so of course the boarding school grounds have hidden nooks, tunnels, hiding spots and is a maze in and of itself.I'm torn on if I liked this enough or am more bothered by the way the novels are split up. I would've liked a conclusion here to some extent. Instead, the mystery feels underdeveloped. I think I'll still read the second book because I'm intrigued enough to continue. I'd like to know what happened back in 1936 a bit more than I originally expected. Maybe this would've worked better as a standalone.
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this, but I feel like the audiobook was definitely the wrong way to go for me. It was too hard for me to keep details straight and I was mostly just confused. Definitely going to re-read this one in physical form before the next book comes out so I can be better prepared!
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  • Kristin Hackett (SuperSpaceChick)
    January 1, 1970
    That cliffhanger though
  • Alaina Meserole
    January 1, 1970
    I HATE CLIFFHANGERS PEOPLE!So when I went to the bookstore and saw this book I didn't even second guess when it landed in my hands and I handed over money like a robot buying books. It's like I woke up from my haze the next day and had no idea how many books I bought. I should probably stay away from book stores.. but we all know that would never happen. I might die!Okay so the beginning of Truly Devious,/I> was truly amazing. I was hooked instantly. It reminded me of so many previous books, I HATE CLIFFHANGERS PEOPLE!So when I went to the bookstore and saw this book I didn't even second guess when it landed in my hands and I handed over money like a robot buying books. It's like I woke up from my haze the next day and had no idea how many books I bought. I should probably stay away from book stores.. but we all know that would never happen. I might die!Okay so the beginning of Truly Devious,/I> was truly amazing. I was hooked instantly. It reminded me of so many previous books, movies, and shows and that's probably why I enjoyed it so much. The setting and the characters were pretty interesting and definitely kept me turning the pages. However, I definitely developed a ton of questions while reading this book.. and I feel like I didn't really the answers I was hoping for. I'm kind of pissed that I have to wait for the next book to see if I even get a glimpse of those answers.Speaking of characters, I loved Dottie, Stevie, and Nate. Dottie was a favorite at the beginning. Stevie was interesting. Then Nate was probably my favorite of them all. He was completely likable and relatable. I loved him so much. Now even though I liked these characters.. I still feel like I didn't really know them that well. I don't know.. it's probably weird. Just go with it.Then this book shoved so much mystery down my throat. People ending up dead basically everywhere and I instantly stopped trusting every damn character in this book. I just wanted to know who was killing people and if or when the next victim will show up. I felt like I was on a whirlwind mystery never ending roller coaster and I wanted off. I wanted answers people! Overall, it was an interesting book and definitely a page turner. It also had some flaws - like boring parts or the uneven pacing throughout the book. I will most definitely be getting the second book of this series. I need answers and I'm determined to find everything out.
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  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    It took me a whole to warm up to this murder mystery, but the ending is so danged good I can't wait for the second in the trilogy. Why is everything a trilogy !!!??Teen super sleuth Stevie gets into the elite Bellingham Academy on her letter alone which is about how much she wants to solve crimes. The school comes with its own kidnapping and murder and she knows all about it and wants to solve it. She is an oddball so of course I took to her right away and has never had too many friends and on t It took me a whole to warm up to this murder mystery, but the ending is so danged good I can't wait for the second in the trilogy. Why is everything a trilogy !!!??Teen super sleuth Stevie gets into the elite Bellingham Academy on her letter alone which is about how much she wants to solve crimes. The school comes with its own kidnapping and murder and she knows all about it and wants to solve it. She is an oddball so of course I took to her right away and has never had too many friends and on top of that her parents are of the conservative, traditional variety and wish their daughter was more the cheerleader, what should I wear to the prom type.She falls on her feet though and gradually begins to acclimate, but one of her housemates has been found dead, what is Stevie to do?
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI am a huge true crime fan, so I was all over this story. Love love loved Stevie and this cast of characters. She’s smart and maybe a bit odd and socially awkward, but I loved being in her head. The rest of the cast is just as equally intriguing and I immediately didn’t trust anyone. Plot wise, it’s captivating. The story is told in two threads: the story of Albert Ellingham, his family, and those events + the current timeline. It was an effective way to get the information without an i 4.5 starsI am a huge true crime fan, so I was all over this story. Love love loved Stevie and this cast of characters. She’s smart and maybe a bit odd and socially awkward, but I loved being in her head. The rest of the cast is just as equally intriguing and I immediately didn’t trust anyone. Plot wise, it’s captivating. The story is told in two threads: the story of Albert Ellingham, his family, and those events + the current timeline. It was an effective way to get the information without an info dump. The story kept me guessing until the very end, which is when I nearly threw my kindle. Everyone make way for an epic cliffhanger. Overall, I enjoyed the story and the characters. My main complaint is the last few pages of the last chapter. I was left throughly unsatisfied and would do horrible things for book two. **Huge thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Shaun Hutchinson
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed Truly Devious, but it wasn’t a complete story. There’s not a single story arc in this book that comes to a conclusion, and that’s frustrating as hell. The book simply ends mid plot. I should have known better because the same thing happened with the Shades of London series.
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  • Amelia
    January 1, 1970
    Full spoiler free view is now up. I talk about all the things I loved about it!!Link: https://amelianamora18.wixsite.com/am...
  • Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
    January 1, 1970
    Ughhhh cliffhangers are the worstI really enjoyed reading this, I have more questions than answers right now, and I need the next book ASAP pls I really loved the setting and Ellingham Academy and the flash backs were a brilliant touch!
  • Rincey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Was a solid 4 star book for me until that ending. Those last few pages will make it or break it for peopleWatch my full review: https://youtu.be/5rAqNG12JKM
  • Stephanie Anze
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsStephanie (aka Stevie) Bell just been admitted to the prestigious Ellingham Academy. Ellingham is a different sort of school where tuition is free, learning is a game and everyone learns at their own pace. Being a true crime junkie, Stevie is set on solving the kidnapping of Mrs. Ellingham and her daughter Alice, which happened shortly after Albert Ellingham opened the school in 1936. First though, she has to adapt to her new home and housemates, her work load and the apparent return of 2.5 starsStephanie (aka Stevie) Bell just been admitted to the prestigious Ellingham Academy. Ellingham is a different sort of school where tuition is free, learning is a game and everyone learns at their own pace. Being a true crime junkie, Stevie is set on solving the kidnapping of Mrs. Ellingham and her daughter Alice, which happened shortly after Albert Ellingham opened the school in 1936. First though, she has to adapt to her new home and housemates, her work load and the apparent return of 'Truly Devious' (the person responsible for the Ellingham's unsolved crime). Stevie is now in the midst of a crime, can she solve it?I had high expectations of this book but they were unwarranted. While I like the premise, the narrative simply did not deliver. Ellingham Academy is a home to bright students that excel in different areas. With inventors, artists and thinkers among its students, this academy is a hub of activity. But what Ellingham is most known for is the kidnapping of the wife and daughter of the founder. A riddle signed by 'Truly Devious' is sent to the Ellingham's home and a few days later the wife and daughter dissapear, never to be seen again. The school continued despite the crime and the case eventually went cold. Stevie is confident that she can solve the crime until 'Truly Devious' strikes again. Working with a past and present storyline, the novel brings the reader into the secluded school. I thought the murder set in the past was slightly better but as a whole found both murder mysteries underwhelming. The cliffhanger ending was not much better. I really wish Johnson would have provided more information regarding the first murder. As it was, the whole plot felt rather incomplete.Characterization also was lacking. While Sevie stands out, the rest of the cast seems to be there just for the sake of being there. The characters were not memorable and it was sometimes hard to tell them apart. It seems like a broad amount of themes were covered and none of them well enough. I thought the riddles and 'Truly Devious' was a good touch and added an eerieness to the narrative. Having said that, this book could use editng. There was too much going on and not enough going on at the same time, if that makes sense. I was never invested in this book. As for the sequel, not sure if I am tempted to continue on with this series. I am more annoyed at the ending than intrigued.
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  • Peter Monn
    January 1, 1970
    Omg!!!!! So good. But the ending. Literally screaming out loud. My full review will be on my booktube channel at http://Youtube.com/peterlikesbooks
  • Dayla
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reader copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewWHAT DID I JUST READ?! How did that ending happen? Vague answers, hints at something conclusive, but left with almost...nothing? I’m so confused and kind of pissed off. What did I just read? Was I truly waiting for a semi-decent conclusion when all I got was a “to be continued”? I get that it’s the first in a series, but seriously, what the actual living f*%# did I read? At least give us a decent conclusion! The bui I received an advanced reader copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewWHAT DID I JUST READ?! How did that ending happen? Vague answers, hints at something conclusive, but left with almost...nothing? I’m so confused and kind of pissed off. What did I just read? Was I truly waiting for a semi-decent conclusion when all I got was a “to be continued”? I get that it’s the first in a series, but seriously, what the actual living f*%# did I read? At least give us a decent conclusion! The build up was good and the main character had her intriguing oddities, but that conclusion knocked down my rating because wtf. I feel so cheated. I feel so damn cheated right now. I feel like this book—this whole series—could have been finished in a couple of more chapters. Man. I’m going to bed, I don’t have any more patience for this. Happy reading!
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  • Lily ☁️ {semi hiatus}
    January 1, 1970
    This book was intriguing. That cliffhanger, though? Not so much a cliff as a gentle slope. (rtc)Blog ¦ Bloglovin’ ¦ Tumblr ¦ Instagram*me: I don’t read books with sequels that I’ll have to wait more than a year for, do I look like I enjoy torturing myself?me [actually holds book #1 in my hands]: … never mind.🔎 buddy read with 🤓
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    lol is this the longest synopsis ever????UPDATED: I think they shortened the synopsis a little? I read this and there were definitely things I enjoyed, like the whole Ellingham mystique. But I'm sort of concerned about where things are going. And that reveal at the end was not related to anything I thought it would be.Read ALL my thoughts here: Jen Ryland Reviews Truly DeviousRead more of my reviews on JenRyland.com or check out my Bookstagram!I received a free advance copy of this book from th lol is this the longest synopsis ever????UPDATED: I think they shortened the synopsis a little? I read this and there were definitely things I enjoyed, like the whole Ellingham mystique. But I'm sort of concerned about where things are going. And that reveal at the end was not related to anything I thought it would be.Read ALL my thoughts here: Jen Ryland Reviews Truly DeviousRead more of my reviews on JenRyland.com or check out my Bookstagram!I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    “There was something there. She could feel it.Stevie had no fears of the dead. The living, however, sometimes gave her the creeps.” this book took me so surprise! I rarely read mysteries/thrillers, not really sure why. They just never appeal to me. But Truly Devious caught my attention, because of it's focus on solving a complex true crime cold case, the Ellingham family murders. Set at the prestigious Ellingham Academy, true crime fan Stevie Bell comes to the academy, determined to solve the c “There was something there. She could feel it.Stevie had no fears of the dead. The living, however, sometimes gave her the creeps.” this book took me so surprise! I rarely read mysteries/thrillers, not really sure why. They just never appeal to me. But Truly Devious caught my attention, because of it's focus on solving a complex true crime cold case, the Ellingham family murders. Set at the prestigious Ellingham Academy, true crime fan Stevie Bell comes to the academy, determined to solve the cold case once and for all. This involves discovering the truth behind an eerie letter threatening the murders, written by the mysterious identity who only goes by "Truly Devious". “There is nothing so serious as a game.” Truly Devious hit all the right notes for me, and it was so fun. It had the creep factor, a complex mystery that I couldn't piece together, and I seriously loved how the dual perspective functioned here. the setting flicks between the current day, and the night of the Ellingham murders and I found that SO interesting. I love True Crime, and how this blended what is interesting about unsolved cases with storytelling was really great. And like I said, this book was so fun. I just had an absolute ball listening to it, trying to piece together the mystery and that counts for something too. And the creep factor was REAL. The letter left my the killer gave me the chills. “What you lack in any investigation is time. With every passing hour, evidence slips away. Crime scenes are compromised by people and the elements. Things are moved, altered, smeared, shifted. Organisms rot. Wind blows dust and contaminants. Memories change and fade. As you move away from the event, you move away from the solution.” I think one of the main things that I had to detract points for on this book was the character work. I would have liked to see more intense characters then what we got. I didn't mind them, but they all just felt like characters who exist to move the plot. I didn't really find myself invested in any of them, and I didn't feel like they leaped off the page. But on the other hand, I did really like Stevie Bell as a protagonist! Her interest in true crime and her kind of awkward demeanour was relatable and her interested and determination to solve the case was really cool. Diversity wise, I will also mention Stevie takes medication for her anxiety and her best friend Janelle is a lesbian with a girlfriend who uses they/them pronouns. I also thought the romance could have been toned back just a smidge. I actually quite liked the romances but there was one section of the book where it kind of eclipsed the plot and that was a little annoying. I also have mixed feelings about the end. While I loved that it ended on a cliffhanger because I LOVE THEM, and I love that this set book two up so well, I also think more could have been done to wrap up some events and mysteries in THIS book. However, I didn't really think this book felt like pure set up which is good, and I can tell Maureen Johnson is building up for book two already which is so exciting. I actually love when books carry on plots throughout the trilogy rather than self-contained plots for each book, so ultimately I liked the ending but I just didn't LOVE it because things were a little rushed at the end. what shall we use?we can’t decide.just like you cannot run or hidehaha. anyway I had SUCH fun reading this and I am just so surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Mystery really isn't my thing but this book got me HOOKED and I am DYING for the next book. I want to know what happened so much. I feel like this really had that true crime appeal like it really captured that kind of fun feeling you get when you read true crime where you're simultaneously horrified and fascinated. So if you like true crime cold cases I recommend this (FELLOW BUZZFEED UNSOLVED FANS I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE)
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Stephanie "Stevie" Bell is very excited when she is accepted to Ellingham Academy, an elite private school in Vermont for free-thinking junior and senior high school students. Ellingham was founded by wealthy Albert Ellingham as a place where students can learn in their own ways, and where puzzle and riddles take center stage. The school became especially infamous when Albert's wife, Iris, and young daughter, Alice, were kidnapped not long after it opened. Shortly before the kidnapping, Albert r Stephanie "Stevie" Bell is very excited when she is accepted to Ellingham Academy, an elite private school in Vermont for free-thinking junior and senior high school students. Ellingham was founded by wealthy Albert Ellingham as a place where students can learn in their own ways, and where puzzle and riddles take center stage. The school became especially infamous when Albert's wife, Iris, and young daughter, Alice, were kidnapped not long after it opened. Shortly before the kidnapping, Albert received a mocking riddle threatening of murder in all sorts of forms via the mail. Now that Stevie is at Ellingham, her goal is to solve Iris and Alice's cold case. A true crime junkie, she knows everything about it and believes that being on the scene is the missing piece she needs to put everything together. But first she needs to get used to being away from home, befriend her eclectic group of housemates, and then deal with a shocking new crime that rocks Ellingham to its core. I really love Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series, so I was really excited to see she had a new mystery series coming out. It didn't disappoint. This was a really fun, fascinating book featuring a great, feisty heroine in Stevie Bell. I fell for Stevie immediately, with her awkward demeanor and allegiance to old-school detective novels. Johnson has done a great job in creating a well-rounded character in Stevie, who really shines in this novel. The intersecting mysteries will suck you in immediately. I basically wanted to ignore work and responsibilities and keep reading this one. The novel tells the book mainly from Steve's point of view, but we also get bits and pieces from the past--various narrators, case notes, etc. It's quite effective, and you'll find yourself intrigued by the Alice/Iris kidnapping, as well as the current tragedy that befalls Ellingham. Steve's housemates at Ellingham are diverse and a bit crazy--they are a lot to sort through, but interesting nonetheless. This book will definitely keep you guessing, that's for sure. The cliffhanger ending is crazy--be prepared that this is a trilogy and that everything isn't wrapped up tidily! Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this one, and I cannot wait to read the next book! I love Stevie--I felt such a pull to this plucky detective, who owns no jewelry, wears a lot of black, and can't dance. The book also treats mental illness in a great, matter-of-fact way, with its honest portrayal of Stevie's anxiety and panic attacks. Everything combines into a fun, interesting, suspenseful, page-turner that will leave you wanting more. 4+ stars. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram
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  • Fuzaila
    January 1, 1970
    What the actual f*** was this??? 😡😡😡😡 I wasted a whole night before an exam on this book which ended nowhere???? I'm pissed and I donot usually become pissed. 😤😤----------------------review to come if i survive my pissed-y state by passing my exam and gobbling a pound of chocolate cake
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  • Christian
    January 1, 1970
    !MISSING!The answers to the endless amount of questions I have after finishing this book.They were last seen I have no idea where.Any help is greatly appreciated and of utmost importance.RTC (unless it goes missing too.)
  • Xavier (CharlesXplosion)
    January 1, 1970
    A well-written mystery that clearly has more to offer, but chooses to unwisely save it for its subsequent sequels.
  • elle ☼
    January 1, 1970
    all the stars | ok.... w h a t w a s t h a t e n d i n g??? i’m like speechless right now? wow alright first things first: i genuinely, wholeheartedly loved and enjoyed this book. for me, this book just became better with each chapter. i really love forensic/criminal psychology (((i’m literally going to college for that))) and seeing stevie be obsessed with that as well was a first for me!! i loved stevie as a character, and even though she had some faults i felt like it just added to her develo all the stars | ok.... w h a t w a s t h a t e n d i n g??? i’m like speechless right now? wow alright first things first: i genuinely, wholeheartedly loved and enjoyed this book. for me, this book just became better with each chapter. i really love forensic/criminal psychology (((i’m literally going to college for that))) and seeing stevie be obsessed with that as well was a first for me!! i loved stevie as a character, and even though she had some faults i felt like it just added to her development as a character. all the supporting characters had their own unique personalities, and the dynamic between the relationships between said characters was very entertaining to read about. i looooved the plot, like so much. it’s almost like maureen johnson looked inside my brain and found my absolute dream scenario. honestly i’d love to be in stevie’s place?? ugh this book was so freakin’ good. highly recommend if you like murder mysteries or a boarding school setting!!
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  • Zoe Wilson (yerabooknerdzoe)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5I loved this book! It was a bit slow to start, it took about 100 pages for me to really get into it, which is why it's not a 5-star book for me. If the rest of the series continues like this book after those first 100 pages, it'll be a 5-star trilogy for sure. I have such high hopes for the other books now. I'm a big fan of how there are two mysteries to solve, not just the one. The fact that there's a connection between them despite there being an 80-year difference between the crimes make 4.5/5I loved this book! It was a bit slow to start, it took about 100 pages for me to really get into it, which is why it's not a 5-star book for me. If the rest of the series continues like this book after those first 100 pages, it'll be a 5-star trilogy for sure. I have such high hopes for the other books now. I'm a big fan of how there are two mysteries to solve, not just the one. The fact that there's a connection between them despite there being an 80-year difference between the crimes makes it even better. I knew there would be a cliffhanger ending before I got the book, and it has me waiting so. impatiently. for the next one! You can't just drop a realization like that and leave us hanging! It's devious. (See what I did there? I'll just see myself out.)
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  • Sue (Hollywood News Source)
    January 1, 1970
    I've never really liked any of Johnson's previous books so I was a little unsure about Truly Devious. However, I wanted to like it because the premise is all about MURDER! and boarding school which are two of my favorite things. I anticipated the quirkiness of the characters and it did worked. The characters are enjoyable. The pacing is just right, the narrative switches to present to casual flashback every now and then. I didn’t anticipate the big twists, it will surprise readers. My favorite t I've never really liked any of Johnson's previous books so I was a little unsure about Truly Devious. However, I wanted to like it because the premise is all about MURDER! and boarding school which are two of my favorite things. I anticipated the quirkiness of the characters and it did worked. The characters are enjoyable. The pacing is just right, the narrative switches to present to casual flashback every now and then. I didn’t anticipate the big twists, it will surprise readers. My favorite thing is the prospering romance, I know it will be dramatic as the series move forward. This is music to my ears.Overall: this is a solid book. I’m truly looking forward for the sequel especially since it ended in a cliffhanger note.
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  • bran (brandonthebookaddict)
    January 1, 1970
    a YA mystery/thriller?? Hmmmmmm......we'll see...
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