Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson // Book Review

Truly DeviousΒ (Truly Devious #1) byΒ Maureen JohnsonΒ 

Goodreads Rating: 4.04 / 5 Stars

My Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Genre:Β Young Adult, Mystery.

Recommend to: Anyone who loves a good mystery! This first book sets up for a bigger mystery but also involves a few mysteries itself.


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.

My Review

I absolutely love this book! It was a really intriguing and fun book to read. What makes it even better are the plot twists and mystery that slowly permeates every single moment and page of this book.

This is my first ever mystery and I am so very taken by this book. We are left with so many questions at the end of the book and the trilogy is set up as one long mystery with mini- mysteries unveiled in each book. The format of Truly Devious adds to the intrigue. There is a double plot where we follow both the original cold case of the disappearance and murder at Ellingham Academy, as well as Stevie Bell and her immersion into the world of murder and mayhem.

Stevie is an interesting character to follow especially since she sees and notices things that most wouldn’t. She is a brilliant detective but her awkward social skills make for some great moments. Stevie is brilliant and has this amazing way of looking at the world. Every person is a puzzle to be solved and figuring them out is what makes the world exciting.

This book is an easy read to get immersed and lost in. It’s the perfect book to get obsessed with. There are creepy moments and thanks to this book IΒ  lost a few nights of sleep. I adore the setting of this creepy old boarding school (secret tunnels and all).

The intense and thrilling plot of this story is compelling and brilliantly laid out for us. There are still many unsolved questions and so much to look forward to in Stevie Bells world.

Happy Reading !

Gizelle  ✨

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