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Truly Devious: A Mystery by [Johnson, Maureen]
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Truly Devious: A Mystery Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in Truly Devious (2 Book Series)

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Length: 432 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Stevie Bell is a dyed-in-the-wool true-crime buff. And what better place to deepen her understanding than at Ellingham Academy, the Vermont private school founded in the 1930s by wealthy eccentric Albert Ellingham? Partly because the custom courses of study are tailored to students' passion—writing, engineering, film, math—but also because the school was the scene of a notorious crime not long after it opened: Albert Ellingham's wife and daughter were kidnapped, ostensibly for ransom, and a student was killed. His wife's body was found eventually, but his daughter, Alice, never was. Stevie plans to solve the case. But when a classmate is killed, everything changes. There is a lot to love here. Stevie is a smart, relatable, self-aware protagonist. The cast is racially diverse and includes teens on various parts of the gender, sexuality, and neurotypical spectrums. The setting is fully realized, and the adults are as well characterized as the students. Johnson excellently sets up both mysteries as well as Ellingham's love of puzzles, riddles, and secret passageways, but very little is resolved at the end of this series launch. VERDICT Fans of puzzles, boarding school stories, and true crime will tear through this book and love every minute, but those who are easily frustrated by cliff-hangers may want to wait until more books in the series are available.—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

Review

“The Agatha Christie-like ecosystem pairs with lacerating contemporary wit, and alternating past and present scenes makes for a multilayered, modern detective story.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Jumping between past and present, Johnson’s novel is deliciously atmospheric, with a sprawling cast of complex suspects/potential victims, surprising twists, and a dash of romance. As in her Shades of London books, Johnson remains a master at combining jittery tension with sharp, laugh-out-loud observations.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Johnson deftly twists two mysteries together—Stevie’s investigation is interspersed with case files and recollections from the Ellington kidnapping—and the result is a suspenseful, attention-grabbing mystery with no clear solution. The versatile Johnson is no stranger to suspense, and this twisty thriller will leave plenty of readers anxious for more.” (Booklist)

“The story raises more questions than answers, leaving readers hoping Johnson has another entry up her clever sleeves. A classic mystery that would make Dame Agatha proud.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Agatha Christie meets Riverdale in Maureen Johnson’s latest, which offers two gripping mysteries rolled into one. Truly Devious adds a modern flair to that delicious classic mystery novel-reading experience in which every passage seems rife with potential suspects and clues.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Stevie Bell is a dyed-in-the-wool true-crime buff…a smart, relatable, self-aware protagonist. Fans of puzzles, boarding school stories, and true crime will tear through this book and love every minute.” (School Library Journal)

“Told in alternating chapters, Johnson’s finely tuned plot effectively employs classical mystery tropes while maintaining a thoroughly modern sensibility. Stevie’s quirky, ragtag bunch of new friends crosses sexuality and class lines, providing teen readers with a wealth of characters to connect with.” (Horn Book Magazine)

“Remember the first time reading Harry Potter and knowing it was something special? There’s that same sense of magic in the introduction of teen Sherlock-in-training Stevie Bell. Parallel mysteries unfold with cleverly written dialogue, page-turning brilliance and a young sleuth just as captivating as Hercule Poirot.” (USA Today (four stars))

“Johnson quickly sets the game afoot, skillfully introducing a Clue-like set of characters, laying out various motives, and hinting at long held secrets. There’s a delicious slow-burn element to the locked-room mystery in Stevie’s present, while the chapters on the kidnappings read like a true crime novel.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“An intricately plotted, compulsively readable novel that explores not only fascinating crimes but also the mysteries of anxiety, the creative process, contemporary fame, and so much else.” (John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down)

Product details

  • File Size: 3348 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 16, 2018)
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2018
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07252X6ZH
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,321 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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