Truly Devious: A Mystery

Written by:
Maureen Johnson
Narrated by:
Kate Rudd

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2018
10 hours 13 minutes
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
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Gina H.

Fun read! This title was recommended to me and I'm glad I added it to my reading list. The beginning seemed a bit less developed, the narrator slightly robotic, but I'm glad I didn't judge the book by its beginning. I soon appreciated the narrator, too. What made this for me was the narrative voice and tone of the main character. Her character arc was really well done, as is the plot line. The setting of the school, the cold case intrigue, the crossover of Stevie's personal struggles and her ambitions kept me engaged to the end.

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I enjoyed this book a lot . It ended so abruptly. Can’t wait to enjoy the next two . Great narration

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