Book Review : Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

This book completely took me off guard with its story and the worst part is that it ends at such a crucial point that to call it a cliff hanger is undermining its gravity. I am pretty sure that it can’t be possibly be me who felt that the book ends at a really inappropriate juncture. Truly devious has thus justified its name.

Truly Devious Official Synopsis

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.

Truly Devious RWAT Take

The book is amazing. I loved the whole story and the way it was narrated and treated. It had such a good pace and flow of events. Each event had a proper start and gradual transition to the next event which made it smoother and exciting to read.

To be honest the hype that the book builds is massive. It just keeps building and building until it starts killing you with all the buildup. And if you think you can get away by reading the last page …. then yeah good luck with that .. it will Only confuse you more. But trust me that adds to the beauty of the book and the whole plot


Truly devious is indeed devious in its plot and they way it leaves you hungry for the sequel and the way things gradually build up that you can’t get off the book so easily. It is amazing in its narration and flow.

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