Mystery, Mystery, a Book in Your Hand


“Truly Devious”, written by Maureen Johnson, truly excites. There are so many different ways things could turn out, meaning you can’t get tired of its mysterious plotline. This book involves so many new pieces of information that you can’t even imagine what is going to happen next. “Truly Devious” takes you on a journey of mystery, adventure, and, of course, that enigmatic, “to be continued…”. Without those three components, this book would not be the intricate, extraordinary murder-mystery it is.

Ellingham Academy used to be “a place where learning is a game.” That is what the founder once said. Twentieth-century millionaire, Albert Ellingham, established a private school stocked with extra fun. But that fun dwindled soon after the place opened in 1936. Ellingham’s wife, Iris, and daughter, Alice, got kidnapped. There was only one scrap of evidence: a creepy riddle listing 11 ways to murder somebody. It was signed with the pseudonym, “Truly, Devious.” And the case still hasn’t been solved, after years.

17-year-old Stevie Bell is a crime-lover, a true sleuth. She wants to be the one to solve this daunting mystery, so she is, of course, excited when she applies to get into Ellingham Academy. To be accepted into the school, you must have a creative side to you. Stevie’s is solving mysteries. She is admitted to the school and meets some other people who might just help her crack this enigma.

Steve’s cabin holds home to some other strange kids. They include an inventor, an artist, a coder, a writer, and, perhaps the most unusual of them all, an actor. All six of them begin to trust in each other, but, when a devastating appearance of Truly Devious shocks, new possibilities arise for Stevie and her coterie of housemates.

“Truly Devious” is such an amazing book. Its plot twists are more like plot whirls. It is like magic how it is written, and you can hardly put it down (unless you get creeped out by its figurative wording and development of the story). I do wish, though, that there was a little more detail when Johnson explains things. There are two places in particular that I was confused. I didn’t know whether I had missed a part or what, but, when I re-read, a page, I figured out that it wasn’t explained properly.

“Truly Devious” is a must-read book that will leave you thinking about what happens. I definitely recommend reading this book, however, you should only read it if you are age 12 and above. I say this because there are a lot of bad words in it. The concepts in the book are also harsher and harder to grasp for younger kids. This epic exploit made it to my list of favorite books.