Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson
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.
I know, it’s another mystery book, but autumn is just so perfect for mystery thrillers! I picked this book up as I liked the blurb but LOVED the title. I didn’t realise at the time that it was the first in a trilogy, but was delighted to stay in Stevie’s world a little longer. The two interwoven mysteries of this first book dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell continues her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three. Great setting, unusual characters and a more realistic protagonist than usual.