The prestigious Ellingham Academy only accepts the best. You don’t just have to be bright; you have be exceptional. The school was created by Albert Ellingham in his remote Vermont mansion. He strongly believed that learning should be a game and developed a school that reflected his beliefs. Tragedy struck in the early days of the school when Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter were kidnapped and later found dead. The kidnapper left taunting clues and seemed to be playing a twisted game of their own. The Ellingham became one of the great mysteries of the 20th century.
Fast forward to present day and Stevie Bell is going to Ellingham Academy. Her main motivation for even applying to the academy is to solve this cold case, but Stevie gets more than she bargained for. Death has come back to Ellingham Academy and Stevie has another mystery to solve.
The mysteries of “Truly Devious” are told in alternating chapters. The story switches between flashbacks to the Ellingham kidnapping and present day. Both stories are gripping and fresh. I was concerned they might be disjointed switching back and forth, but Maureen Johnson weaves them together flawlessly.
“Truly Devious” is fantastic YA mystery, especially you enjoy true crime. It hits all the right notes from a diverse cast of characters to an engrossing story. Highly recommended.