Where do you look for someone who's never really there?
The Truly Devious case-an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936-has consumed Stevie Bell for years. It's the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate Hayes Major was murdered, and though she identified his killer, her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say.
Stevie's willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be with her friends, and solve the case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, the guy she's conflicted about at all times, and the guy who lied about his identity-Edward King's son. But larger issues are at play. Was Hayes's death really solved Where did his murderer hide away to What's the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair.
The Ellingham case isn't just a piece of history-it's a live wire into the present. The path to the truth has more twists and turns than Stevie can imagine, and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson's second novel in the Truly Devious series, someone will pay for the truth with their life.
About the Author
Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, but soon ran off to New York City to study writing and drama at Columbia University. Along the way, she served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, worked in a bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside five tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical. She is the author of The Key to the Golden Firebird and The Bermudez Triangle.
You can visit Maureen online at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.
"Jumping between past and present, Johnson's novel is deliciously atmospheric, with a sprawling cast of complex suspects/potential victims, surprising twists, and a dash of romance. Johnson remains a master at combining jittery tension with sharp, laugh-out-loud observations."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Johnson deftly twists two mysteries together-Stevie's investigation is interspersed with case files and recollections from the Ellington kidnapping-and the result is a suspenseful, attention-grabbing mystery with no clear solution. The versatile Johnson is no stranger to suspense, and this twisty thriller will leave plenty of readers anxious for more."
"The story raises more questions than answers, leaving readers hoping Johnson has another entry up her clever sleeves. A classic mystery that would make Dame Agatha proud."
"Stevie Bell is a dyed-in-the-wool true-crime buff. There is a lot to love here. Fans of puzzles, boarding school stories, and true crime will tear through this book and love every minute."
School Library Journal
"Told in alternating chapters, Johnson's finely tuned plot effectively employs classical mystery tropes while maintaining a thoroughly modern sensibility. Stevie's quirky, ragtag bunch of new friends crosses sexuality and class lines, providing teen readers with a wealth of characters to connect with."
Horn Book Magazine