by Maureen Johnson
Published by HarperCollins
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Mysteries & Detective Stories
Buy on Amazon
New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller!
In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel in the Truly Devious series, there are more twists and turns than Stevie Bell can imagine. No answer is given freely, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.
The Truly Devious case—an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936—has consumed Stevie for years. It’s the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.
Stevie’s willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious 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, and the guy who lied about his identity—Edward King’s son.
But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? 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.
* Junior Library Guild Selection * Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books of 2019 * Hypable's Best Books of 2019 *
Praise for Book One:
“The Agatha Christie-like ecosystem pairs with lacerating contemporary wit, and alternating past and present scenes makes for a multilayered, modern detective story.” —New York Times Book Review
“Remember the first time reading Harry Potter and knowing it was special? There’s that same sense of magic in the introduction of teen Sherlock-in-training Stevie Bell.” —USA Today (four stars)
“Be still, my Agatha-Christie-loving beating heart.” —Bustle
Book 2 catches up with Stevie as she’s dealing with the consequences of the things that went on in book 1. Her parents decided to take her out of school and bring her back home. Safe to say that things are tense, is an understatement.
Her parents are constantly trying to change her into something that she’s not. They don’t understand Stevie’s passion for her chosen future career. Sad thing, the only thing that make things bearable for Stevie is that her parents think she has a boyfriend. Which makes her “normal”. Her parents attitude really bugged me. I mean I get that all parents want best for their children but not at the expense of burying down said children’s personality and interests.
With the help of Edward King, her arch nemesis and her parents’ idol, she makes it back to Ellingham Academy. With a condition of keeping Edward’s son, David, and her supposed boyfriend in line. He’s always been eccentric but he’s been even more eccentric after the events of book 1.
Book 2, we also get a ton of information on what really happened in 1936. How a scheme by a couple of kids turned into the kidnapping and the eventual death of Alice.
In book 1, there was a lot of world building and introduction of our little misfits. Book 2, Stevie questions if her parents are right about her and debates with herself and in the her true self, no matter how gross, wins! We also get to know Nate, Janelle, Vy, and David better. There are also a lot of new characters thrown into the mix. This is the first time that I actually pay real attention to the side characters and I fell in love with Nate 💜 something that didn’t happen the first time I read the series!
With all the information we get and the new characters, the story doesn’t get convoluted. I actually really liked the way we got to see the events of 1936, how it was all a chain of events that ended in tragedy and are still affecting the present.
Although a lot has been uncovered, things are setting up for Stevie’s big reveal in book 3!