Books from the Backlog #295

Posted December 7, 2023 by Carole in Books from the Backlog / 12 Comments

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

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This week’s neglected book

Books from the Backlog #295Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Series: Truly Devious #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 16, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Mysteries & Detective Stories
Length: 10 hours 12 minutes
Pages: 448
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

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. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018 * Junior Library Guild Selection * 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * 2019 ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults Nomination * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2018 * Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction 2018 * 2018 Nerdy Book Club Young Adult Winner * Seventeen Best YA Book of 2018 * Lincoln Award Nominee * 2020-2021 South Carolina Book Awards Nominee * 2020 Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Winner

Why did I add Truly Devious to my bookshelf?

I have only heard good things about this book and still want to read it. It looks like I picked up a Kindle copy of this one more than 4 years ago and grabbed the audiobook during a giveaway a couple of years after that so I have no excuse for not reading it. Almost all of my Goodreads friends rated this book either 4 or 5 stars so I am thinking that it is probably a good bet.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it?

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12 responses to “Books from the Backlog #295

  1. Oh nice! THIS is in my TBR pile too! Don’t think I’ve featured it yet. I’ve also come to buy the rest of the series as well as I loved some of the author’s previous books.

  2. Truly Devious was on my radar for a while but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. It sounds good though, and so many good reviews can’t be all wrong, right? If you read it any time soon, let us know if you like it!

  3. I loved this series. I read the trilogy and the fourth book (stand alone) – all were great. I hope you enjoy meeting Stevie and the gang.

  4. I’ve not read this one, but you know I’m a sucker for a good mystery. Speaking of a good mystery, thanks again for sharing your extra copy of Patrica Cornwell’s latest. I loved it!