I’m thrilled to share that Maureen Johnson’s next amazing YA novel, the murder mystery TRULY DEVIOUS, has been chosen for the Winter 2017-2018 Kids’ Indie Next List! From the selection:
“Johnson delivers on everything a great YA book needs: a bit of romance, some quirky teen characters at a quirky boarding school, and a delicious murder mystery that leaves the reader guessing at every turn. I couldn’t put it down!” —Melissa Fox, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
The book has also received a starred PW review!
Johnson kicks off a riveting mystery series set at the Ellingham Academy, a prestigious school built on a Vermont mountain by industrialist tycoon Albert Ellingham. His goal was to make learning a game—and free—for the exceptional students accepted to the school. But soon after it opened in 1936, Ellingham received a mysterious threat written in rhyme (and signed “Truly, Devious”), Ellingham’s wife and daughter were kidnapped, and a student was killed. In the present, 16-year-old Stevie Bell is obsessed with true crime (and often beset by panic attacks), and she feels a bit like a fraud at Ellingham. With Holmesian powers of observation, she hopes to solve the Ellingham case, but the school’s deadly past resurfaces when a student from her dorm is killed. 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. As in her Shades of London books, Johnson remains a master at combining jittery tension with sharp, laugh-out-loud observations.
Preorders are available now! And if you order from Books of Wonder in NY or Blue Willow Books in Houston, you can get a signed copy and an exclusive stocker!
And in case you didn’t know, you can follow MJ on Twitter, @maureenjohnson.