Book 1

Truly Devious

by Maureen Johnson

Published 16 January 2018

From New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson comes the start of a new series about a sharp and funny young detective named Stevie Bell who begins school at an elite, yet peculiar, boarding school and finds herself entangled in a murder mystery; perfect for fans of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES.

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.


Book 2

The Vanishing Stair

by Maureen Johnson

Published 22 January 2019

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 3

The Hand on the Wall

by Maureen Johnson

Published 21 January 2020

New York Times and USA Today bestseller!

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the witty and pulse-pounding conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years.

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie's greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She's solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it's hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow-somehow-all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it's time for Stevie to do something stupid. It's time to stay on the mountain and face the storm-and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who've walked through Ellingham Academy.

Praise for the Truly Devious series:

"Readers, hang tight: there's one more round to come, and if the signs are right, it'll be to die for." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"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 4

The Box in the Woods

by Maureen Johnson

Published 15 June 2021

After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.

Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she's back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer.

But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls-the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case.

Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders.

But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.

* Cosmopolitan Best YA Books of 2021 * People Magazine Best Books of Summer 2021*


Books 1-3

Truly Devious 3-Book Box Set

by Maureen Johnson

Published 26 November 2020

Bestselling author Maureen Johnson's Truly Devious trilogy is a hilarious and inspiring whodunit that weaves together the story of a cold case from 1936 and the story of teen sleuth Stevie Bell in the present. The Truly Devious box set includes all three paperbacks in the series and is perfect for gift-giving and binge reading.

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 after she arrives, more students turn up dead. Teen detective Stevie is on the case until she solves every mysterious death-from the past and the present.

Praise for Truly Devious:

"Parallel mysteries unfold with cleverly written dialogue, pate-turning brilliance, and a young sleuth as captivating as Hercule Poirot." -USA Today

"The Agatha Christie-like ecosystem pairs with lacerating contemporary wit. A multilayered, modern detective story." -The New York Times Book Review

Praise for The Vanishing Stair:

"Take it from the world's most impatient reader: If the Truly Devious series is basically one long mystery book, The Vanishing Stair is middle part so enjoyable you won't even want to skip to the end." -Entertainment Weekly

Praise for The Hand on the Wall:

"A richly satisfying, Poirot-like ending for Johnson's inspired and inspiring teen sleuth." -Kirkus Reviews