Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was so excited about this until the very end - it's not just that there's a serious cliffhanger, nor that the mystery is unsolved, it's that Stevie just loses credibility when she decides that she's going to solve Haynes' death on her own. Her trying to solve the mystery of what happened Way Back When made sense, but the current death? Her methods were a bit scattershot, not to mention left me wondering why she didn't talk to someone about what she was doing. As far as her initial reason for wanting to go to Ellingham Academy goes, it was fine. The way in which she investigates is again a little scattershot, with a few clues that seem to be deliberately hidden from readers by the author when they could have been revealed. There's one piece that I think I know the answer to, but because this will get a sequel (or more) that will have to wait.
A stand-alone would have been far better; Stevie could have solved the Ellingham disappearances/murders, then moved on to other crimes had a series really been necessary.
ARC provided by publisher.