5 Murder-Thrill Books Like Truly Devious

Murder Crime Fiction Books

Welcome to the world of gripping mysteries and tantalizing puzzles! If you were captivated by the intriguing twists and enigmatic charm of Maureen Johnson’s “Truly Devious,” you’re probably craving more. You’re in luck! In this post, we’ll explore a collection of novels that will satisfy your appetite for suspenseful, cleverly plotted young adult mysteries.

These books, like “Truly Devious,” combine the thrill of solving intricate puzzles with the complexities of teenage life, making each page a journey into the unknown. Get ready to meet new characters, unravel fresh enigmas, and dive into adventures that keep you guessing until the last page. Let’s uncover the secrets within the pages of these captivating reads!

5 Books Like Truly Devious

Reading books similar to “Truly Devious” by Maureen Johnson is a rewarding and enjoyable experience for several reasons, particularly if you have a penchant for young adult (YA) mysteries. These books feature compelling mysteries that keep you guessing. They’re great for honing your deductive reasoning and problem-solving skills as you try to piece together the clues alongside the protagonist.

I will discuss five similar books to give you the same flavor. These books will likely captivate you if you enjoy fast-paced, suspenseful narratives. They contain twists and turns that make for an exciting reading experience. Let’s go!

NameKey FocusTropes
The Diviners by Libba BrayA supernatural thriller set in 1920s New York, where a group of young people with special powers confront a malevolent entity haunting the city.Supernatural abilities, historical setting, young adult protagonists, paranormal mystery, dark forces, 1920s New York, ensemble cast, suspenseful narrative, occult elements, intertwining destinies.
Ninth House by Leigh BardugoA dark fantasy novel that revolves around a young woman’s involvement with secret societies at Yale University, blending the occult, magic, and mystery.Dark academia, secret societies, occult themes, supernatural elements, strong female protagonist, murder mystery, college setting, dual timelines, gritty atmosphere, complex world-building.
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn BarnesA young adult thriller about a group of gifted teenagers recruited by the FBI to help solve cold cases using their natural abilities.Teenage sleuths, FBI involvement, special abilities, cold cases, crime-solving, young adult drama, psychological profiling, group dynamics, suspense, murder mystery.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert GalbraithA crime fiction novel featuring a private detective investigating the suspicious suicide of a supermodel.Private detective, complex investigation, celebrity lifestyle, London setting, character-driven narrative, plot twists, gritty atmosphere, layered mystery, disability representation, richly detailed world.
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany CavallaroA young adult mystery novel that reimagines Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as modern-day teenagers, who team up to solve a murder at their boarding school.Sherlock Holmes adaptation, teenage protagonists, boarding school setting, murder mystery, partnership dynamics, witty banter, deductive reasoning, legacy characters, suspense, young adult drama.
Books Like Truly Devious List

1. The Diviners

This book has been immensely popular on YouTube for the past couple of years. It is about Evie O’Neill, who has special powers. She can touch objects and then know what happened to them or the people whose object it is. Because of the special power, she gets wrapped up in some scandal in her hometown. So she gets shipped off to New York to live with her super eccentric uncle, who runs a museum for the occult.

The book is set in the 1920s, so it’s beautifully historically written and super funny. It has a lot of good humor and quirky characters. Evie is quite the gal. This supernatural power that she has could help solve some terrible murders that have been happening in the city of New York when she gets there. So, the story is filled with mystery and has beautiful historical elements. You should check out if you like Truly Devious.

The Diviners

Author: Libba Bray
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: 20th Century United States Historical Fiction
Number Of Pages: 603
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

2. Ninth House (Alex Stern)

This book is the perfect example of a beautiful, dark academic story. The story is about Alex Stern. She has survived a horrible murder where some of her very closest friends were murdered. So she thinks they’re probably going to charge her for the murder, even though she did not do it. But then she wakes up in the hospital, and she’s recruited by one of Yale’s secret societies named Leith.

All secret societies do dark, occult magic surrounding the university. Yale and Leith are the one society that controls all the other societies, and these societies have rituals where they do magical things. Alex is specially recruited because she can see ghosts, so they need her to guard the rituals.

Someone gets murdered, and Alex thinks this has to do with the secret societies. But she’s not sure, and she cannot prove it yet. Then, she goes out on a journey to prove that this murder has something to do with the societies, and that’s more happening than you can see at first glance. You can relate to Alex with Stevie when we saw her in Truly Devious.

Ninth House

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Supernatural Thrillers, Occult Fiction
Number Of Pages: 496
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

3. The Naturals

This book is like Criminal Minds but written for youth, and it’s beautiful. It’s about a unit in the FBI where all teenagers with extraordinary abilities get recruited, so some are good with numbers. They’re good at recognizing things and remembering things. The girl we follow in this book has a unique talent for reading other people’s emotions. She’s with another guy in that unit that’s also a profiler.

Then, they get to solve all extraordinary murders. But also, this girl’s mother was murdered as well. So, there’s an intrinsic mystery happening to this. It is a very short read similar to Truly Devious. You can fly through it, but it’s a good book. If you’re starting to read more murder mysteries, I would recommend one.

The Naturals

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Law & Crime Stories, Mystery & Thriller Action & Adventure
Number Of Pages: 336
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

4. The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike)

Robert Galbraith is the pen name of J.K. Rowling. I still enjoy many things she has made and created, like Harry Potter. This book is about a supermodel who falls off her balcony in London, and everybody thinks it’s a suicide. But her brother thinks it was not a suicide. He gets a standard detective strike to investigate the case, along with Kaufman’s assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Robin and Cameron make a beautiful duo; this book has great humor. Also, the mysteries are always so beautifully plotted as Truly Devious. The detectives always keep your excitement up and make you sometimes fool.

The Cuckoo's Calling

Author: Robert Galbraith
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Private Investigator Mysteries
Number Of Pages: 456
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

5. A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes)

This is a reimagining of Sherlock Holmes, and it’s about two teens who are the descendants of the Watson and the Sherlock family. She’s so Sherlock. But at the same time, she’s her person. I have a trigger warning for this book about rape and sexism, but it is dealt with in a significant way. There was a murder on a school campus again, and it’s set up exactly like a Sherlock Holmes murder.

Someone is trying to set up Charlotte and Jamie Watson. But they didn’t do it, so they started investigating what was happening and what happened. The character development and plots are very relatable to Truly Devious. If you love the Sherlock Holmes series and want to read like Truly Devious, you must read it.

A Study in Charlotte

Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Mystery & Detective Fiction, Romantic Suspense
Number Of Pages: 321
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5 Books Like Truly Devious For Young Adults

“A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson: This book follows high school student Pippa as she investigates a closed murder case for her final year project. The deeper she delves into the case, the more she realizes things are not what they seem. It’s a gripping read with twists and turns, perfect for fans of “Truly Devious.”

“One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus: This story is about five students who walk into detention, but only four come out alive. Told from multiple perspectives, it’s a compelling mix of mystery and high school drama. The plot will keep you guessing, much like “Truly Devious.”

“Two Can Keep a Secret” by Karen M. McManus: In this novel, Echo Ridge is a town full of secrets, and when Ellery moves there, she finds herself caught up in the town’s mysterious past. It’s a well-crafted mystery that deals with themes of family and secrets, appealing to fans of puzzling YA thrillers.

“The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: This book follows Avery Grambs, who unexpectedly inherits a fortune from a billionaire she never met. The catch? She must move into the sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where danger and mystery lurk. It’s perfect for those who love riddles and complex plots.

“Sadie” by Courtney Summers: This is a unique and gripping tale told through a podcast format, following the story of a girl seeking revenge for her sister’s murder. It’s a more serious and intense read but engaging for those who appreciate a strong narrative drive and emotional depth.

These books are ideal for young adult readers who enjoy mysteries with compelling plots, intricate puzzles, and dynamic characters.

Each novel we’ve discussed offers its unique twist on the young adult mystery genre, blending suspense, intrigue, and the trials of growing up into engaging and thought-provoking stories. So grab one of these enthralling reads, find a cozy corner, and prepare to be whisked away into a world of secrets, puzzles, and mysteries waiting to be solved. Until our next literary adventure, happy reading!

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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