Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 15, 2021
Series: Truly Devious #4
Genres: contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher
Also in this series: The Hand on the Wall, The Vanishing Stair, Truly Devious
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.
The Truly Devious series is a young adult murder mystery series by author Maureen Johnson. I absolutely LOVED the first three books in the series, which follow our teenage detective friend Stevie Bell as she tried to solve the famous Ellingham Academy mystery from the 1930s. Once she solved that famous case, she is now being hit up by all kinds of people that want her to solve their new case. The Box in the Woods follow Stevie and some of her friends from Ellingham Academy as they venture to Camp Wonder Falls to solve another famous cold-case. The Box in the Woods is a standalone mystery set a few weeks after the events of the Truly Devious trilogy. Though it is a standalone, I would read this book after you finish the first trilogy. Plus, why would you not want to check out Truly Devious first? These books are my favorite Young Adult mysteries out there! Maureen Johnson knows how to write a murder mystery! I can’t say enough wonderful things about these stories.
The mystery in The Box in the Woods took place in the 1970s in a camp located in the small town of Barlow Corners. Like the first three books in the series, The Box in the Woods also follows dual timelines between 1970s and present day the series follows present day. I love the glimpses into the past that we get peppered throughout the book, and I really love that this is a standalone mystery. In 1978 four camp counsellors went off into the woods for a little fun and relaxation away from the counsellors. While they are in the woods they were all killed and three of their bodies were arranged grotesquely in a large hunting box in the woods. The case because a famous cold case, and Stevie is brought on to help the new owner of the summer camp solve the case. And the best part is- she gets to bring her Minerva House friends along with her! I am such a big fan of this ensemble cast and of Stevie that I would honestly be thrilled if we got to see many more mysteries in this world. I think Stevie is a fantastic character!
I love the way Maureen Johnson tells stories. She does such a fantastic job scattering clues and red herrings throughout the book that she honestly keeps me on my toes and keeps me guessing the whole time! The twists and turns in The Box in the Woods were excellent. Like with the first three books, I couldn’t put this story down. This series are some of the very best Young Adult mysteries that I have ever read. If you are a fan of mystery books, the Truly Devious series is a MUST READ. It is one of my favorite series of all time.
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