Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
The Box in the Woods
by Maureen Johnson
Girl Detectives (28)
READ IN 2022 (155)
No current Talk conversations about this book.
4.5/5 ( )
Oh thank god!! I was so nervous to read this because I had such a love/hate (okay, mostly hate) relationship with the first 3 books in this series, and I really wanted to like this. It’s probably because I always saw some glimmer of something good in the first 3 books, but the characters just fucking ruined it. I still didn’t love Stevie or anything, but she was WAY more tolerable. Honestly, all the things that bugged me in the original series seemed to poof out of existence in this installment.
1. Stevie & especially David weren’t terrible. David was so yuck before, and he was just normal this time.
2. The virtue signaling was at a minimum.
3. THERE WAS A PAY OFF— we got to know what happened!! (I mean, it’s still far fetched that this girl figures this stuff out with virtually nothing to go on, but I can suspend disbelief).
Stevie is still a very unrelatable robot person to me- which is fine. I just don’t get why she becomes so surprised about hormones and the feeling she gets around David. It’s almost like she’s a complete narcissist and is SHOCKED that she is capable of feeling attracted or care when she likes a boy.
Where this book takes place is so good! I love a camp-murder setting. I loved the Ellingham setting too, but summer camp and woods just go with horror slasher stuff.
I would read more from this series if the books are like this one. And I’m kind of hoping there are more books... which I definitely wasn’t expecting.
Wow -- I was very impressed and surprised by this book. I read the first three Truly Devious books (same characters, one main mystery) and the main flaw with those was that they were a slow build, with not as much happening in each book in terms of plot.
In this book, Johnson has already established our main characters: Stevie, Nate, Janelle, and David, and does a fantastic job of introducing new characters, such as Carson -- owner of a BoxBox subscription service (it is what is sounds like...they send an assortment, of boxes) and budding podcaster, Patty -- a baker and person with a whole lot of past in a small town, and Nicole -- an intimidating camp organizer who wears a whistle. This mystery is presented, and similar to Truly Devious, some information/clues is shown through flashbacks and journal entries, but it feels intentional, and it adds to the story, rather than making it drag.
5/5 stars for this book--I would certainly recommend to students (I teach high school/middle school), even as a standalone, and would consider using excerpts to study author's craft with humor and suspense building.
Advance copy from NetGalley
I had thought the Truly Devious series was done, but I was glad to see Stevie and co. get a new mystery to solve in this fourth book. I don’t know if I’m just out of touch with YA these days, but it seems like straight-up mysteries aren’t that common. I don’t read a ton of mysteries, but I enjoy this series—the dual narrative for past and present crimes and the YA elements of found family, friendship, and romance are an interesting combo.
I never would have figured this one out—it was quite a twist at the end! I loved getting Janelle, Nate, and Stevie back together in an adventure. As always, Nate had the best lines, but David was a close second. It would have been nice to have him around more, and it looks like he’ll be somewhat out of the picture again if there’s another book. I do hope that Johnson continues to do stand-alone mysteries like this one, as the pacing worked really well. Maybe a tad too accelerated at the end, but Stevie was so clever and tricky I didn’t really mind.
A nice addition to the series and one I’ll be recommending.
Murder, Nazis, a summer camp and a possible podcast? What more could you ask for in a murder mystery? I haven’t read any of the Truly Devious books before this one, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t feel left out or confused by this cast of characters that have been together for three previous books. It was a good stand alone book, one murder although there were times when it felt a little rushed. Otherwise, this makes me want to go back and read the series front the beginning. TW: Violence, murder, anxiety, death, graphic descriptions
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.
No library descriptions found.
Amazon Kindle (0 editions)
Audible (0 editions)
CD Audiobook (0 editions)
Project Gutenberg (0 editions)
Google Books — Loading...
Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.00 — Literature English (North America) American fiction By type
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.