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The Box in the Woods

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The Truly Devious series continues as Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery. 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 The Truly Devious series continues as Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery. 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.


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The Truly Devious series continues as Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery. 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 The Truly Devious series continues as Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery. 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.

30 review for The Box in the Woods

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vero

    I just hope Stevie dumps asshole David and winds up dating her true love Nathaniel Fisher

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    all the Nate content gave me life AND I ACTUALLY LOVED DAVID??? who am i- RTC (4.5⭐) ______ Pre-read Review: All I need in this book is more Nate all the Nate content gave me life AND I ACTUALLY LOVED DAVID??? who am i- RTC (4.5⭐) ______ Pre-read Review: All I need in this book is more Nate

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (MelReads)

    can this series have ten more books? thank you very much😭

  4. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    ?!?! WHAT, WHAT, WHAT !?!? THIS COVER IS PERFECTION! Yesss, give me all the purple goodness. The Box in the Woods is going to look so great on my shelves. And Maureen Johnson, blessing us with more Stevie Bell?! I mean, I just can't handle it. ?!?! WHAT, WHAT, WHAT !?!? THIS COVER IS PERFECTION! Yesss, give me all the purple goodness. The Box in the Woods is going to look so great on my shelves. And Maureen Johnson, blessing us with more Stevie Bell?! I mean, I just can't handle it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Ding ding ding! We have a big WINNER! I loved this standalone more than Truly Devious Trilogy! It was amazing to see my favorite gang members back! ( of course I talk about Stevie- Nate and Janelle) Douchebag David is also back! But something magical happened in this book: I learned to tolerate David: I never fantasized to perform 100 ways of punching him. Especially at the last third of the story he earned so many brownie points with his contribution to solve the case and proved himself as a de Ding ding ding! We have a big WINNER! I loved this standalone more than Truly Devious Trilogy! It was amazing to see my favorite gang members back! ( of course I talk about Stevie- Nate and Janelle) Douchebag David is also back! But something magical happened in this book: I learned to tolerate David: I never fantasized to perform 100 ways of punching him. Especially at the last third of the story he earned so many brownie points with his contribution to solve the case and proved himself as a devoted member of the team. But I’m still watching him! I hope he doesn’t screw again and confuses Stevie’s mind! Stevie is one of a kind. Most high school teens have different hobbies. Some of them into sports. Some writes…Some draws… Some dances… But Stevie solves crimes. She already solved Ellingham Academy’s coldest, very famous case which occurred mid 30’s. Stevie is still quirkiest Queen: reminding me of my teenage years: whodunnit books, true crime addiction ( additionally she also devours true crime podcasts), suffering from anxiety issues. She’s interesting way to look at things and see the world from different view! Now she is working at her summer job at charcuterie, cutting cheese in thin pieces, struggling not to fantasize how to kill the customers in 5 million creative ways. But an email changes everything. Carson Buckwald, owner of Box Box recently purchased a camp site at Western Massachusetts called Camp Sunny Pines which was used to be called Camp Wonder Falls where the Box in the wood murders have been committed in summer of 1978 : 4 innocent camping counselors: young teenagers were massacred. Now Carson makes a true crime podcast/ documentary about the camp and he heard about her brilliant performance at Ellingham Academy. He asks her help by providing her fully paid summer job at the camp. She can also brings her friends. A big bold YES! This is the opportunity she’s been looking for. Janelle and Nat already says yes and David hmmm yes he’s always extra annoying who promises to join them later and wants her to keep him updated about events. So the gang reunites the solve the 4 decades long mystery and this is where I’m shutting my big mouth! This is unputdownable, addictive, exciting, one of the fastest reads of mine! I’m telling you this is so much better than trilogy and if you haven’t read Truly Devious series you may still read this book because the author summarizes the past events adroitly and briefly so you can catch it fast and take your ticket to this wild ride! I’m giving my five murder mystery, quirky Sherlock Holmes meets Poirot apprentice, teen slasher vibes at the camp side, exciting, action packed thriller stars!

  6. 4 out of 5

    emma

    i am so excited for this book and i am so certain i am not going to like it. we exist

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    Not to be dramatic but I'd die for Stevie... I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW! Not to be dramatic but I'd die for Stevie... I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW!

  8. 5 out of 5

    shreya ☂

    OMG why am I knowing about this only now??? so excited!!!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Will not be going camping anytime soon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ♡ jules・*

    STEVIE BELL IS COMING BACK STEVIE BELL IS COMING BACK STEVIE BELL IS COMING BACK STEVIE BELL IS COMING BACK ————————————————————————————————————-———— not surprised at all that i loved this!! hoping we get more from the series because of (1) reason: STEVIE BELL!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rox, The big time boogeywoman

    WHERE IS DAVID?!

  12. 5 out of 5

    rose ★

    NO WAY! (all i want from this is for stevie to actually get her moose lol)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Tonks

    This book was released and I still haven't picked it up. 💀🔪 _______________________________________ How did I not know there's going to be a book 4 in the Truly Devious series??? I'm so excited!! The cover is gorgeous, especially since it's purple, my favorite color :p God, 2021 seems so far away :/ There are so many great books coming out in 2021 that I wanna read! This book was released and I still haven't picked it up. 💀🔪 _______________________________________ How did I not know there's going to be a book 4 in the Truly Devious series??? I'm so excited!! The cover is gorgeous, especially since it's purple, my favorite color :p God, 2021 seems so far away :/ There are so many great books coming out in 2021 that I wanna read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katrin D

    Full review to come!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    shut up and take my money!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    About the book: 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. Stevie and her friends from the Ellingham Academy are spending summer together investigating old murders/cold cases. Of course this is a dangerous, thrilling, and chilling job. I read this book in one sitting and could not put it down. Calling all crime thril About the book: 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. Stevie and her friends from the Ellingham Academy are spending summer together investigating old murders/cold cases. Of course this is a dangerous, thrilling, and chilling job. I read this book in one sitting and could not put it down. Calling all crime thriller, mystery thriller, young adult thriller lovers, or those who are already fans of this spectacular series. What a gift from Maureen Johnson! I received a gifted copy from the publisher. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  17. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    is everyone seeing this!? we're getting more stevie bell & the crew Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram is everyone seeing this!? we're getting more stevie bell & the crew Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    OH MY LORD! Where have I been?! Has this JUST been announced or something?! I’m SO F*CKING EXCITED!!!! I literally never would have expected this! HELL YAH!

  19. 5 out of 5

    daphnereads

    4.5 stars When I say that I screamed my head off when I got approved for The Box in the Woods, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. Truly Devious is one of my favorite mystery series, so when I heard that there was gonna be one more book in the series, I couldn’t believe it. And this stand alone spin off did not disappoint! Reading this was like returning to an old group of friends. We got to see Stevie, Nate, and Janelle in a completely different setting, but the charm of a cold murder case sti 4.5 stars When I say that I screamed my head off when I got approved for The Box in the Woods, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. Truly Devious is one of my favorite mystery series, so when I heard that there was gonna be one more book in the series, I couldn’t believe it. And this stand alone spin off did not disappoint! Reading this was like returning to an old group of friends. We got to see Stevie, Nate, and Janelle in a completely different setting, but the charm of a cold murder case still surrounds them. Maureen Johnson KNOWS how to plot out a mystery. I am absolutely terrible at predicting the events in books, so the whole time it’s a complete guesisng game for me. It’s always fun because I can never tell which clues are actually hints, and which ones are meant to throw the reader off. But by the end reveal, everything came together, all the clues lining up perfectly. Now the only thing I want to do is go back and reread this entire novel just so I can pick up on the hints that I missed. For me, The Box in the Woods was everything I loved about the Truly Devious trilogy, but at the same time I have the exact same critiques, there wasn’t much improvement. I still adore Stevie as our main character (though at some points she gave off “not like other girls energy”), the friendships between all the academy students, and the tension you feel while reading the novel. These are all things that have carried over extremely well from the original trilogy. Yet, the most glaring issue was the romance between David and Stevie. It’s just not there, there’s no spark. And I do think there is a decent amount of filler in this series, maybe if I go back and reread it won’t actually seem like filler, but the first read can drag a bit. If you enjoyed the original Truly Devious trilogy, you definitely will want to pick up The Box in the Woods, you won’t want to miss the reunion of the Minerva house gang!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    Nate is one of the best fictional characters ever and I will accept no argument on this matter.

  21. 4 out of 5

    kenzie

    if this cover isn't purple or yellow i will be suing edit: ITS PURPLE KSNSKSKDNS ayeeeeee guess who's finally out of her reading slump??? all it took was staying up until 1:45 am to finish this book when i have work tomorrow morning and falling behind on two months worth of reading *air horn noises* i wish i could make a clear and concise draw between whether this little fun fourth book was better than the original trilogy but it's not fair to compare at all when i feel so attached to the character if this cover isn't purple or yellow i will be suing edit: ITS PURPLE KSNSKSKDNS ayeeeeee guess who's finally out of her reading slump??? all it took was staying up until 1:45 am to finish this book when i have work tomorrow morning and falling behind on two months worth of reading *air horn noises* i wish i could make a clear and concise draw between whether this little fun fourth book was better than the original trilogy but it's not fair to compare at all when i feel so attached to the character development. it would be comparing stevie and the gang when i first read truly devious and loved it to them now, and i can't pick between the two. obviously, it's nice to have a whole three books to wrap up a murder mystery storyline because it gives more space for things to go wrong, more room for development, for learning to love the characters and the writing style and the world, but the author still pulls off the one book story arc just as well as the original trilogy, and let me just say, i would be happy with at least three more of these books but i understand if she decides to leave it here lol i'm just so happy that this is so good and now i'm super excited to see what the author has next up, if anything, especially outside of this universe and these characters. but still a mystery though, please, ur really good at writing those :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    Edit June 25: the cover is okay COOL AND ALL BUT WHERE’S DAVID AND HUNTER? Truly Devious ★ ★ ★ ★.75 The Vanishing Stair ★ ★ ★ ★ The Hand on the Wall ★ ★ ★ ★.5

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mash

    April 26th update AHHHHH LESS THAN TWO MONTHS TO GO! So I’m really curious as to why David’s name is not in the synopsis. Is he gone, something with his dad? I guess we’ll find out. I’m so excited!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sabiha Younus

    ... I'm surprised and a *tiny* bit afraid that the perfectly rounded-up trilogy will be ruined BUT I ALSO TRUST THE AUTHOR WITH MY LIFE AND I AM SO THRILLED I CAN"T WAIT ... I'm surprised and a *tiny* bit afraid that the perfectly rounded-up trilogy will be ruined BUT I ALSO TRUST THE AUTHOR WITH MY LIFE AND I AM SO THRILLED I CAN"T WAIT

  25. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    4.5! Maureen Johnson is a genius!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah {The Clever Reader}

    4.5 rounded up The Truly Devious series is one of my absolute favorite mystery stories so when I heard there was going to be another one I could NOT wait! It’s been weeks since Stevie solved the Ellingham murders and life has gone back to pretty mediocre. All her friends are back to their normal lives outside of Ellingham and she’s taken a job at the local grocery store deli while she waits to get back to Ellingham in the fall. After the news broke about Stevie’s revelations she dealt with her 15 4.5 rounded up The Truly Devious series is one of my absolute favorite mystery stories so when I heard there was going to be another one I could NOT wait! It’s been weeks since Stevie solved the Ellingham murders and life has gone back to pretty mediocre. All her friends are back to their normal lives outside of Ellingham and she’s taken a job at the local grocery store deli while she waits to get back to Ellingham in the fall. After the news broke about Stevie’s revelations she dealt with her 15 minutes of fame and was bombarded with emails from all over asking for her help in solving all kind of crimes including help finding missing people. None really peaked her interest until she received an email request to work at a summer camp in order to solve a 40+ year murder of four camp counselors and she can bring some friends. Of course I enjoyed this one. The mystery alone was fascinating and we get to see it happen in the beginning of the book which will keep you wanting to read more. Although the majority of the story is from Stevie’s point of view, we do get to see excerpts from one of the victims on the night of the incident. I really enjoyed this format and thought it added some good elements to the story. You’ll still find Stevie’s dry humor and witty banter between her and her friends in this one as well. Those are the parts I loved the most, especially when she brings up “Moose” again! I’d read this one just for those lines. Nate and Janelle come with her to camp and it’s a bit of heaven for both of them. I did want more David in this one and we do get to see him later in the book but for me it wasn’t enough. That was the only thing that was missing in this story for me but overall it has total Truly Devious vibes and to me that is what makes these books some of the best YA Mysteries we’ve seen. 10/10 would recommend and often do to people asking me what YA books out there are my favorites!

  27. 5 out of 5

    ;3

    as usual, nate carried

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)

    read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com June 2021: 100/5 stars, bury me with this book series. I love it so much. Truly Devious is easily one of my all time favorite series, and when I learned there would be ANOTHER BOOK after the trilogy, I was beside myself with excitement! This can technically be read as a standalone, as it is a separate murder mystery from the Truly Devious trilogy – but I would recommend reading that series first as this one assumes you alre read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com June 2021: 100/5 stars, bury me with this book series. I love it so much. Truly Devious is easily one of my all time favorite series, and when I learned there would be ANOTHER BOOK after the trilogy, I was beside myself with excitement! This can technically be read as a standalone, as it is a separate murder mystery from the Truly Devious trilogy – but I would recommend reading that series first as this one assumes you already know all the characters. Stevie is on summer vacation from Ellingham Academy, working a summer job at a local supermarket and generally feeling bored when she gets an email from the owner of a summer camp, asking her to come “work as a camp counselor” at the camp but really solve a murder mystery from the 1970s. And of course help the owner with his new true crime podcast. She can even bring friends! So thats how Stevie and her two best friends, Janelle and Nate, end up at a summer camp. I love seeing these three friends together again after all they went through just weeks prior at Ellingham Academy. Stevie’s fourth friend, and also boyfriend, David, is working and isn’t able to join them on this trip – he does make a cameo appearance later on, so don’t worry, there is some David action in this one too. Falling back into this world feels comfortable, I had missed these characters and reading another story about them feels like coming home – not many books can do that for me. I read The Hand in the Wall when it came out and the details are a little fuzzy, but honestly you don’t need to remember the details to jump right into this one. Stevie, Nate, and Janelle all have such great personalities and are all so relatable. Stevie and Nate tell it like it is, which is often hilarious to read, but feels so real and down to earth. Stevie has anxiety and panic attacks and she doesn’t try and hid it – its part of who she is and she embraces it, and has coping mechanisms, but doesn’t try to deny it. I loved getting to see these three friends interact again and talk about the “murder woods” and a new mystery for Stevie to solve. “The murder camp thing is a little less fun now.” This story overall felt very quick – its a mystery solved in just one book, compared to the Ellingham mystery which took three books, but I enjoyed the quick pacing. There was never a dull moment and the story moved quickly. What makes this one different than the Ellingham mystery is that this murder occurred in the late 1970s meaning many of the witnesses and those who attended camp with the victims are still very much alive and in town – and Stevie can interview them all. I enjoyed this added element and it felt closer to home, so to speak, since it was more recent. “A nurse came along with the promised blanket and tucked it around her, “Is that too tight? Do you want it loose?” “Moose?” “Loose.” “I saw a moose once.” Stevie’s fascination with the moose will never fail to greatly amuse me – and this book did not disappoint, there was once again mention of a moose! I love a good mystery story, and Stevie is a great detective. I loved getting to read about her solve another unsolvable mystery and how she did it – I’m terrible at guessing ‘who done it’ and am always surprised! If you’re a fan of the Truly Devious series, you won’t want to miss this one! Honestly, I could read more stories about Stevie and her friends and never get bored. Audiobook Thoughts I listened to the entire Truly Devious series on audio, so it only made sense to continue that route – I loveee Kate Rudd as a narrator and feel she does an amazing job at portraying all the characters and the tones of their voices. I hope to listen to more of her narration in the future, as she is truly a favorite! I ended up on 2.25x speed by the end. Recommend? This book is great for anyone looking for a young adult murder mystery thriller set in contemporary times. The murder itself took place in the 1970s, so many of the witnesses are still alive and can tell their side of the story, which makes it different from the original trilogy. While this can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the Truly Devious trilogy first! __________________________ June 2020: I really hope Stevie sees a moose in this one. Thats all I really want ok? send tweet. Frayed Books - blog | twitter | bookstagram | fb

  29. 4 out of 5

    verity (on hiatus)

    * ◦ . ° • ✧ MORE MOOSE CONTENT IS COMING OUR WAY THIS IS NOT A DRILL I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL ✧ • ° . ◦ *

  30. 5 out of 5

    jesse📚

    I am impatiently waiting for my Daisy Jones & The Six paperback to arrive and I’ve been filling my head with Fleetwood Mac. So when I found a lot of mention and references toward Fleetwood Mac, I was elated. First of all, wow this book is infinitely better than the first three. The Box in the Woods is Stevie’s first case outside of Ellingham Academy. Some time after the Ellingham case was solved, Stevie got a message from the owner of some summer camp (I forgot the name lol) to solve an infamous m I am impatiently waiting for my Daisy Jones & The Six paperback to arrive and I’ve been filling my head with Fleetwood Mac. So when I found a lot of mention and references toward Fleetwood Mac, I was elated. First of all, wow this book is infinitely better than the first three. The Box in the Woods is Stevie’s first case outside of Ellingham Academy. Some time after the Ellingham case was solved, Stevie got a message from the owner of some summer camp (I forgot the name lol) to solve an infamous murder case happening some forty years ago, known as the Box in the Woods case. Four teenagers were murdered in the woods and their bodies were brutally showed so it resembled a serial killer called the Woodsman. The owner of the camp didn’t buy this though, and resorted to Stevie for help. As he should because things are way bigger than they are. Truly Devious was meant to be a trilogy and the first three books tells about the same case. Personally, I find the first three books quite okay but when you read about the same case for three books in a row, the pacing started to get painfully tedious, even though the Ellingham case was a complicated one indeed. Truly Devious felt like a giant prologue, The Vanishing Stair is my favorite of the three, and The Hand on the Wall got me hooked only to let me down by the ending. Thank God I started reading the series when the third book was already out or else I wouldn’t bother finishing. What I find most irritating about the first three books is the characters. Though the Ellingham case in itself was compelling, it was overshadowed by the annoying characters. So when I read The Box in the Woods, I was honestly surprised to find that the annoying elements from the first three books are basically… gone. This book is addicting from start to finish; so addicting to the point that I couldn’t even jot down notes or form thoughts coherent enough for a review. Stevie, or at least the annoying Stevie that I despised were nonexistent and she kicked ass throughout the whole book. Nate Fisher aka my breath of fresh air, I LOVE him to death. I even love David. Did you hear that? I love David! and I disliked him with burning passion over the course of the first three books. I really REALLY love how the mystery plays out. Unlike the very long and tedious Ellingham mystery, the Box in the Woods case only consisted of one book so to everyone who thought it would be another three-book case, you all can breathe safely. How the case first begun, the foreshadowing, the clues, and even the big reveal was done in such a satisfying and bold manner that it left me feeling so pleased with how it turned out. How such a simple case unraveled to be something much bigger than what they thought, and how the author even thought of all this is beyond me. What I find a pity about this case is how the exciting bits only exist in the second-half of the book. I wouldn’t call the first half boring, though. There are some things going on that keep the story going and it’s such a huge improvement from the slow pacing of the first books. Some of the reveals are downright ridiculous (are you telling me Carson put up a whole ass fabric and Stevie didn’t notice?) but this is fiction and it’s entertaining so I wouldn’t complain about that.

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