Review: The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious) by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Box in the Woods

Series: Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson

Rated: YA

Genre: Mystery

Summary: 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.

Can I just tell you how much I absolutely love this series and the concept behind this book? There is something so nostalgic about the way it is written for me that reminds me of huddling under my covers in the 90s (yes those 90s) with a flashlight and one of my big sister’s Fear Street books, or any of the other YA authors who wrote mysteries and thrillers during that time.

The crime here will chill your bones, or at least it did mine and brought to mind cabins at camps on lakes which were just this side of needing some good HGTV remedies.

Stevie still reminds me that it’s okay to be weird, and have weird hobbies, no matter what age you might be. She is glorious in her confidence in herself.

She also needs to check her stranger danger meter because dang girl, you get yourself into some crazy situations sometimes, but I love you for it.

This is a fast read, and I happily devoured it.

My only problem with it was that it came out after I bought the boxset, but hey, nothing is perfect.

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