The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson

Hi Everyone! It’s Becky. I loved Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series, and I was thrilled when I found out there would be a new book. I had high expectations for The Box in the Woods, and it far surpassed them.   

Title: The Box in the Woods
Author: Maureen Johnson
Note: I listened to the audiobook.

Summary: Stevie Bell is returning to her normal life after solving a cold case murder at her boarding school. Stevie is facing a boring summer at home with her parents and working at a local grocery store. Her life is upended when she is recruited by a summer camp to investigate a decades old murder. Stevie and her friends will pose as camp staff as she tries to solve the murders of a group of teens from the 70s. Can Stevie discover the killer before she puts herself in danger?

Review: There are detectives in popular culture that stand out as great sleuths, Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, and Mr. Monk, all known for their incredible deduction skills. In my humble opinion, Stevie Bell has reached the same level of sleuth skills as Sherlock, Columbo, and all the others. Stevie Bell is a teen girl who uses her intelligence and her ability to pay attention to details to solve mysteries that trained professionals couldn’t solve. She is smart, and driven, and not willing to back down, and for those reasons, I would read one hundred books about her misadventures.  

Stevie is a reason to read The Box In the Woods, but she is not the only reason. Johnson has filled the book with complex secondary characters who add colorful layers to the story. Nate, Janelle, and David are all back, and I enjoyed visiting with them. Janelle and her need to organize made her quirky and endearing. Nate and his unwillingness to write his next book while being interrogated by his biggest (child) fan was hilarious. David and his complex relationship with Stevie were adorable. Johnson brought back the characters fan of the series know and love it was a delight to visit them.  

However, the best part of The Box In the Woods was the mystery. Johnson carefully sprinkled clues to the murderer throughout the book as she weaved a complicated tale of betrayal and murder. The plot was filled with twists and turns that made the novel an enjoyable romp that is a must-read for fans of the author.  

Final Review: 4 out of 5

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