The Box in the Woods (Hardcover)

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The Box in the Woods (Hardcover)


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This is book number 4 in the Truly Devious series.

July/August 2021 Kids Indie Next List

“Maureen Johnson knows how to write a mystery novel like no other. She makes the characters feel funny, and nuanced, with real problems and whose actions have real consequences. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book! I’d read any book with Stevie Bell in it!”
— Emily Gilbow, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

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.

* Cosmopolitan Best YA Books of 2021 * People Magazine Best Books of Summer 2021*

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and The Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at 

Product Details ISBN: 9780063032606
ISBN-10: 0063032600
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Pages: 400
Language: English
Series: Truly Devious
"Johnson’s hallmark charming humor and lovable characters provide a robust foundation for another cracking mystery, this time ingeniously working with summer camp and locked room mystery tropes. Stevie’s relationship with her lifelong anxiety is particularly well portrayed. A fantastic stand-alone mystery companion revisits a much-loved sleuth."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"While fans of Johnson's Truly Devious trilogy (and there are many) will undoubtedly be eager for this spinoff, Stevie's summertime exploit both stands alone and adds compelling layers to the established characters—an impressive feat. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Johnson builds on the success of her NYT-bestselling Truly Devious series with this standalone spinoff that blends mystery and horror conventions in a summer-camp setting—perfectly timed for summertime campfires."
Booklist (starred review)

"Johnson gleefully takes a stab at the slasher movie trope by sending her teen detective on a cold case at a summer camp. This satisfying standalone mystery will delight fans of teen horror flicks and true-crime documentaries, as well as those who prefer their mysteries wrapped up after one volume. Here’s hoping this highly entertaining volume isn’t the last we hear from Stevie Bell."
— Horn Book Magazine

The Box in the Woods is a gripping and complex mystery bolstered by its commentary on the popular fascination with true crime—and its empathetic reminder to consider the perspectives of those whom such crimes leave behind.”

"Sardonic sleuth Stevie Bell returns in this engaging stand-alone sleepaway camp thriller, a follow-up to Johnson’s Truly Devious trilogy. Johnson’s kinetic descriptions join towering cliffhangers as chapters switch between 1978 and the present day, and Stevie’s search turns deadly. Johnson includes a winning crew of returning characters . . . the friend group sustains entertaining rapport as Stevie navigates personal and public histories."
Publishers Weekly

"It’s always a pleasure to watch smart, resourceful Stevie piece together a puzzle. Mystery fans will relish this standalone novel in the 'Truly Devious' ­universe."

— School Library Journal

“The Box in the Woods is an utterly addictive read that adds a wonderful new dimension to the world of Truly Devious and yet another fiendish twist in Stevie’s story."
— The Nerd Daily

"The Box in the Woods is an excellent, cleverly braided, no punches pulled story leavened with humor. It’s worth reading for the great rapport between the fully-fleshed characters of Stevie, queer black crafts-mad Janelle, and the sardonic uber-nerd Nate alone. A great summer read!”
— AuthorLink

"If the beginning of the storyline reads like a Scooby Doo script it’s done in honest homage, and is just as much fun, if admittedly darker and more complex than anything Shaggy and team would have tackled. That there’s also a deep emotional current running through the book as Bell’s finely developed sense of empathy for the friends of the dead is revealed sets the story apart. A challenging and satisfying mystery, this is one you’ll be shaking the sand out of come September."
Mountain Times

Praise for TRULY DEVIOUS: “Be still, my Agatha-Christie-loving beating heart.”
— Bustle