I LOVE THIS SERIES
Ahhhh I missed Stevie so much!
Last year this series was introduced to me as we read Truly Devious (book 1) for my library book club. Ever since I finished the first book I’ve been in love with this series. I love it so much that, even though I’m going on vacation this week, I spent the entire day reading this book so I could make sure to read it before I left rather than waiting three weeks. It was totally worth it.
The Box in the Woods reuintes us with our detective, Stevie, in her quest to figure out exactly what she wants in life and how solving mysteries fits in with it. She luckily gets invited to a Summer Camp that is the location of a series of murders decades prior, and Carson, the owner, allows her to bring friends along. Thus our favorite trio of Stevie, Janelle and Nate is back together in a new setting with Stevie and Janelle running Arts and Crafts and Nate working part time as a camp counselor.
Of course, as Stevie starts digging into the past, new things come to the surface. In the late 1970s, four teenagers were murdered in the woods surrounding the summer camp, apparently in a drug deal gone wrong, though no one believes it was actually a drug deal. The murders are vicious and violent, and with one of the victims being Sabrina Abbot, the nice girl next door that everyone adored, it was a major story. Even now, decades later, the small town that holds the summer camp is populated by many of the brothers, sisters and relatives of the murdered teens, so there are plenty of suspects floating around.
I really love Ellingham Academy, but a summer camp is the perfect location for a continuation of our murder mystery series. It allows our main cast to be together (don’t worry, David is here too AND queen Germaine makes a cameo), but it doesn’t feel as samey as another semester and mystery at Ellingham. As usual the side characters are fantastic and well-written, so I was totally immersed in the book. And on top of that, the mystery was really fun to follow along and had some gruesome elements that really fit with Stevie and her friends getting older. The victims this time are the same age as the group, just happened decades earlier, so there’s a nice balance to how teenagers lived then and now.
Overall I loved this. I knew I would so I am totally biased, but it was fantastically fun. Also this series has THE BEST COVERS, I love how they all look together on my shelves with the bright gemstone tones.
Title: The Box in the Woods
Author: Maureen Johnson
Three Descriptors: Atmospheric, Contemporary, Well-developed
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