Book Review | The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell is bored. Home for the summer, she’s wanting a good murder to solve. When she receives an email from the owner of Sunny Pines, site of an infamous quadruple murder asking her to come and work on a true crime podcast about the Box in the Woods. Stevie thinks it’s going to be something to get her teeth into, and with her friends in tow, it could even be fun. But evil still lurks at Sunny Pines: Steve has received much more than she bargained for.

I loved the first three books in this series and was very excited when the fourth came out. It was just as exciting as the first three in the series, packed full of action, though it didn’t follow the same plot as the first three in the series. I wasn’t sure it would be as good or I would enjoy it as much, but Johnson can write a story in three books or in one!

The characters are pretty well established already considering this is the fourth book in the series. It was great to be back with some favourites, especially Nate, who I love! Janelle was a real asset in this book, which I enjoyed a lot more because there were occasions where she was redundant in the previous trilogy. Nate had quite a big role in this novel too. I enjoyed seeing him in a more active role as, like Janelle, there were times when he was off page for a number of chapters in the previous three books.

The plot was fast-paced and interesting. There was so much within it, though, like the previous books, you did have to occasionally stretch your imagination to believe it!

The setting was a refreshing distance from Ellingham! I loved seeing the gang in a different location. Stevie was somewhere she doesn’t know at all, and I kind of wish she’d had times of uncertainty more often, but then she is very much like Sherlock Holmes.

The only thing I was not sure about was the ending of this book, which is why it received 4 instead of 5 stars. There were so many unanswered questions at the end, it was really frustrating. I wanted as many questions sorted as possible, but it was just not enough for me, and I was pretty disappointed.

However, I will still recommend this book! It’s a great murder mystery, though could easily have been 100 pages longer to answer all those questions. Ultimately, it’s a good read, and I would suggest you do pick up this one, and the other three in the series. I will definitely be getting any others that come in the series!

Have you read The Box in the Woods or any others in the Truly, Devious series? Would you?


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