Wednesday, the 16th of February, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today my pick is a young adult mystery, and one that is next in a series I read the first three of over the last couple of years–The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson. This is the fourth of the Truly Devious series in which a young girl Stevie Bell who has a special interest in true crime gets admitted to Ellingham Academy in Vermont, a school for gifted students, each with their own interest and talent. The school allows them to pursue a curriculum tailored to their skills. Here Stevie is faced with the mystery of the disappearance of founder’s wife and daughter eighty years ago, a case that was never satisfactorily solved. As she begins to investigate, a present day mystery and set of murders also face her. In the first three books, we essentially follow these two threads ad Stevie pieces together both puzzles.

In The Box in Woods, Stevie, now back at home after solving the Truly Devious case, receives a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly Camp Wonder Falls. This was the site of a notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods murder in 1978. The current owner of the camp asks Stevie to come to the camp and solve the case. But something evil still lurks there, and Stevie and her friends find more than they ever bargained for. Will she solve the case?

This is a book I want to pick up for one, of course because it is a mystery which I a genre I enjoy and then also because its from a series and writer I have previously enjoyed. Also, while I didn’t mind that the first mystery took three books to solve, I’m still glad this one gets sorted in the first book.

Do you enjoy young adult mysteries? Which are some favourites? Have you read this one or any of the others in the series? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Lisa’s pick this week is When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey, a story of six teens whose magic goes awry, resulting in complications.

Cover image via Goodreads, as is the description; I’ve reviewed the previous books in the series here, here and here


10 thoughts on “Shelf Control #172: The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson

    1. The first three are of course one mystery or rather a current day and past one running g together. This one’s a complete story. Thanks 🙂I’m hoping so too. This first three were enjoyable.


    1. I can understand; I do read YA off and on, and especially with mysteries as long as they’re interesting I’m happy to read them.

      When I was a teen I guess Nancy Drew (the more modern series the files etc) was what I read though I’d also started on Christie. YA wasn’t much of a genre then either. Even older titles now classified as YA weren’t called that back then

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lots of adult books were perfectly suitable for teens back then, but I’m not so sure that’s true now, so maybe authors felt they had to fill that gap.


  1. I don’t read any YA mysteries, but I like this premise. I like that she goes to a school “The school allows them to pursue a curriculum tailored to their skills”. Don’t I wish most schools would do this!


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