McManus, Karen M. Nothing More to Tell. Delacorte Press, 2022. 978-0-593-17590-3. 356 p. $19.99. Grades 7-12.
After her school newspaper account was hacked, and pornographic pictures posted under her byline, senior Brynn left her Chicago area high school in disgrace while her family relocated back to her hometown of Sturgis, Massachusetts. Her life and her journalistic reputation in tatters, Brynn interviews for an internship with a true crime show, hoping to pad her college applications, as well as to convince the show to research the unsolved murder of Mr. Larkin, her favorite middle school teacher. To her surprise, she is awarded the position, and hooks the show’s host with her crime story proposal. Re-enrolled in the private school she attended at the time of the crime, Brynn reconnects with old friends and puts her tenacious investigative reporter skills to work. But Brynn eventually realizes that playing reporter is more than fun and games when it becomes obvious someone does not want her digging up the past. In typical McManus style, the suspense rarely lets up, as the narrative alternates between Brynn and Tripp, her former best friend, and one the students who discovered the body of Mr. Larkin four years ago. Red herrings abound as the threads of the complex plot slowly coalesce. All four main characters cue white, but minor characters are diverse.
THOUGHTS: McManus presents a challenging mystery with fine character development. A first purchase where her other books are in demand and mysteries are popular.
Mystery Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD
Four years ago, not long after a Mr. Larkin, a beloved Saint Ambrose teacher, was found dead by three classmates in the woods behind the school, Brynn’s family left their Massachusetts home for her dad’s job transfer to Chicago. The move also followed Brynn’s best friend Tripp’s very public rejection about her feelings for him, which helped Brynn leave behind the taunts of peers who dubbed her “Trippstalker.” Life in Chicago was going great until someone used Brynn’s newspaper access to publish a story full of d!%# pics. In quick succession, Brynn lost her job as editor of the school paper, was wait-listed at her dream journalism school, and learned that her family was moving back to Sturgis, MA. Brynn and younger sister Ellie will re-enroll at Saint Ambrose School, and Brynn hopes an internship at Motive, a true crime show, will help pad her college applications. During her interview Brynn shares Mr. Larkin’s unsolved case and her connection to him as her 8th grade English teacher as well as with Tripp, one of the classmates who found Mr. Larkin. Brynn decides to keep her position at Motive to herself, as she’s only planning to be in Sturgis until graduation. Luckily, Brynn feels confident in her ability to pitch Mr. Larkin’s story to the whole Motive team and reconnects with some old friends. Despite everything that happened, things are looking up. But as Brynn gets closer discovering the truth of what happened that day, it seems Mr. Larkin may not have been who she believed him to be, and neither is Tripp. Will Brynn uncover the truth before it’s too late, or is this a story that will stayed buried forever?
THOUGHTS: Told with dual narratives from Brynn and Tripp as well as in dual timelines – now and four years ago – readers will be hooked. Hand this one to fans of other McManus books or fans of unreliable narrators. Recommended for high school collections.
Mystery Maryalice Bond, South Middleton SD