Review: Nothing More to Tell by Karen McManus

Brynn Gallagher never thought she’d have to return to Sturgis, Massachusetts, her dumpy hometown. But when her dad tells her they’re moving back, Brynn and her sister Ellie realize they have to attend to Saint Ambrose School, a local private school where Brynn’s favorite teacher was murdered four years ago.

To help her journalist career, Brynn applied for an internship at Motive, a true crime network. When she pitched the idea that the show covers her former teacher, William Larkin, she never suspected for her superiors to go for it. But now that Brynn is back, she’s determined to know the truth. Three students found Mr. Larkin, including Brynn’s former best friend Tripp Talbot.

If Brynn is going to solve the case, then she needs to dig deeper into Mr. Larkins’s past and find out if Tripp, Shane Delgado and Charlotte Holbrook told the truth that day in the woods. Four years ago, someone Brynn knows got away with murder. But who would kill everyone’s favorite teacher?

When starting Nothing More to Tell, we were nervous about reading it. While we love most of Karen McManus’s books, her previous release, You’ll be the Death of Me, left us disappointed. We’re happy to say that we weren’t disappointed a second time.

First of all, we really liked Brynn as a main character. She tends to get tunnel vision when she’s passionate about something, but it feels relatable for type A readers. While she’s smart, she’s not the best at reading people, which she has her younger sister Ellie for. Even when Brynn learns Mr. Larkin wasn’t a saint, she dedicates her time to learning the truth, even if it puts her in danger. She may be reckless at times, but she’s gutsy and determined to succeed.

Then we have Tripp, who we knew hid something from the start. Tripp humiliated Brynn in 8th grade and the two haven’t spoke until she returned to town, which makes things interesting when they are paired up for project. We weren’t sure what to think about Tripp at first, though we eventually grew to like him, especially when we learned the secrets he kept for years.

The romance between Brynn and Tripp was slowburn, which worked well because the two had a lot to work out before becoming a couple. While it’s obvious they would get together, we still found their chemistry to be great and loved seeing Tripp become a romantic.

As for the mystery, in true McManus fashion, there were many layers to it. While there is one and only killer revealed at the end, so many people were involved in Mr. Larkin’s secret life in other ways. The resolution felt organic, even if not everyone faced the consequences for their actions. We won’t spoil anything, just know that many people in Sturgis have dark secrets.

Another fun addition was McManus adding in Easter eggs from her other books. Brynn and Ellie talk about Ellery in Echo Ridge, Vermont from Two Can Keep a Secret. It would be fun to see a book with crossover characters in the future.

Overall, if you’re looking for a mystery with a lot of surprises for your October reading, pick up Nothing More to Tell!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

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