Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser


Release date: March 27, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press



When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.


I don’t know if it’s a new trend in publishing or just a coincidence but recently I’ve read quite a few books about neighbors and the secrets they all have. Either way, I’m digging it and can’t see myself getting sick of books like these anytime soon. Domestic drama always fascinates me and Not That I Could Tell had plenty of juicy gossip and intrigue about not only Kristin’s disappearance, but the rest of the neighborhood as well.

Strawser proves with her second novel that she’s an incredibly gifted writer, I was a fan of her style in her debut and I think her writing has only gotten stronger this time around. Her characterization is where she really shines, she has a fantastic ability to craft people that are wholly believable, the type of people you may live next door to yourself. You hear from several different people here, Izzy and Clara mostly and I really found Clara to be relatable and my favorite of all the characters. The suburban setting was dead on, she did a great job of creating a strong sense of place and though I may not actually want to visit Yellow Springs, I feel like I can picture it vividly.

I wasn’t in love with the ending of the authors last book but she redeemed herself big time this go around, I loved it!! Endings can make it or break it for me and this one was amazing. Another excellent book club type of read and one I would classify as a light suspense with a domestic slant.

Not That I Could Tell in three words: Engrossing, Thoughtful and Deft.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

7 thoughts on “Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s