Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser


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.


This is a story of friendship in the suburbs, secrets and lies and a neighbor who goes missing after a night around the campfire.

The author has gotten life in the suburbs with young children spot on (I speak from experience!) and it was a believable tale of something that could definitely happen in my neighborhood. In fact, for me, it was its strongest point – what if this happened to you? How would you handle it? What would you do?

I wish this one would have been categorized General Fiction/Women’s Fiction instead of Mystery/Thriller, for I went into this prepared for something it’s not. An enjoyable read, but more of a slow going domestic suspense with an important message.

Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Jessica Strawser for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars


  1. Wonderful honest review! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thebookcollective · March 27

    Thanks a mil, Berit😊 loved your review too!


  3. Kaila · March 27

    It’s always a bummer when the tagged genre gets your hopes up! Lovely review – too bad it wasn’t quite what you were hoping!

    Liked by 1 person

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