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You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus makes for an interesting twist on the day-off adventure, a la Ferris Bueller. Instead of having fun playing hooky from school, Ms. McManus’ story has our three friends stumble upon a murder and decide they have to be the ones to solve it. Except to say they are friends is a stretch. They are more like former friends, which only adds to the stressors of the day.

Thankfully, Ms. McManus does not attempt to stretch our imaginations by trying to convince us that three high school students are more competent than detectives. Instead, Ivy, Mateo, and Cal only uncover clues through dumb luck and wild guesses. In truth, their missteps are almost comedic. The fact that they are even close to solving the murder mystery is a testament to their collective stubbornness and stunning ability to stumble upon the puzzle pieces rather than their sleuthing skills.

For all their bumbling, I still found You’ll Be the Death of Me to be quite clever. In addition, there is also a real poignancy to the story as the continued investigations force the three former friends to confront the circumstances which broke apart their friendship. Even better, Ms. McManus plays the resolution close to her chest so that the ending is as much a surprise for you as it is for our three amateur detectives, which is exactly what you want in a murder mystery. In the end, You’ll Be the Death of Me is another strong offering from Ms. McManus, who is rapidly making a name for herself in the young adult thriller world.

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