As a kid, I loved Scooby Doo. I still do. I always wanted to be as smart as Velma or as glam as Daphne. Unfortunately, I was more like Shaggy — always up for an adventure and a snack. Karen M McManus’ new YA mystery Two Can Keep a Secret boasts a smart, beautiful protagonist who unravels a murder mystery in a town where everyone is a suspect. Two Can Keep a Secret is a wicked fast read that will keep you guessing until the end. Seriously. I thought I had figured it out twice. But then I had to get a snack because it turns out that I’m still Shaggy.
Two Can Keep a Secret switches chapter POV between two characters. Forced to move in with her grandma while her mother recovers in rehab, Ellery moves to a town known for a murderous past where Homecoming Queens go missing. And when she’s nominated to the Homecoming court, Ellery will have to utilize all her true crime knowledge to discover the killer before she becomes the next victim.
Malcolm is the younger brother of the boyfriend to one of the dead Homecoming Queens. And while there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Malcolm’s brother, everyone in the town believes he did it. In this small town of Vermont, Malcolm’s family become pariahs. When his mom remarries the town lawyer who’s a respected member of the community, Malcolm finds his life might improve. That is of course until threats are made against the Homecoming candidates. Malcolm finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time — making him the prime suspect when one of the Homecoming court princesses goes missing. He’ll need to team up with Ellery and discover the killer before he’s convicted.
Why I loved Two Can Keep a Secret
I’m not kidding when I say almost everyone in the town is a suspect. Everyone in the town is hiding some twisted secret. The Homecoming princesses throw shade, the cops are shifty, and older siblings to teens at her school are all connected to the last murder. And no one wants to share the real history about why Ellery’s mother’s twin went missing. Too many possibilities make it tough to sleuth out. You’ll guess and you’ll guess, but I promise, you’ll be Shaggy too.
Ellery uncovers family secrets in her quest to solve the town mystery. I don’t know why I’m a sucker for family secrets but I am. I still remember the day when my mom revealed some of our family secrets. It was like I was finally in the adult club where I could handle the truth about checkered pasts of my extended family. Family secrets intrigue me because sometimes we build up people around us as perfect beings. And when secrets are revealed, I feel more compassion toward those individuals. Because everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of being human. And it’s okay because even though mistakes can ground the family, these mistakes can also strengthen a family as we rally to support. Ellery’s family works through a lot of challenges but overall I think it strengthens their bond too.
I would recommend Two Can Keep a Secret to anyone who loves mystery. And because it alternates between Ellery and Malcolm, guys might like this story too. Although, I wouldn’t pass this story to my husband. It was a little too YA for his taste but I would give it to my 15-year-old nephew. Two Can Keep a Secret is out now and you can buy it on Amazon.