Book Reviews

Review: It’s Elementary by Elise Bryant

We love to see a good mystery and Elise Byrant’s latest is a delight. It’s a story about giving ourselves some grace all with a murder mystery background. Talk about the perfect summer read. Keep reading this book review of It’s Elementary for my full thoughts.


Mavis Miller is not a PTA mom. She has enough on her plate with her feisty seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, an exhausting job at a nonprofit, and the complexities of a multigenerational household. So no one is more surprised than Mavis when she caves to Trisha Holbrook, the long-reigning, slightly terrifying PTA president, and finds herself in charge of the school’s brand-new DEI committee.

As one of the few Black parents at this California elementary school, Mavis tries to convince herself this is an opportunity for real change. But things go off the rails at the very first meeting, when the new principal’s plans leave Trisha absolutely furious. Later that night, when Mavis spies Trisha in yellow rubber gloves and booties, lugging cleaning supplies and giant black trash bags to her waiting minivan, it’s only natural that her mind jumps to somewhere it surely wouldn’t in the light of day.

Except Principal Smith fails to show up for work the next morning, and has been MIA since the meeting. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Mavis, along with the school psychologist with the great forearms (look, it’s worth noting), launches an investigation that will challenge her views on parenting, friendship, and elementary school politics.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Mavis is such a fantastic character. She’s an amazing mother and it’s so clear how much she cares about her family. How considerate she is of her father and the way she feels like she’s juggling so much. It was extremely relatable. Mavis feels like she’s holding so much weight, so many expectations and tasks, that she’s afraid something is going to crumble. And, if it does, will it be the end? It’s Elementary is a fun mystery focused on character.

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It’s focused on Mavis who is trying to balance it all and realizing she’s falling short. That the pressure from all sides is crushing her. She’s an example of knowing we can do it all, can do more, but that doesn’t mean we should. In It’s Elementary I could not have predicted these twists. I ended up reading chapter after chapter just to figure out what was going to happen. And sometimes we have to be better about asking for help. To know we have people in our lives who will help.

Find It’s Elementary on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, Blackwells, & Libro. fm.


What is your favorite investigator who is also a parent?

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