A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
- Buy the book here
- Page Count: 433
- Genre: Young Adult Mystery, Crime Thriller
- Content warnings: Murder, discussions of suicide, blood, violence, sexual assault, and drugs and alcohol use.
Mystery! Lies! Girl detectives! A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder has it all.
Pippa Fitz-Amobi has an unconventional idea for her EPQ project. Five years ago, teenagers Andie Bell disappeared in the town of Little Kilton. Investigation opened, and suspicion turned to Andie’s boyfriend, Sal Singh. But before any formal charge could be made, Sal committed suicide.
Everybody believes Sal did it—the police, the town, the media. But not Pippa. Pippa begins digging and digging, uncovering secrets unlike anything that she could’ve imagined. Did Sal Singh really kill Andie Bell? And if he didn’t, who did? Could that person still be lurking around Little Kilton today? Pippa is going to find the truth.
This book digs deep into the investigation through the format of a school project. Readers are offered Pippa’s interview transcripts, personal logs, and firsthand sources along with regular scenes of dialogue in the book.
The determined main character is the true force of this novel, seeing as the murder is five years past and is thought by all to be solved. Her methods of solving the crime are deservedly questionable. I’m pretty sure she breaks every rule of ethical investigation and journalism. But it is engaging.
Although a sort of kinship develops between Pippa and the accused Sal’s older brother, Ravi, this is not a romantic book and the idea of romance is not explored between them. For some this might be disappointing, but if you are looking for a romance novel, don’t pick up A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
For me, this was incredibly refreshing. So often in young adult and general woman-led fiction a romantic subplot is squeezed into the narrative. Pippa is the sort of person who is entirely academic focused and career oriented. A romance during her avid pursuit would’ve felt out of place.
Perhaps the plot twist would be easy to spot for some readers (no spoilers!), but I’m pretty bad at picking out a twist, so I was genuinely surprised to find out what really happened to Andie Bell. Holly Jackson does a good job of layering in multiple believable suspects that will keep you guessing up until the very last minute.
I would recommend this book to fans of mystery. If you enjoy One of Us is Lying, let A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder be your next read!