Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: 2nd May 2019
About the book:
The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?
What I Thought:
Because completing your A Levels and applying for Cambridge is quite enough to do in a year Pippa Fitz-Amobi decides she’s going to take on the biggest scandal to have hit Little Kilton. For her Extended Project Qualification she’s going to look into the disappearance of Andie Bell, because unlike the police and the rest of the town she’s not sure Sal Singh did it. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder follows Pip through her year as she balances coursework, university applications and unravelling the mystery that is the disappearance of Andie Bell, and it all gets a little more dramatic when it becomes clear someone doesn’t want Pip finding out the truth.
I absolutely adored everything about A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. No spoilers but I felt the plot was paced to perfection, the tension and drama building through the first two parts before reaching the the dramatic conclusion in part three. I also really loved the structure of the book, Holly Jackson mixes third person narration with extracts from the production log Pip creates for her project. For me this meant the best of both worlds, the third person narrative moving the story on, and painting a great picture of the wider world and the people in it. While the project log entries in the first person gave me a clear insight into what Pip was thinking, the inclusion of interview transcripts, emails and text messages also let me feel as though I was investigating alongside Pip.
I also really enjoyed the setting, I had a friend that lived in Chorleywood, and I spent a lot of time in the surrounding area when I was visiting her, so places like Little Chalfont and Amersham are familiar to me and just added that little bit extra to the story for me.
But for me the thing that really made the book were the characters, they were the reason I became so invested in the outcome, I didn’t just want to find out the truth, I needed it to be a truth that made things better for the characters I cared about.
Let’s start with Pip as she’s the real star of the show, I thought she was just brilliant! She’s smart and determined, she also shows compassion, I think discovering her reasons for investigating the case made me love her just a little bit more. She had some tough choices to make throughout the story, but she always tries to do what she thinks is the right thing, some of her decisions left me feeling rather nervous for her though!
Early on in the story Pip speaks with Ravi Singh and lets him know she’s looking into the case, and most importantly for Ravi, she doesn’t think her brother was responsible for Andie’s disappearance, and assumed murder. I really felt for Ravi, and his parents. It wasn’t only Sal’s life that ended with the disappearance of Andi, it affected the whole family, with the town turning on them. Understandably Ravi is a little wary at first but I really enjoyed seeing their friendship develop.
Special mentions also go to Pip’s family, Victor, Leanne and Josh. They’re all wonderfully supportive in general, and I loved Pip’s take on step-parents and half-siblings. Plus her dad was just a wonderful example of someone who clearly loves her but takes great delight in embarrassing her. I thought showing her relationship with them really rounded out Pip’s character, as does her friendship with Cara.
My words can’t truly do justice to how much I absolutely loved this book. It was everything I could hope for from a mystery thriller, the plot was engaging and the characters were wonderful, especially Pip and Ravi! Whatever comes next from Holly Jackson you can guarantee I’ll be reading it!
About The Author
Holly Jackson was born in 1992. She grew up in Buckinghamshire and started writing stories from a young age, completing her first (poor) attempt at a book aged fifteen.
‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ is a YA Mystery Thriller and her debut novel. She lives in London and aside from reading and writing, she enjoys binge-playing video games and pointing out grammatical errors in street signs.
Connect With Holly
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As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?