Genre: Thriller/Murder Mystery Age Range: YA Star Rating: 5/5 stars Series: Yes - first in series
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?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
Having fallen into the lure of YA Thrillers a few months ago, I’ve been on the prowl for more. When I heard others praising A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER, and then discovered it was written by a UK author, I immediately went in search of a copy, regardless of my book buying ban (which I guess no long exists?).
I am so glad I picked this up. I was hooked right from page one. The mystery was full of unexpected twists and red-herrings that kept me guessing right up until the very end. I had so many theories to explain all the new pieces of information, and was never quite right. I loved how it kept me on my toes, and how satisfying the final explanation of the facts was.
Being set in England, the story felt a little more familiar than the US Thrillers I’ve read recently. EPQs and Cambridge/UCAS applications is the school language I speak, and I’m particularly fluent as I recently went through the system. It added a extra little flavour for me to see my own school experience reflected in a book.
The book is written in a mix of chapters and research notes. The research notes read like a diary, bringing the reader closer into Pippa’s head and made it feel like solving the mystery with her. I loved the mixed media approach here, the research notes feel more like an addition than a replacement to chapters. They were readable and didn’t feel gimmicky (unlike in ILLUMINAE).
I loved Pippa, the geeky schoolgirl determined to do her work to the best of her ability. I saw so much of myself in her, minus the sheer guts to investigate a murder (I’d freak out at the first sign of opposition or chicken out rather than undertake a quasi-illegal act).
Pippa and Ravi have a wonderful dynamic, with teasing banter and mutual trust. I loved having a central duo where there was no suspicion that one of them might be the murderer. It was refreshing, and meant more time could be spent building up their relationship.
A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER is a stunning debut and I can’t wait to see what Holly Jackson writes next.
Read my reviews of other books by Holly Jackson:
Good Girl (this series):