A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

A case closed for five years, almost as dead as the vanished girl in question. Everyone living in the town of Little Kilton believes that Sal Singh murdered his girlfriend Andie Bell and subsequently committed suicide. Well, almost everyone. Pippa Fitz-Amobi never really agreed with the final verdict of the case; too many unexplained variables never lined up quite right. She decides to investigate the shady mystery for her senior year capstone project in an effort to expose the truth. Pip plunges straight into a world of lies and loose ends that threaten to expose the crime’s true nature, but someone out there would prefer that those secrets stay buried…

This book was so engrossing and suspenseful that I stayed up far too late on a school night just to finish it. Clues, characters, and red herrings are intricately interwoven to weave a complicated web of secrets. Right from the start, the plot engaged me and kept me reeled in with constant suspense. I found the plot to be very well-planned at a good pace to keep the story moving. Additionally, several exciting twists kept me on my toes and genuinely surprised me with how they revealed new details about characters I might have otherwise ruled out. While the mystery was incredibly interesting, I also enjoyed reading about the small moments of Pip’s everyday life and her friends and family. Those background/side characters had their own development, details, and quirks, which made the story more well-rounded and believable. 

Pip did do a couple of questionable things in the name of sleuthing, mostly by invading the privacy of others in several ways. I wish she could have faced consequences for that, and also that she could have had a bit more trouble working through the clues in general. It was nice when things tied together neatly, but sometimes clues lined up a bit too easily. Overall, it may have been a bit too outlandish of a mystery for it to be completely realistic, but I find the complexity and intrigue of the mystery to be much more important than realism. When it comes to those factors, this book nailed it and I’d highly recommend it as an enthralling quick read!

-Kaitlyn S.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

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