A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson Book Review

It’s been a long time since I did a review but as soon as I finished this book, I knew that I had to write one. I was lucky enough to meet Holly at YALC last year and ever since then, I’ve been so excited to read her book. The year long wait has been torture but I’m happy to say that it was worth every minute. 

good girl's guide to murder

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?

This is a YA crime thriller so I’m going to be extremely careful and won’t be talking about this book in that much detail – because the details matter in this book! I’ll also apologise in advance if I gush too much about this book, but I just loved it so much.

Pip, the main character, decides to tackle the murder of Andie Bell for her EPQ which is such a good idea. I did an EPQ and found it to be the most boring thing I’ve ever done – I wish I’d chosen an interesting topic like Pip! Although, I’m not really sure how realisitc investigating a murder would be for the project, but still it’s a good idea haha. Anyway, because of this the book is told in quite a fun way. It includes a mixture of interviews, social media posts, drawings, diary entries, alongside parts of Pip’s assignment that she’s written up, as well as the normal third person perspective. All of this helps with the pacing and keeps the story moving. It’s also incredibly helpful to see how the clues stack up and how Pip decides to tackle it, and as a reader, it made me feel really involved too.

There were a bunch of twists but I won’t talk about them that much, but just when you think that you’re close to finding out what happens… *boom* you’re back at the start again with no theories at all. For some, that could be frustrating but I really enjoyed it because it kept me guessing. I think it helped with Pip thinking things through logically, instead of instantly coming to a conclusion like in other mystery books. She takes the time to analyse everything thrown her way and is careful not to point the finger until she has all the evidence.

Like Pip, my list of suspects kept changing throughout. I didn’t manage to guess what happened either which I’m so thankful for – it just shows how complex the mystery is! I wouldn’t say I’m good at figuring out what happens in thrillers, but sometimes it’s so obvious. But Holly has thought through everything meticulously so that it’s almost impossible to know exactly what happened until it’s revealed at the end. And what a great ending it was. 

I’ll stop this review here because I feel like I’ve already said way too much. If you love mystery/crime books then definitely check A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Out – you won’t be disappointed.


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