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

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



Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Author: Holly Jackson

Pages: 432

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Published: 2019

Source: ARC from YALC 2018 (Also bought)

Rating: ★★★★★

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?

I heard about A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder just before YALC last year and heard that there would be early copies available. As the genre of this book is YA mystery, I knew that I had to get my hands on it and I was one of the lucky lot that did. It took me three days of chasing Holly down to get this but it was absolutely worth it. As it wasn’t out until May this year, I decided to not pick it up until closer to the time of its release. I know, I know, I had a copy so early that I had the opportunity to read it before everybody else but I just wanted to read it closer to its release date.

I read this book a few months back now over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend actually, which was in April. It’s taken me a little while getting to review it but that absolutely isn’t a reflection of how much I enjoyed this book. In fact, I read this book in 5-6 hours and that should give you more of an idea of how much I enjoyed this book. It is definitely a 5-star read but if I could, I would give it more.


A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder follows Pippa as she does her final year project on the murder of And Bell, a girl from the same small town as Pippa, Little Kilton. Pippa believes that Sal has been wrongly accused of her murder and starts her own investigation into the case where she ends up discovering some dark truths.

As this book hadn’t yet been released, there wasn’t a lot of hype surrounding it and so that meant I went into it without the opinions of others which I quite liked. It meant that I could go into this book with little to no expectations and see how much I really liked it. As I mentioned earlier, I read this book in 5-6 hours and pretty much in one sitting. That is how much I enjoyed it. There was so much suspense and I just really wanted to keep reading to find out more. It was an exciting and thrilling read that I throughly enjoyed.

The writing is mostly told from Pippa’s perspective, but there is the inclusion of forms like Pippa’s final year project form and other things like that which help to break the book up but also help to tell the story a little bit more as you are given factual information. I quite liked Holly’s style of writing and found that in this book, it was quite fast paced and consistent all the way through, both having helped me to read this book so quickly.

In this book, we follow our main character Pippa who ends up focusing the majority of her time on this project, with the help of Sal Singh’s younger brother, who is desperate for answers. I quite enjoyed Pippa’s character. She’s a straight A-student with a few friends and a good family around her. She is an easily likeable character and very good at investigating into things further, being able to see things that others may not. She’s also a compassionate character but can get frustrated at times when trying to get answers in uncomfortable situations. Pippa does get a bit consumed with the project as the book goes on, but I think that the reader also becomes that way inclined as, like Pippa, you want answers. I quite liked Pippa’s family who were quite supportive of her.

I also quite liked Ravi, Sal Singh’s younger brother. Pippa has a lot of dealings with him throughout this story as he looks for answers about his brother and you can really sympathise with him and his family in this book, as they feel shut out from the Little Kilton community after their son and brother has been accused of murder.

This book was just so full of suspense and it’s just so, so good. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is such a great addition to the ever growing YA Mystery genre, a genre that I have been loving over the last year and have been eager to find more books that come under it. This is also a UKYA book which is great as I definitely want to make an effort to read more books by UKYA authors.

Final Thoughts

I would absolutely recommend picking up A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. It’s full of twists and turns and I read it so quickly. It really does capture you from the first page and it doesn’t let go of you until its ended. We definitely need an expansion of the YA mystery genre and this is such a great addition to it which I really do wish more people would pick up. It is such a thrilling read and a solid debut. I am most definitely looking forward to seeing more of Holly’s writing in the future.