Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery, Action
Format: Paperback, 433 pages
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
First up, apologies to my flatmate who walked in on me crying again.
Second up, HOLY SHIT THIS WAS SO GOOD. Honestly, it’s been a while since I read a mystery and I forgot how FREAKIN’ FUN they are to read!?! This is one of those books that keeps you turning the pages, the mystery is SO WELL plotted and the culprit is exactly who it should be.
But Lost, you may be thinking, if it was so good – why have you knocked off half a star?
There’s a simple answer for that: the third-person chapters felt jarring. Pip’s voice is so strong and brilliant throughout all of her typed-up case notes, and then it just vanishes when we go back to ‘story-mode’. And some of the dialogue was questionable (there were a few moments when I winced, not gonna lie).
This is a very small gripe.
The rest of the book is absolutely bloody fantastic.
Pip was a brilliant protagonist/narrator! She actually has like…thoughts and feelings? There are real consequences to her actions (yes, this is how I wound up crying, I’m sorry) that I find are missing in more ‘adult’ mysteries, like Agatha Christie. Pip is determined, smart, and just generally has a moral compass!?
Ravi is also the most wonderful side character I could have asked for. He aids Pip in her investigation, as the younger brother of Sal Singh who ~allegedly~ killed Andie. Their dynamic is perhaps my favourite in any detective-y story, because they don’t fall into Holmes and Watson or Poirot and Hastings – they’re both intelligent people who work TOGETHER to solve the mystery.
Sure, there’s a bit of a romantic subplot, but I’m actually very okay with this. It’s never forced, and they genuinely become close friends first. There’s none of the pining shit that tends to get thrown in.
It would be nice to see more of Pip’s friends, but they’re not 100% close to the mystery – there is a sequel coming out, however, and I would LOVE to see more of them in this one, maybe explore their relationships a little more.
I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of spoilers, so I shall leave it at that – also I need to get running to my lecture
Lots of love,