For her final school capstone project, Pippa Fitz Amobi is determined to uncover the truth behind Andie Bell’s disappearance. It’s been five years since Bell went missing, and her then-boyfriend was convicted of her murder with nothing but circumstantial evidence.
Pippa is convinced that Sal Singh, who killed himself later, couldn’t have had anything to do with it. Now, determined to prove her belief, Pippa ventures into the deep dark secrets the town holds dear, only to realize just how many clues and suspects the original investigation overlooked.
Holly Jackson’s YA mystery series, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, hits a home run with its gripping narrative and a classic student-turned-sleuth protagonist at the helm. Told in parts through Pippa’s direct narrative and her project records, the book will not loosen its hold on you till the very end.
I read the book while also listening to the audiobook, which made the experience far superior. Hearing Pippa’s interviews with numerous townsfolk, her inferences recorded for her project, and the gradual piecing together of the clues tugged at my anticipation.
Pippa’s characterization certainly drives the plot. She is relentless in her investigation, shows little self-preservation (which paints her in a fearless light), and doesn’t hesitate to ask bold questions. Her steadfast desire to get to the bottom of this mystery is portrayed in such a convincing manner that I couldn’t imagine any other YA character holding the plot together this well.
Ravi Singh, Sal’s elder brother, also plays a crucial role in the book. He and Pippa work together to prove Sal’s innocence. I quite enjoyed their camaraderie and would like to continue seeing more of both of them in the later instalments of the series.
With typical whodunnits, there usually are several suspects. And that’s no different in this book. Every step of the way, the author creates such an atmosphere that I was convinced of a particular character’s guilt until another twist or development came up, leaving me baffled.
Ultimately, the culprit was someone I had suspected at a point, but the motive of the crime was nothing like what I’d imagined.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder has become one of my favourite YA thrillers. I’d highly recommend it to you, especially if you are a fan of books such as Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious and Karen McManus’ One of Us Is Lying.