Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1) by Holly Jackson

I stumbled on this book while scrolling through my Instagram feed and since I am my book club dictator—I mean book club host—I thought I would suggest this book for our June read since it sounded fun.

A slight back story here, my book club is small and we all love murder mysteries so we try to read only murder mysteries but we have all read so many murder mysteries so it’s hard to find one we haven’t all read. Since this one just came out, I thought it would be a good pick.

Fortunately everyone else thought the same thing and so it was settled—we would read this book for June. I downloaded a copy on my Kindle since it was on sale—let’s put it this way, I downloaded it late Tuesday night and I was done by Thursday night.


Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect. (summary from Goodreads)


This book is marketed for a YA audience but as an adult reader, I did not think this was a ‘juvenile’ read by any means. The characters and the plot were well developed with a number of twists that I didn’t see coming. I worried that my book club would reject this one because it was categorized as YA but being the book club dictator has its perks so we picked it anyway and I can honestly say that not a single person in my book club was disappointed in the least. It was so good. But the only problem is—-we were supposed to read it for June so we all got the book like the last week of May and were done with it before the month was out so now we need a new June book!

If you have listened to the podcast, Serial Season 1, and loved it—then you have found your book. I listened to Season 1 of Serial and was absolutely glued to the case of Adnan Syed and when I saw that this book was recommended for fans of this podcast I was sold. I know that some people felt like this book was Serial ‘fan fiction’ but I personally did not. Sure there are similarities between the two but I felt like the podcast was more about securing a new trial for Adnan, where as this book was more of a true murder mystery.

I was glued to the convoluted case in this book and the characters of small town Fairview. There were plenty of shady and questionable characters with motives and lies that kept piling up. I was fascinated by all the holes in the case that Pip kept uncovering. She was tenacious and an astute investigator. I loved reading her logs, she tried to keep herself neutral and keep an open mind. I loved watching how her mind worked out the puzzle. She was a perfect main character.

I still keep coming back to all the twists in this one. I was constantly on my toes questioning the motives of the people and the small bits of evidence. There wasn’t a ton of actual evidence in this mystery so Pip had to ferret out the lies people kept telling which was infinitely more fascinating. Some old fashion sleuthing and intense attention to detail made this story come alive and I absolutely loved it. I am so happy I picked this one up and I am thrilled to see that it’s becoming a series because Pip is too good of a character to have one book and be done. If you love mysteries with twists you didn’t see coming, then pick this one up!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 389 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Delacorte Press (first published May 2nd 2019)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: YA, mystery


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