A Good Girl's Guide to Murder - book cover
Literature & Fiction
  • Publisher : Ember
  • Published : 05 Jan 2021
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN-10 : 1984896393
  • ISBN-13 : 9781984896391
  • Language : English

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES • Everyone is talking about this addictive must-read mystery with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.

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.

And don't miss the sequel, Good Girl, Bad Blood!

"The perfect nail-biting mystery." --Natasha Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Editorial Reviews

"The book pulled me into it so hard that I forgot everything going on around me, I just needed to solve the murder with Pip."-PopSugar

"This is a great, twisty read for fans of YA." -Book Riot 

"A taut, compulsively readable, elegantly plotted thriller."-The Guardian 

"The perfect nail-biting mystery." --Natasha Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author 

"A fun, gripping, and skillfully constructed novel of suspense. I loved Pip-her relatable quirks, her inventive investigative approach, and her willingness to step outside of her safe world in search of the truth." -Emily Arsenault, author of All the Pretty Things

"Dark, dangerous and intricately plotted-my heart literally pounded." -Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay

"So so clever." -Savannah Brown, author of The Truth About Keeping Secrets

Well-executed…. A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense." -Kirkus Reviews

"Legions of fans of true crime podcasts may therefore flock to this one, and they're unlikely to be disappointed." -Bulletin

"Fans of true crime will be hooked by the hunt for a killer, but there's more to this Guide than just a whodunit. It's a story of families, community and the ways a crisis can turn them against one another in the blink of an eye." -BookPage

Readers Top Reviews

floydAmy Reads Books
This is a good idea, badly executed. The characters are false-sounding - nobody has conversations like this, using such stilted dialogue - and the journal entries are a weak plot device. Early on, she used 'chasm' repeatedly in one paragraph. I think the lead's sneakers 'succumbed to the chasm', at one point. What? It just feels clunky and wrong and that's where a good editor could have helped. It actually reads like she watched 'Virginia Mars' and thought, ooh I could do that. But she couldn't. I gave up after trying very hard to find something to like. It's just wrong.
Holly Jackson pulls no punches! I loved this book. The characters and the plot had my stomach in knots. One minute I was all tense, and then I was crying. It had this air about it that sucked me in. This has great plot development, with thrilling mini climaxes that had me hooked. The story is narrated through two styles; Pip writing in her project logbook, and what is unfolding in real time. This worked because one delivered the plot’s progression by discovering new information, character interactions and so on. The other (through the logbook) provided a diary feel, and acted like a murder board, where the reader gets to contemplate all the facts and evidence Pip has gathered. And oh boy did I! Everyone was a suspect at some point or another… It genuinely felt like I was there with Pip, trying to figure out what was essential to solving the case. I loved this personal tone, because it had me completely invested. I admired Pip immensely because of her tenacity, intelligence and how much she cared. And I cared so much for Ravi and Sal. Ravi’s humorous personality provided entertainment, and his partnership with Pip gave that dream team vibe that were capable of anything. The fact that these characters were so likeable, it made the story even better. I’d say my only qualm with this, is there wasn’t a hardcover available. That’s hardly the author or the story’s fault, though. I felt the font used for the logbook chapters was a bit challenging at times, and could be impossible to read for those who struggle with small font (see photos) Overall, I read this in three days and it’s getting all 5 stars. This is a well plotted and cleverly written story. I can’t quite believe it is a debut novel, never mind it being classified as a young adult book. This has honestly bested what would be considered as adult and mature mystery/thrillers, with its suspense, characters and overall plot. I’d recommend it to everyone – not just teenagers. If your favourite genre is mysteries and thrillers, this is worth reading because it’s currently my favourite mystery/thriller of 2019. Well done Holly Jackson, and thank you so much for writing this excellent book. I cannot wait to see what is coming next from this fantastic author!
So, I picked up the book when I was at the B&N store. It was in the Young Adult section but I decided the cover design looked interesting. I read the jacket cover story and placed it on my reading list of "maybe". I love mystery stories and this one kept coming back to me so I bought it. Boy, am I glad that I did. It kept me on the edge of the seat the whole time as I tried to figure out who killed Andie and what really happened to Sal. Please give this new author a chance. If you think you are too old then let your teenager tell you how good it is when they are done. I totally enjoyed it. Ms Jackson, looking forward to the next mystery.
Cross Veronica Mars with Pretty Little Liars, throw in a heroine sleuth worthy of Trixie Belden or Nancy Drew, and you have A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. In 2012 pretty popular senior student, Andie Bell, left home to pick up her parents from a dinner party, and never arrived. Police zeroed in on her boyfriend Sal Singh when it was discovered he'd lied about his alibi for that night, and to date, the town of Little Kilton has maintained that Sal killed Andie, even though her body has never been found. Five years on, 17 year-old Pippa Fitz-Amobi chooses the topic of Andie Bell's disappearance for her A-level project. Her instincts tell her Sal is Innocence and she's determined to prove it. But, Little Kilton has many a secret, and Pip's investigation places her life, and the lives of those she cares about, in imminent danger. Tense, satisfying, and entertaining, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder twisted and turned, raising more questions than answers the deeper our heroine delved. Pip was intelligent, determined and daring, and maintained her loyalty, integrity, and sense of justice in the face of each revelation. Pip’s innocence and naivety was refreshing, I loved that she acted like a teenager, and wasn't too sophisticated and worldly for her age, as authors sometimes make that mistake when writing young adults. It made sense that her approach to asking questions and following leads was a little too enthusiastic and impulsive (to begin with anyway), leading to her placing herself in jeopardy without fully comprehending the risks. The added addition of Pip’s production log entries, which summed up her clues, and conclusions, and also included transcripts of interviews, emails, maps, persons of interest list, and other evidence, was a unique way to convey Pip's investigation progress. There was some serious content, but I found this read lighter, less disturbing, than other YA mysteries in this vein, with few instances of profanity. I'm thrilled that this is the first in a series. Good Girl, Bad Blood is set for release on the 30th April, 2020, so I don't even have long to wait – yay!
Wow, what an incredible surprise! I bought this book on a whim and ended up glued to my Kindle, almost physically unable to put it down. This is easily among the very most engaging and addictive mysteries I've read in years. The writing style, plot and pacing are all superb. The characterization was subtle, but I ended up feeling like these were interesting, multidimensional people with distinct strengths and (especially!) flaws. As you'd expect from a story about a murdered teen, it's got its share of unflinching darkness, but it isn't relentlessly grim and 'edgy'---in fact, there's a surprising amount of humor and hope. Our protagonist is lovable and someone you naturally root for without being unrelatably perfect. And here's the biggest compliment I can ever pay to a mystery: even knowing the resolution, I'd still reread this book in a heartbeat because it was just such a supremely compelling and enjoyable ride. I could not possibly recommend this more highly to anyone who likes mysteries and/or YA fiction and is looking for a story that immediately grips you on every level and never lets go.

Short Excerpt Teaser



Pip knew where they lived. 

Everyone in Fairview knew where they lived. 

Their home was like the town's own haunted house; people's footsteps quickened as they walked by, and their words strangled and died in their throats. Shrieking children would gather on their walk home from school, daring one another to run up and touch the front gate. 

But it wasn't haunted by ghosts, just three sad people trying to live their lives as before. A house not haunted by flickering lights or spectral falling chairs, but by dark spray-­painted letters of "Scum Family" and stone-­shattered windows. 

Pip had always wondered why they didn't move. Not that they had to; they hadn't done anything wrong. But she didn't know how they lived like that. How the Singhs found the strength to stay here. Here, in Fairview, under the weight of so many widened eyes, of the comments whispered just loud enough to be heard, of neighborly small talk never stretching into real talk anymore. 

It was a particular cruelty that their house was so close to Fairview High School, where both Andie Bell and Sal Singh had gone, where Pip would return for her senior year in a few weeks when the late-­summer sun dipped into September. 

Pip stopped and rested her hand on the front gate, instantly braver than half the town's kids. Her eyes traced the path to the front door. It was possible that this was a very bad idea; she had considered that. 

Pausing for just a second, Pip held her breath, then pushed the creaking gate and crossed the yard. She stopped at the door and knocked three times. Her reflection stared back at her: the long dark hair sun-­bleached a lighter brown at the tips, the pale white skin despite a week just spent in the Caribbean, the sharp muddy-­green eyes braced for impact. 

The door opened with the clatter of a falling chain and clicking locks. 

"H-­hello?" he said, holding the door half open, with his hand folded over the side. Pip blinked to break her stare, but she couldn't help it. He looked so much like Sal: the Sal she knew from all those television reports and newspaper pictures. The Sal now fading from her memory. Ravi had his brother's messy black side-swept hair, thick arched eyebrows, and oaken-­hued skin. 

"Hello?" he said again. 

"Um . . ." Pip faltered. He'd grown even taller since she last saw him. She'd never been this close before, but now that she was, she saw he had a dimple in his chin, just like hers. "Um, sorry, hi." She did an awkward half wave that she immediately regretted. 


"Hi, Ravi," she said. "I . . . You don't know me. . . . I'm Pippa Fitz-­Amobi. I was a few years below you at school before you left." 

"OK . . ." 

"I was just wondering if I could borrow a second of your time? Well, not only a second, we're already way past that. . . . Maybe like a few sequential seconds, if you can spare them?" 

Oh god, this was what happened when she was nervous: words spewed out, unchecked and overexplained, until someone stopped her.

Ravi looked confused. 

"Sorry," Pip said, recovering. "I mean, I'm doing my senior capstone project at school and-­"

"What's a capstone project?"

 "It's kind of like a senior thesis you work on independently, alongside normal classes. You can pick any topic you want, and I was wondering if you'd be willing to be interviewed for mine." 

"What's it about?" His dark eyebrows hugged closer to his eyes. 

"Um . . . it's about what happened five years ago." 

Ravi exhaled loudly, his lip curling with what looked like anger. 

"Why?" he said. 

"Because I don't think your brother did it-­and I'm going to try to prove it."


Pippa Fitz-­Amobi




Capstone Project Log-­Entry 1


Our capstone project logs are supposed to be for recording any obstacles we face in our research; our progress; and the aims of our final reports. Mine will have to be a little different: I'm going to record all my research here, both relevant and irrelevant, because I don't really know what my final report will be yet or what will end up being important. I will just have to wait and see where I'm at after all my investigating and what essay I can bring together.

I'm hoping it will not be the topic I proposed to Mrs. Morgan. I'm hoping it will be the truth. What really happened to Andie Bell on April 18, 2014? And if-­as my instincts tell me-Salil "Sal" Singh is not guilty, then who killed her? 

I don't think ...