A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson Review

"And present Pip is always happy with past Pip’s decisions.”

For the month of March, I picked 3 Book of the Month (BOTM) books. I simply couldn’t choose, and I had a free book because it’s my birthday month.

I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood for a YA Mystery/Whodunnit book, but I clearly was. It took me 3 days to read this book. Maybe because I have been so wrapped up in the Adnan Syed case (Season 1 Serial Podcast) that this felt like that story just a bit. And who doesn’t love solving a crime?

In A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, we follow Pippa during her senior year of high school. She has chosen to do her senior project on a crime that was committed in her hometown only 5 years ago. The murder of Andie Bell committed by Sal Singh. Sal committed suicide and was charged with Andie’s death but Pippa doesn’t think Sal did the crime. With Sal dead and no one to speak up for him, she decides to exonerate him on her own but does find help in Sal’s brother, Ravi.

Is Pippa right and Sal is innocent? Or did Sal really kill Andie? Pippa’s project will unravel so many secrets, your brain will spin.

I really enjoyed the format of this book. It was part normal story and then part Pippa’s project notes. I liked the variety and I really enjoyed that the chapters were short. THANK YOU, HOLLY JACKSON!

I felt like a detective myself while I was reading. I did get PART of the story right but not the whole thing. I chalk it up to the fact that I read thrillers and mysteries way too often. It’s hard for me to not solve it before the end. Did I second guess myself a million times? Absolutely. Holly was able to introduce a new ‘murder suspect’ right when you were starting to lean one way with your guess.

This is Holly Jackson’s DEBUT novel. I would have NEVER known this was her first book. It was absolutely brilliant. I may need to do my top 20 of 2020. I just don’t think a top 10 will do this year any justice.

Synopsis (Credit: Goodreads)

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn't add up, and a girl who's determined to find the real killer--but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

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.

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