A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson book review

A Good Girls’ Guide to Murder is another of those books I’d seen a lot of on social media. And, as with a lot of my next book choices, it became available to listen to via the library-lending app, Libby and so I decided to pick it up and give it a listen. It’s a book possibly aimed at a younger audience but one that I found myself very much enjoying as a man in his late 20s also!

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A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder tells the story of Pippa Fitz-Imobi and her telling of the tale of a murder in her local town. It begins as a paper to help her get into Cambridge University, however as she delves deeper and starts to ask some important questions and find some important clues, she soon realises the case shouldn’t be closed at all as there’s a lot more to this than the police ever bothered looking into.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder plot – 4.5/5

When Pippa begins to work on the story of the murder of Andie Bell, supposedly killed by Sal Singh, it all seems like she’s just getting the details and the facts for a paper. However, when a few inconsistencies begin to appear, she falls into working with Sal’s brother Ravi to find out if Sal was truly guilty.

The death of Andie was a shock to many as the popular girl at school with Sal the intelligent and unsuspecting murderer. The tale is that the guilt of murdering Andie caused Sal to kill himself. But Sal’s motive for killing Andie seems a bit thin to say the least and so Pippa sets out to get to the bottom of it all.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder had me constantly flipping pages (or realistically hitting play on the audiobook when and wherever I could) and it kept me intrigued throughout. The story is fast-paced, filled with cliffhangers, and tense moments which make it a very easy book to read.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder characters – 5/5

I think one of the advantages of a younger person (Jackson would have only been 26/27 when writing this book) writing a book like this is that she can write younger characters far better. She can relate to the conversations and topics they’d be having and discussing.

The wonderful outcome of this is Pippa and Ravi’s incredibly enjoyable and likeable interactions with one another. They have great banter, and mature jokes, they’re not too sensitive and it results in a genuinely likeable couple. We all know I’m not one for cheap romances which feel forced but this is a relationship I was behind from the get-go and was also equally OK with it never resulted in anything formal as they were just great friends.

Not only has Jackson written some great young characters in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder but she’s placed Pippa into a genuine, full family. Too often in books, we see our main character has grown up in a broken or separated family – it was a breath of fresh air for Pippa and Ravi (despite the dead brother of course) to both have grown up in healthy family environments. Also, Pippa’s dad is wonderfully lively and embarrassing, a great comedic character.

If I had one fault with the character writing it would be the false bravery Jackson forced upon Pippa. Pippa is written as this highly-intelligent character, working to get into Cambridge. However, she’s not smart enough to avoid actively getting herself into quite dangerous situations, confronting people who, arguably in real life, many people of her age wouldn’t ever consider confronting.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder final rating – 4.5/5

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder initially comes off as a book that might be more about a young person’s attempt to solve a murder – in a similar vein to stories we’ve read during our early teens. However, by the end of it, you realise Jackson has written a far more mature book, one filled with great characters, disturbing storylines, realistic family experiences and a world you’d happily jump back into again with confidence. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is fun, witty, and smart and is going to be one of my focus series going into 2023.

Pick up a copy of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder from Amazon.

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