A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder|Book Review

 

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Published 2020

“The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?” – Goodreads

WHAT I LIKED

First of all, the format. Sometimes it’s in first person point of view when Pip’s writing in her capstone project document. Other times it’s a third person narrator. There are also transcripts of the interviews she conducted, emails, text messages and more. It moves quickly and is an interesting way to set up the story.

I devoured this book in two sittings. I didn’t know anything about it going in, so I had no idea the main character was in high school, but that wouldn’t have mattered. I love jumping into a book that’s being hyped and just finding out for myself if it’s for me. Full disclosure: the first half is much better, in my opinion. The second half dragged a little, where the first half had me staying up until 2am honestly a bit more scared than I had anticipated for a YA novel. It did pick up at the end.

I also was a little surprised by how addictive this was for a YA murder mystery. One of my pet peeves with this kind of story is when a high school kid is made out to be a better detective than the actual professionals, but Pip was clever without being naive and I thought her sleuthing skills were mostly believable and realistic in the context of this book. That being said, is this story as a whole very believable? No. But that’s why they’re fictional stories.

Pip is witty and clever and smart. Basically, this is a story about a girl who decides to try to resolve a murder, as she has never believed the alleged killer to be guilty. She goes into her senior project saying she wants to explore the media’s role in investigations, but that’s never been her true goal. Her best friend is loosely connected to the deceased teenagers, and it’s a very small town, so all suspects and those involved are within walking distance. So, Pip gets wrapped up in her project, fully immersing herself in this project. I loved her relationships with her family, friends, dog, and Ravi, the alleged murderer’s brother. She’s genuine and cares deeply for everyone in her life, and she’s very likable almost all of the time.

Overall, this is a fast read, unpredictable mystery which I enjoyed very much. I thought I had everything figured out several times throughout the story, and even though I ended up being right on one piece, I was totally off base with the majority of the mysterious elements; I appreciate a good plot twist.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE

Pip got really deep into this murder mystery. Like to the point where she really should have realized she was being reckless and was in danger. I mean, that’s the point, but it was very frustrating sometimes.

Some people have a problem with the believability piece. I would HOPE that a teenage girl couldn’t reopen and resolve a murder, because I would HOPE the judicial system found the true killer first. But, this is a book, and it’s well-written and witty and interesting, so it’s fine. And you know what? Good for you, Pip. Good for you.

Like I said, the second half didn’t move as quickly as the first, but it had me back on the edge of my seat at the end. Definitely recommend this one!

5 star

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