A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder: Book Review

Ava Fernandez, Contributing Writer

Since I learned to read, I’ve enjoyed every moment of the experience— indulging myself in the world beneath the pages, and allowing myself to find comfort in fictional universes. But, with age, I’ve started to neglect that habit as the books on my shelves collect dust and their stories fall silent. I have resorted to listening to podcasts, a hum of what feels akin to literature in my ears, as I do tedious task after task. Typically, these podcasts detail the lives of murderers and their victims, or in short true crime. Every time I think I’ve researched and learned enough about a case, I find something new in these podcasts. Similarly, in her short series, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Holly Jackson knows exactly how to draw in readers. She pulls them in with each compelling thread of the plot that turns into something larger than expected. 


The first book starts off with the main character, Pippa Fitz-Amobi (or otherwise referred to as Pip), and her beginning idea for her senior capstone project. Pip has maintained a reputation for being a driven, homework-oriented girl with one of the most clean records in history. She doesn’t know how to feel about this label on her, and later on throughout the series explores the defining box she has been shoved into because of her spotless academic history. In a small Connecticut town called Fairview, where a few years prior,  there was a double homicide. Or rather, a murder-suicide. Young Andie Bell, Pip’s high school’s golden girl, was allegedly killed by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who later committed suicide from a guilty conscience. But, Pip, who had known Sal before his death, always thought there was a little more to the story. In a masterfully woven web of love, hardship, and secrets she sets out to find the truth about what really happened; this investigation certainly becomes more than just a school project.


Coming from her hometown of Buckinghamshire, England, and pursuing the art of literary linguistics and creative writing at the University Nottingham, Jackson wrote her first book at fifteen years old. Since then it can be assumed that she worked tediously on putting little messages into her story to grab the attention of her readers, and enthrall them more deeply into the beauty of her work. The message that the first novel illustrates in particular is that through irritation and suffering, it’s possible to find love, just as Pip has. While love is a powerful thing, whether it be for a thing, a person, or a book, it’s surely a weapon to be wary of. I adore everything about this book and the talent that plays into the storytelling. The whispers of detail never take away from the core plot, while enriching each scene. All in all, it’s the kind of read I will recommend time and time again, a beautiful piece of literature that I hope gets more love in the future.