Daily Archives: April 18, 2019

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson

I received a copy of this book from the publisher

One of the only proofs at YALC last year that I was disappointed not to get was this one – A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. Electric Monkey had a really interesting marketing strategy for it, which involved finding the author. Actually, it often ended up in her being a bit mobbed, and I felt a little sorry for Jackson, but nonetheless, it drummed up my interest. Reading the sampler that was handed out, I also knew that this was one I wanted to read. So when a proof dropped in my door last month, I was excited to read it.

However, I also knew what trick Electric Monkey had pulled at YALC, by ripping out the last chapters of the book, so I was wise to that trick. For that reason, it took me a while to actually get around to reading this. Even still, I had to wait another few weeks to get the final chapters. While it was an interesting strategy which made me tweet about the book, it did lessen the impact of the final chapters, because it created a disjointed feeling.

Nonetheless. Very enjoyable!

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson

40916679.jpgThe 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?

A debut YA crime thriller as addictive as Serial and as page-turning as One of Us Is Lying.

I loved the setup for this. A motivated student doing an EPQ over the summer, trying to solve a mystery that the rest of the town thinks was put to bed long before. Plus, I’ve never actually read a book with a murderboard before. And Pippa actually uses red string for it. How cliché. How amazing!

This is Holly Jackson’s debut, and it doesn’t read like it. Mixed media within the book adds an extra dimension of interest to a fun and quirky story, and really let the narrator’s voice shine through. She’s clever, insightful, but also mired in the most teenage of self-delusions – believing you’re invincible.

If I had one complaint, it would be that it all wrapped up too fast in the end, and there was a severe over-reliance on the notion of GPS tracking. There were lots of threads to be untangled, and Pippa, smart as she is, seemed to be wildly impulsive in the final chapters of the book, a marked contrast to her slightly detached investigating in earlier chapters. The contrast could probably be explained by her fear/her excitement as she got closer to solving the mystery, but this wasn’t really clear from the text, and has only been my musings after I finished.
Still, a thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery, with stacks of potential suspects, and my list changed over and over as I raced through the pages. I look forward to more from Holly Jackson. She’s relatively young, so hopefully she’s got way more books in her yet.

Four Stars
****

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