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A Good Girl's Guide to Murder is a masterpiece, a tapestry woven by Holly Jackson, a New York Times bestselling author.

This book is relatively tranquil in the early beginning, with odd evidence that doesn’t really seem to relate and a growing list of suspects. However, as the evidence trail continues, uncovering darker and darker secrets about seemingly ordinary people in the town, the suspense and action quickly ramps up. As Pip realizes that she might actually be right about the murder case, and she joins up with Sal Singh’s brother to pursue this case even farther, it becomes more than just Pip’s senior project. It branches out to every aspect of her daily life—secrets from close friends, confessions, and then… it gets completely personal. Death threats are sent. They go after her dog. This is where the story really ramps up.

One thing I liked a lot about this book is the suspense that affects not just you, but the characters and also the realistic feelings of guilt, fear and anger that hang all around the story, setting the mood. In the end, Pip and the other characters have to deal with both their past and present actions as truths and secrets are spilled. The center of the story revolves around the murder five years ago, as the murderers come back to haunt Pip, and the stakes grow higher and higher. In the end, Pip has to choose between potentially closing the case once and for all, or hopefully protecting her family and friends. This makes the book stand out as a unique, extraordinary murder mystery.

Additionally, the switching between the case files and the real time story is balanced, with each coming in at just the right time. The story builds in a magnificent way, showing Pip and Ravi's findings first as they sift through the evidence, and then showing the conclusions that the Pip comes to based on that evidence. This is not always common in this genre, but I personally like it, because it gives everybody a chance to actually guess who the murderer is based on the data. I am not a very good detective myself, so it made me happy that in this book, before the big reveal, I actually (almost) got it right! 

Finally, this book is great, because like all good mystery books, the killer’s motives are relatable and not far-fetched. Andie Bell’s murder is more like a series of unfortunate events leading up to her death. Objects in the story are things that we use in our everyday lives. In this way, you cannot put this stellar book down because everything, everyone and the entire setup fits YOU. You become immersed in this other world that is not at all that far away.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder is a great book that everyone should enjoy, although it is not suitable for younger readers. The plot and details involve crimes that delve in the darker side of things. However, for those who can read it, this book is good for fans of books such as Sherlock Holmes or Murder on the Orient Express. Action book fans might like the ending, and the suspense is all around. This book dives very deep into the personal lives of the fictional characters, and was a New York Times bestseller for 77 weeks. So what are you waiting for? Go read this book!


A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Ember, 2021. Buy the book here and help support Stone Soup in the process!

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