Rating: 4 / 5
The #SaturdayBookstaClub buddy read that I help to host on Bookstagram headed back to school for September, starting with A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson. I’ve been wanting to read this one practically since it first came out and even ordered the UK edition so I could get the sequel too which doesn’t come out in the US until 2021.
A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER follows Pippa, a young girl who is about to graduate from high school with designs on going to college. She lives in a small town that was rocked by tragedy five years earlier when a teen named Andie went missing and her boyfriend Sal, the assumed culprit, killed himself. The thing is Pip knew Sal and believes with her whole heart that he was innocent. For her senior project she decides to launch her own investigation to prove Sal’s innocence.
Pip’s advisor gives reluctant approval for Pip’s project with the caveat that she not cross any moral lines or bother the grieving families, but Pip isn’t ready to put any limitations on her investigation. Through a series of interviews and investigations, all documented throughout the book in mixed media, Pip develops a healthy list of suspects in her quest for the truth.
All of the rave reviews that had me buying the sequel before even reading the first book were not wrong, this was a great read! Even better, it was a fantastic discussion book for our group. Not only was the story itself full of discussion points, but the discovery that the US edition was translated into an American setting from the UK based UK edition was fascinating as well!
Pip is a fantastic character to follow. She is smart and gutsy and prone to making some impetuous decisions that cross a few lines and get her in trouble. The book touches on some important issues as well such as the racism in the local police force when they have a suspect of color they assume is guilty. It also touches on grief and the pain of Sal’s family in the wake of the disaster.
There were some background characters that I would have liked to hear more about, but given that this is book one in a series, that is to be expected. The author managed to give me some surprise twists at the end as well which have me eager to read more mysteries in the future!