This review is spoiler free.
“The people you love weren’t algebra: to be calculated, subtracted, or held at arm’s length across a decimal point.”
Series: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Published: 2019, by Electric Monkey.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult
Contains: Strong Language, Violence, Murder, Death, Drugs, Alcohol, Rape, Sexual Assault, Blood/Gore
‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ tells the story of a five-year-old closed case, where a schoolgirl named Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. However, in the same town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure that Sal was the culprit. So, when she chooses the case as the topic for her EPQ, she begins to unravel secrets that have been held for half a decade.
This book has been residing in my bookshelf since its release in 2019, first hearing of it at YALC in the same year. I won a copy of it whilst attending, except the big reveal had been torn out which was as frustrating as it was entertaining. I had no problem in purchasing a new copy, desperate to help debut authors, and this book was definitely worth the purchase.
Pippa Fitz-Amobi is a wonderful protagonist, unravelling the secrets along with her and learning more about her character as the story progresses. She’s bright, talented, and persuasive, playing the role of the strong female character perfectly and determined to solve the case no matter what it takes. Although, she has moments of weakness, her perseverance shines through the pages and makes her truly inspiring to read about. She is a breath of fresh air amongst other YA novels, protecting her loved ones and balancing her studies flawlessly.
Ravi Singh, the brother of Sal Singh, is another fascinating character. Haunted by his brother’s alleged past, he assists Pippa in solving the murder, regardless of the trauma he suffered at the hand’s of his brother’s history. He’s accepted the cards he’s been dealt, yet is immediately open to new discoveries and clearing his brother’s name. He’s desperate, yet determined and that’s deeply admirable in a character like Ravi. His character development is quick yet necessary. You can’t help but love the young detectives, routing for them from the start and watching the mystery unfold before your eyes.
The story itself is incredibly fast paced, broken up between production logs, case evidence and Pippa’s narrative, which are incredibly fascinating to read. It tells the story beautifully, gripping you from page one and holding your interest with tantalising dialogue and drip-feeding you information about the mystery. Jackson has a talent for thriller writing, knowing exactly where to input information and guiding you through the mystery along with Pippa and Ravi until the epic conclusion. There are still parts that have gaps in the story, which sets you up for the sequel perfectly, enough to make you immediately go out and purchase the next one.
Overall, I adored this novel, being addicted to the story and characters from the first page and it being the perfect read to pull you from a reading slump.