BOOK SERIES REVIEW | A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

TITLE: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
SERIES: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1
AUTHOR: Holly Jackson
PAGE COUNT: 389 pages
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PUBLICATION DATE: 2 May 2019
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult, Contemporary

SYNOPSIS: THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! 

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer–but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

“Fun, gripping, and skillfully constructed.” –Emily Arsenault, author of All the Pretty Things


TITLE: Good Girl, Bad Blood
SERIES: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2
AUTHOR: Holly Jackson
PAGE COUNT: 405 pages
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PUBLICATION DATE: 30 April 2020
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult, Contemporary

SYNOPSIS: More dark secrets are exposed in this true-crime fueled mystery. 

Pip is not a detective anymore.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.

The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?


TITLE: As Good As Dead
SERIES: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3
AUTHOR: Holly Jackson
PAGE COUNT: 458 pages
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PUBLICATION DATE: 5 August 2021
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult, Contemporary

SYNOPSIS: The highly anticipated, edge-of-your-seat conclusion to the addictive A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series that reads like your favorite true crime podcast or show. By the end, you’ll never think the same of good girls again.

Pip’s good girl days are long behind her. After solving two murder cases and garnering internet fame from her crime podcast, she’s seen a lot.

But she’s still blindsided when it starts to feel like someone is watching her. It’s small things at first. A USB stick with footage recording her and the same anonymous source always asking her: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? It could be a harmless fan, but her gut is telling her danger is lurking.

When Pip starts to find connections between her possible stalker and a local serial killer, Pip knows that there is only one choice: find the person threatening her town including herself–or be as good as dead. Because maybe someone has been watching her all along…


A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER

Rating: 5 out of 5.

GOOD GIRL, BAD BLOOD

Rating: 5 out of 5.

AS GOOD AS DEAD

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It has been a while since I was in the mood for the mystery/thriller genre, so when I saw that my friends from the book community were talking about this trilogy, I just had to pick the books up and give them a try. Let me just say, it’s been weeks since I finished the trilogy and I am still not over it.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder starts off with Pip, a girl who always gives her all in everything that she does and who always gets high scores on the work she does for school. So, when she needs to complete a project, Pip decides to pick up a closed case, one that still has her small home town recovering from the aftershock.

The series continues with Pip who is playing detective to figure out how different people are all connected to the dangerous web surrounding her town, causing people to lose their lives.

Holly Jackson did a fantastic job creating suspense. I was intrigued from the first page until the last, and I am so thankful that the trilogy was completed by the time I got to it as I jumped from one book to the next. I could not stop until I knew how the story ends. There were quite a few sleepless nights, either from staying up until late to finish them, and then thinking about them the entire time afterwards, or because of being too scared to close my eyes.

Do not get me wrong, I absolutely love a good mystery/thriller but I do get easily spooked. It has been a while since I binged a thriller series and this one was so good that I am still, sort of, in a bit of a reading slump. I am just struggling to get into a book because I cannot stop thinking about these ones.

I also loved that the author showed the reader that no one is either good or bad. Pip had her dark moments, despite being a good person and I think that made her feel more real. Just a reminder, there are quite a few trigger warnings such as the death of an animal, mentions of rape, etc.

I honestly cannot recommend these books enough and if you are a lover of a good mystery/thriller, then this one is for you! (Probably not the best books to read if you’re in the middle of exam season because I could not put the books down despite having to study. …Oops?)



“But sometimes remembering isn’t for yourself, sometimes you do it just to make someone else smile.”

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“Pip wished she was strong enough, but she’d learned that she wasn’t invincible; she too could break.” 

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“What’s wrong with me? … I might seem like the ideal student: homework always in early, every extra credit and extra curricular I can get my hands on, the good girl and the high achiever. But I realized something just now: it’s not ambition, not entirely. It’s fear. Because I don’t know who I am when I’m not working, when I’m not focused on or totally consumed by a task. Who am I between the projects and the assignments, when there’s nothing to do? I haven’t found her yet and it scares me. Maybe that’s why, for my senior capstone project this year, I decided to solve a murder.”

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“As if they think I don’t already know. I came out of the womb knowing how to do academic references.” 

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“I’ve already learned my lesson here: when you catch someone lying about a murdered girl, you go ask them why.” 

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“I’m irrationally serious.” Pip smiled, holding the Tupperware out to him. “And I made muffins.” “Like bribery muffins?” “That’s what the recipe said, yeah.” 

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“They were each other’s crutch to lean on when life got too much to carry alone.” 

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“And in the dead silence of the night, Pip whispered, “Who’s taking the picture?”

—A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“I still think this is reckless and I’m crapping myself, but –’ he paused, flashing her a small smile – ‘we’re partners in crime after all. That means partners no matter what.”

“But sometimes my mouth starts saying words without checking with my brain first.”

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“What do you do when the things that are supposed to protect you, fail you like that” 

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“Oh, justice exists,” Charlie said, looking up at the rain. “Maybe not the kind that happens in police stations and courtrooms, but it does exist. And when you really think about it, those words – good and bad, right and wrong – they don’t really matter in the real world. Who gets to decide what they mean: those people who just got it wrong and let Max walk free? No,” he shook his head. “I think we all get to decide what good and bad and right and wrong mean to us, not what we’re told to accept. You did nothing wrong. Don’t beat yourself up for other people’s mistakes.” 

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“It was in nightmares, and crashing pans, and heavy breaths, and dropped pencils, and thunderstorms, and closing doors, and too loud, and too quiet, and alone and not, and the ruffle of pages, and the tapping of keys and every click and every creak. The gun was always there. It lived inside her now.” 

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“And, finally, to all the girls who’ve ever been doubted or not believed. I know how that feels. These books are for all of you.” 

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“Some people are pretty good at hiding who they really are.”

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“…it’s hard to climb back out of the hole once you’ve dug in your heels.” 

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“But justice doesn’t exist, and the truth doesn’t matter, not in the real world.”

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“I think we all get to decide what good and bad and right and wrong mean to us, not what we’re told to accept.” 

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“Are we squad goals?” Ravi whispered to Pip.

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“A quietness settled over the room, a quietness that wasn’t the absence of sound, it was its own living thing, stifling in the spaces between them.”

—Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“She wanted to go back. She wanted to run to him, fall into him, be Team Ravi and Pip and nothing more. Tell him she loved him in all the secret ways they had, hear him speak all those names he had for her in his butter-soft voice.”

—As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson

“Her judgement day would come, but for now, Pip walked and she promised. That’s all. One foot in front of the other, even if she had to drag them, even when the hole in her heart felt too big to keep standing. She walked and she promised and he was with her, Ravi’s fingers slotting in between hers in the way they used to fit, fingertips in the dips of her knuckles.” 

—As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson


Holly Jackson was born in 1992. She grew up in Buckinghamshire and started writing stories from a young age, completing her first (poor) attempt at a book aged fifteen. 

‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ is a YA Mystery Thriller and her debut novel. She lives in London and aside from reading and writing, she enjoys binge-playing video games and pointing out grammatical errors in street signs.



Keep reading and never stop telling stories.

3 thoughts on “BOOK SERIES REVIEW | A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

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