A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Delacorte. Feb. 2020. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984896360.
Gr 9 Up–Five years ago, Andie Bell disappeared; she was believed to be murdered and her body hidden by her boyfriend Sal Singh before taking his own life. Pippa (Pip) Fitz-Amobi believes Sal is innocent and that he was murdered, and sets out to prove it for her senior capstone project. The deeper she digs into the truth, the more trouble Pip finds herself in. Somebody out there doesn’t want her discovering the truth of what happened to Andie, and it may just be the real person responsible. Jackson’s debut is a captivating mystery that will have readers hooked. Some may find the pacing at the beginning a little slow but it doesn’t take long for the story to pick up. The majority of the characters, including Pip, are intriguing and well developed, containing flaws that make them more realistic. While Pip herself is white, there is a diverse cast of characters overall, including Sal and his brother Ravi, the latter playing a major role in helping Pip find answers. Pip’s capstone project is interwoven with the third-person narration, so readers are allowed access to her thoughts and work even though she isn’t directly telling the story. Jackson wonderfully crafts the mystery so that readers can create their own hypotheses as Pip puts the pieces together—but they won’t find out the truth until she does.
VERDICT A wonderful addition to any library collection, especially where mystery novels like Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious is popular.

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