Saturday, November 7, 2020

Holly Jackson: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder


In her debut novel Holly Jackson introduces Pippa Fitz-Amobi who has chosen the strangest graduation project; Finding a murderer:

Everyone in town knows that five years ago Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend Sal Singh. There was never any question that he committed the murder, no one even spoke in his defense. However, Sal cannot speak for himself anymore as when the police were closing in on him he committed suicide. Pippa (Pip) Fitz-Amobi, remembers Sal a different way and knows that he was not capable of committing murder. Under the guise of a school project Pippa is determined to prove that Sal was innocent. What Pip discovers is a town full of secrets many of which they want to keep hidden

This is Jackson's debut novel and from the writing style and plot layout I feel like you can tell that it is her debut. I liked that the book is told from Pip's point of view and it does not vary from this throughout I think there were just a few aspects that set this book back for me from being the top read from the past few years.

I found the whole school aspect of it to be a bit far fetched, that she would get away with the questions she asked, decisions she makes or the acts that she committed to get the answers. I mean one has to come to point where she should have thought, maybe I should go to the police with this new evidence I found (especially a key piece) instead she tries to do it all herself. Jackson basically has the police pictured as a bumbling agency that would not look at things like a teenager does in this day and age and that is why she was able to find this evidence 5 years down the road. I hate to break it to Jackson but most police are pretty familiar with the internet and social media and all that stuff in order to do their job. Additionally, if someone start to threaten you, why would you ignore that fact, especially when they know you are investigating a murder. I mean i can't even understand why an adult might not report something like that let alone a teenager.

I did like Pip as a character, she is smart, tenacious, naive (as she thinks everything will work out and be fine) and I even applaud her for skirting the system on her school project. I see Pip as a Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars type character just lacking the skills that they have. I think Pip would make a fine detective or journalist in time, she just needs to hone the craft of investigative work.

I'm a sucker for a small town setting book. I love that everyone knows each other, their business and lots of time their secrets. Small towns always seem to have a dark side for some reason and it seems like Pip's town is not different. I did find the overall mystery to be interesting and having some unexpected turn of events throughout the plot, which I applaud Jackson for. However, I was able to figure out who the murderer was way before the end of the book, however, there was a secondary twist that I did not see coming at all.

I think people who enjoy YA mysteries will really like this book and it will probably be on the top of their list from the past few years but sadly for me there was just something overall lacking in this book that I cannot put my finger on. Maybe it was the YA aspects of the book that I struggled to relate to, but I am not sure. Overall, I was lacking the feeling of being on the edge of my seat wanting to read more. When I was finished I mainly had a meh feeling about the whole book. I mean I did finish it so it was entertaining, but I'm not sure it is one that would come to forefront of my mind to recommend to people. I did see that there is a sequel to this book, but I am unsure if I will read the next one.


If You Like This,
Check These Out Too: 

No comments:

Post a Comment