Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s senior project is ambitious and risky. She wants to research the crime that rocked her small town five years ago, a crime from which the community still hasn’t completely recovered. When Andie Bell disappeared, suspicion fell on Sal Singh. His death by suicide seemed to close the case, but Sal’s family—and Pippa—never doubted his innocence. Revisiting it all will be painful, and there’s no guarantee of what she’ll find. This is A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
Debut author Holly Jackson gives readers a stake in the investigation, as the story unfolds in a mix of narrative chapters interspersed with interviews and case documents. By the time Pippa makes a wall chart with red string to connect potential leads, we’re right there with her, trying to figure out what really happened. Pippa reaches out to Sal’s brother, Ravi, and he quickly gets involved in the search for the truth. His family members have been treated like pariahs since Andie’s disappearance, and he wants to not only clear his brother’s name but also wake people up to their cruelty.
The mix of case files and crime story keeps the plot moving at a steady clip, but there’s quality time spent with Pippa’s friends and family as well. When she begins to get notes warning her away from the investigation, she’s eager to protect the people close to her, but also worried that one of them may be trying to throw her off the trail.
Fans of true crime will be hooked by the hunt for a killer, but there’s more to this Guide than just a whodunit. It’s a story of families, community and the ways a crisis can turn them against one another in the blink of an eye.