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A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

April 8, 2020

 

This was fun. Like watching Investigation Discovery and listening to True Crime podcasts fun. Like the first season of Serial fun. There are some similarities, for sure, to that first season but this story has a very different ending.

Five years ago, Andie Bell was supposed to pick up her parents from a party but she never made it there. Just a few days later, her boyfriend Sal Singh is accused of her murder and found dead of suicide in the woods. Case closed, even though Andie’s body is never found. But student Pippa Fitz-Amobi (Pip) isn’t so sure about Sal committing the murder, so what better project to investigate for her senior capstone that this? She’s not sure if she’ll actually find the truth but she’s stubborn enough to try. She’s got the innocence of Nancy Drew and the tenacity of Veronica Mars. The first person she needs to talk to is Sal’s brother, Ravi. She expects him to slam the door in her face but she’s surprised when he agrees to help. The next step is talking to reporters, officers who were on the case, former teachers of Sals, and anyone who can help. What she finds is that some don’t want to talk and that some stories are best left in the past.

Since this is a mystery, I need to remain mum on the details. What you can know is this story is so full of twists and turns and red herrings that you will be on your toes the whole time. There are many parts to Andie Bell and Sal Singh that Pip and Ravi discover and it becomes easier to believe that maybe Sal didn’t commit the murder. But if he didn’t, who did? There is darkness in what they find, so don’t be fooled into this being a simple case. There were many tense moments where Sal, Pip, and friends found themselves in precarious and dangerous situations. And it made me nervous! You know when you watch a scary movie and the person on screen is clearly walking into trouble, and then you start yelling at them even though they can’t hear you? I had a few of those moments in this book. Told in emails, text messages, recorded interviews, and good old fashioned dialogue, the audio is fantastic. I actually went back and forth between the audio and print version and loved them both. Even though there is closure in the end, I’m pretty excited that this is going to be a series!

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Nina O'Daniels

nodaniels@fz.k12.mo.us

Shannon Grieshaber

grieshaber.reads@gmail.com

Created in 2017