I will be fully transparent in saying that I did not believe that the Good Girls Guide to Murder series would be worth the hype (shoutout to BookTokers and Booktubers for telling me I should read the series), and I have absolutely eaten my own words. Holly Jackson has crafted a nail-biting, goosebump inducing, edge of your seat trilogy that should be studied by anyone who wants to craft their own young adult thriller.
Young adult thrillers tend to have a little less “thrill” than adult books of the same genre, so I admit I was a little nervous to start this series. I didn’t want a watered down, condescending thriller. Young adult thrillers tend to make things overly obvious and cut out a lot of the emotion and danger that is present in adult thrillers, which makes for much less interesting plot lines and twists. I am glad to say I did not get those things at all.
The three books– A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Good Girl, Bad Blood and As Good as Dead follow our main character, Pippa Fitz-Amobi, as she uses her senior capstone project as an excuse to investigate a murder case that has always felt slightly amiss. Andie Bell, a high school student in Pippa’s hometown of Fairview, had been murdered by her boyfriend, Sal (who was also found dead) a few years prior: or had she?
Pippa teams up with Sal’s brother, Ravi, to prove him innocent. There had always been some doubt in Pippa’s mind that Sal was the killer, and Ravi felt the same. Pippa decides to start a podcast as the format of her capstone, which she titles A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (hence the title of the series). She interviews many people who were close to Andie and Sal, coming across some very interesting people and terrifying situations along the way.
Throughout the series, more cases come to light and Pippa dedicates herself to solving them. The local sheriff department is not at all helpful (as usual) and so she continues to use her podcast to solve murders, taking on a different case each season. In each of the investigations, Pippa makes herself some enemies as well as friends, putting her life in danger to solve the murders.
I could not tell where this story was going to go and I am an avid thriller reader who constantly tries to solve the case before the book does. I just couldn’t do it with any of the three books in this series! Holly Jackson should run a masterclass on YA thrillers because I would pay a LOT of money to take it.
It’s so difficult to make a series where each book is as good as the last but Holly Jackson did just that. And that FINALE- oh man, it was so satisfying without being too on the nose. My jaw dropped multiple times reading the final book, and I will say even though I gave all three books five stars, the final one is the best book of the series. It is a satisfying story of revenge and justice.
You will not regret dedicating time and money to read these books. They are truly the best thrillers I have read this year (and I have read a LOT of thrillers this year).