cover image A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Holly Jackson. Delacorte, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-9848-9636-0

Five years prior to this book’s start, 17-year-old Andie Bell disappeared from the small town of Fairview, Conn. Her body was never found, but her boyfriend, Salil Singh, was blamed for her murder after he texted a confession to his father and died from an apparent suicide. High school senior Pippa Fitz-Amobi remembers how kind Sal was, and she thinks he may have been innocent; via her senior project, she aims to prove it. Though Pip, an adept snoop, is forbidden from contacting the victims’ families, Sal’s younger brother, Ravi, insists on helping, and Pip begins interviewing anyone who might have information about the spring night Andie went missing. Pip assumes they’re on the right track when she starts to receive threatening notes that place her in the crosshairs of someone determined to keep a dark secret. Jackson sprinkles the fast-paced narrative with Pip’s notes, project logs, and interview transcripts—as well as several cleverly placed red herrings— while exploring how the Singh and Bell families suffered in the aftermath of the alleged crime. Jackson caps her suspenseful, well-plotted mystery with a few twists that readers likely won’t see coming. Fans of Veronica Mars and its ilk will find plenty to enjoy in Jackson’s assured debut. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Tracy Phillips, Egmont UK. (Feb.) [/em]