I wouldn’t say that I’m the biggest mystery fan. If I went to a bookstore or library, a mystery is probably not the first book that I’m going to pick up and take home with me to read. That being said, I have read them on occasionally and a little bit more frequently in recent years (say in the last 5-10) than I’ve done so in the past, especially since they seem to be on an upward swing in popularity recently so it’s hard not to pick up anyway.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and its sequels seemed like something I could dive into and get lost in for a little while. And for the most part, I enjoyed the books, until the second half of the third book; but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s start from the beginning.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (Book 1.)
Pippa is an approaching senior in high school and for her capstone project, she wants to dive into an investigation of an alleged murder/suicide of a couple from five years previously, Andie and Sal. For whatever reason, Pip has never fully believed that Sal had murdered his girlfriend, hid her body and then killed himself. As she begins to interview immediate friends, family, and acquaintances of the high school seniors, she finds herself in a spiral of mystery, intrigue and even danger that had never quite left the town of Fairview.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and read it in a couple of days time. Pippa is a believable character with a thirst for truth, which anyone can connect to immediately. The pacing was easy and I didn’t have to think too hard about it. My only complaint about the book is that each chapter ends or begins with Pippa’s notes about the case or interview transcripts which I sometimes found distracting. This might only be my preference, so take that with a grain of salt.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.
Good Girl, Bad Blood (Book 2.)
After the events from the previous year, Pip has created a popular podcast with the help of her boyfriend Ravi Singh. In spite of this, she no longer wants to be the detective, until her school friend’s mother comes to her begging her to help them find their missing son. Because he’s done this before, the police are reluctant to search for the missing 24 year old, so it’s up to Pip to create another season of her podcast and find clues as to the whereabouts of Jamie Reynolds.
I found this story to flow a bit better than the first book, which is surprising because the second book usually suffers a slump after the success of its predecessor. The pacing went more smoothly and the references to real life serial killers was a nice addition to this book. It seemed more realistic to me than the previous one.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.
As Good as Dead (Book 3.)
In the wake of her last investigation, Pippa is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Unable to sleep and resorting to buying illegal drugs, she is suffering to regain her balance in time to leave for college. Additionally, she’s receiving online threats from an anonymous person asking her “Who will search for [her] if [she] disappears.” When she begins to connect the dots between her stalker and a real life serial killer from six years ago, Pippa must take matters into her own hands when the police refuse to help her…and quickly discovers that all the mysteries from the past year are somehow connected.
I was immensely disappointed in this book. While this book was a slow burn in the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Pippa was dealing with some real life issues from her experiences and even the stalker seemed legitimate. What I have a problem with in this book comes halfway through story. Not only do we find out who the stalker/serial killer, but it’s resolved within a few pages. After that, Pippa does a complete 180 from the personality that has been built up over two and a half books; what with her going from someone who wants the truth to be exposed to someone who wants to cover things up at all costs, even when she was at no fault.
What happens in the second half of the book has seriously colored my view of the entire trilogy in a negative way. I’m not even sure why this book is in the young adult section as it covers some serious, serious issues that are disturbing even to an adult such as myself. It was a terrible end to an otherwise enthralling mystery series.
I gave this book 1 star on Goodreads.
If you’ve read the books, what are you’re thoughts on them? I’m anxious to hear what you thought of them as a whole!
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on the link and purchase it, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you.