A Complete Guide to Holly Jackson’s Mystery Thriller Books


I have been obsessed with crime shows, podcasts, and books for as long as I can remember. I have seen every episode of Criminal Minds and have read many of Agatha Christie’s novels. When I first heard of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder on TikTok, I immediately had to read it, and once I did, I knew I had to read the rest of Holly Jackson’s books.

About Holly Jackson: “Holly Jackson started writing stories at a young age, completing her first (poor) attempt at a novel when she was fifteen. She graduated from the University of Nottingham, where she studied literary linguistics and creative writing, with a master’s degree in English. She enjoys playing video games and watching true-crime documentaries so she can pretend to be a detective. She lives in London. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is her debut novel” (Bio from Penguin Random House website).

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Content Warning: murder, drug use, grief, kidnapping, rape, suicide

“Pip wished she was strong enough, but she’d learned that she wasn’t invincible; she too could break.”

Pippa Fitz-Amobi is a 17-year-old looking for a subject for her year-end school project. The murder of Andie Bell five years ago has perplexed her small town. Everybody knows Sal Singh did it, but Pippa has her doubts. When she starts uncovering secrets, someone is trying to keep her from getting to the bottom of the murder. 

I absolutely adored this book! It was my first young adult mystery thriller book in years, and it did not disappoint. The main character, Pippa, is headstrong and determined to solve the mystery of Andie Bell’s death. She reminds me of a new Nancy Drew in all the best ways. She doesn’t take no for an answer and uses her friends to help her along the way. She interviews several people involved in the five-year-old case, like Sal’s brother, Ravi. There were so many twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery and crime stories.

Good Girl, Bad Blood

Content Warning: murder, grief, rape, abuse, kidnapping

“I think we all get to decide what good and bad and right and wrong mean to us, not what we’re told to accept.”

Pippa and Ravi start a podcast about how they solved the mystery of Andie Bell and Sal Singh’s deaths, and the whole town is listening. Pippa says she is over investigating the murder, but when one of her friends, Jaime, goes missing at Andie’s and Sal’s memorial gathering, Pippa is forced to investigate again. 

This sequel was one of the best ones I’ve read. Seeing how the investigation – and characters– progress kept me on my toes the whole time, just like the original.The way the investigation progresses kept me on my toes the whole time, like the original, and seeing how the characters develop further. While there were just as many twists as there were in the first book, there was  a new plot line that sucked me in. There were so many twists, like in the first book, but there was a whole other plotline that I loved (I can’t explain it without giving out spoilers). The mystery around Jaime’s disappearance is only a subplot; a lot is happening in the book, but I believe it’s just the right amount of busyness.

As Good As Dead

Content Warning: murder, kidnapping, violence, stalking, panic attacks, rape

“See, destiny moves in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? Binding us together all the way back then.”

After Pip’s last investigation ended horribly, she received death threats, but one anonymous person kept asking her, “Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears?” She thinks it’s only someone online, but then she discovers the person is stalking her in real life. The police are no help, so she has to look for the stalker alone. 

This was my least favorite book of the trilogy. I think Pip’s character did a 180 and completely changed from an intelligent and courageous person to an angry pill-popping teenager. The trauma she experienced in the previous two books completely warrants a need to develop coping mechanisms, but her whole character evolved. The book’s first part is about Pip coping, but then there is a major twist around the halfway mark that entirely changes what I think about Pip. She isolates herself and does some horrendous things that I don’t think are like her character. If you loved the series’ first two books, skip the third because it ruined the series for me.

Kill Joy

Content Warning: murder, violence, cancer

“They couldn’t get away from it, no matter how many years passed; the town and those deaths came hand in hand, forever tied together.”

This novella is a prequel to A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. One of Pip’s friends, Connor, invites people over for a 1920s-themed murder mystery, and Pip is not in the mood to participate, thinking she has better things to do. However, once the game starts, she puts her heart and soul into finding the make-believe killer.

When I read this book, I did not know it was a prequel, so I was confused before I realized that. This book was a fast read, and I already knew all the characters, so it was easier to understand what was happening. It was interesting to see what Pip was like before the Andie Bell case consumed her. I liked how she and her friends interacted, and it was refreshing to see a more light-hearted book compared to the series.

Five Survive

Content Warning: murder, gun violence, blood, abuse

Red and her five friends are taking an RV to the beach for spring break when it suddenly malfunctions in the middle of nowhere. They soon realize that their breaking down was no accident, and a sniper outside is trying to kill them. They have to figure out the secret the sniper wants before dawn, or they all die. 

This book was one of the most thrilling books I’ve read. While unrelated to the A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder series, it has some of the same aspects, like mystery and friends uncovering the identity of the villian. I was shocked during every chapter, and I was trying to figure out what secret the sniper wanted. The friends inside the RV had to go through so much to get through the night. Although I did manage to figure out the secret, the story had a fast pace and other plot twists that I enjoyed. I liked how this book was different from Jackson’s previous works. 

PRR Writer and Social Media Manager, Kelly Marry