A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

The basics

Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder


Series: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #1

- A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (2019)
- Good Girl, Bad Blood (2020)
- Untitled (2021)
- Untitled (2022)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

Read a full summary of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson below. If you can’t remember what happened in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder?

Note: Some locations may be different, as the UK and US editions have some differences. The UK edition of the book is set in Buckinghamshire, England, and that is the version that has been recapped. All plot elements should remain the same.

Five Years Ago

  • Andie Bell went missing one evening.
  • Sal, Andie’s boyfriend, became a suspect when his friends told the police he had asked them to lie about his alibi. He allegedly asked them to say he was at Max Hasting’s house until 12.15, but they said he actually left about two hours earlier.
  • Sal later supposedly killed himself after texting his dad a message admitting to the murder.
  • Andie’s body was never found and the case was closed.


  • Pip is doing a school assignment on the Andie Bell case. She doesn’t believe Sal was guilty, and is determined to prove it.
  • Pip goes to speak to Ravi Singh, Sal’s brother, who still lives in Little Kilton with his parents. He is mildly unimpressed with Pip’s project at first.
  • Pip figures out who Andie’s close friends were using Facebook. They’re called Emma Hutton and Chloe Burch.
  • Pip speaks to Stanley Forbes, a journalist from the local paper. He doesn’t provide much new info, but he does let slip that Andie received a death threat the week she disappeared.
  • Pip speaks to Ravi again, and they talk about Sal and the school history teacher, Elliot Ward.
  • Mr Ward is Pip’s best friend’s father. Cara and Naomi Ward are like sisters to Pip.
  • Pip talks to Naomi, who says that Sal was at the gathering with Naomi the night Andie disappeared. Naomi says Sal left around 10.30, and Sal’s father said Sal returned home at 12.50. Over a two hour window.
  • Pip talks to Max Hastings, another friend of Sal’s who was hosting the gathering. Max says Sal didn’t talk about Andie that evening, but Naomi previously said he did.
  • Pip defends Ravi at the supermarket because one of the staff members is being a dick. Ravi is a bit upset by this.
  • Pip asks Elliot Ward about Sal. Mr Ward says Sal was super smart and was going to go to Oxford. Mr Ward says he didn’t know Andie, however.
  • Ravi wants in on the investigation. He brings along Sal’s old phone. They find a text on there to Andie which says “I’m not talking to you till you’ve stopped”.
  • Another text, the confession, is also still on there. This one doesn’t match Sal’s usual grammar style though.
  • There’s also a note with a number plate on it. The note was made the week Andie went missing.
  • Pip talks to Emma and Chloe, who say Andie was cruel, and imply that she didn’t have a good relationship with her father, Jason Bell.
  • It also comes to light tha tAndie may have been in a relationship with a Secret Older Guy.
  • Pip and her friends go camping. Pip finds a note in her sleeping bag telling her to stop investigating.
  • Pip starts to suspect Naomi.
  • She also suspects Elliot Ward. She talks to him and he says tha tAndie perhaps didn’t like him because he reported her to her father for bullying. Pip is happy with this explanation for now.
  • Pip also asks Naomi about the bullying and it turns out it was aimed at a girl called Natalie da Silva. Nat was later charged with ABH at university and had to drop out.
  • Pip goes to speak to Nat, who has a tag (an ankle bracelet). She’s still very angry, and doesn’t want to speak to Pip. Nat admits to having put the threatening note in Andie’s locker, though, because Andie was horrible to her.
  • Andie posted a video of Nat topless and the whole school saw it. Andie also threatened to tell everyone that she had been sleeping with Nat’s older brother, Daniel.
  • Daniel is a police officer now. He goes on the suspect list because he had a motive.
  • Pip receives the transcript of Sal’s interview that she requested from the police. It makes Sal look a bit dodgy, as he won’t tell the police why he and Andie had been arguing that week.
  • Pip goes to see Becca, Andie’s sister. She’s working on the paper, and is seeing Stanley Forbes (ew). Becca doesn’t want to talk about the girls’ relationship with their father.
  • Pip speaks to Jess, Becca’s friend. Jess talks about how Jason Bell was awful to his kids and pitted them against each other. Jess also says that she and Becca went to a house party back in the day and afterwards Becca had to buy a morning after pill.
  • After, Pip goes to see Max and spots a topless photo of Andie in his room. Max says he found it at school and kept it.
  • Pip asks if Max was seeing Andie. Max denies it.
  • It’s revealed that Andie may have been dealing drugs so Pip goes to a house party to find out who her supplier was.
  • Pip is hit on by a pervy guy, but she gets the information and knows the dealer hangs out at the train station.
  • Pip follows the dealer, Howie, home, and she notices that he has the number plate that Sal saw.
  • Pip and Ravi question Howie in his house. Howie says he did supply Andie with drugs, and also maybe Max. Max used to buy Rohypnol.
  • Andie apparently had a burner phone, so Pip wants to find that.
  • Pip gets a message telling her to stop. This one is a lot more rude than the previous one.
  • Pip and Ravi break into the Bell house using the spare key. Becca returns but doesn’t spot them. They don’t find the burner phone, but they do find Andie’s old school planner.
  • They figure that the “IV” in the school planner is for a hotel a couple of towns over. There’s also a scribbled out phone number, but the last few digits are hard to read.
  • Pip and Ravi head to the Ivy Hotel in Little Chalfont. The owner has Alzheimer’s and gets upset when questioned, but she does confirm that she has seen Andie before.
  • The decor at the hotel matches the decor in the photo that Max has.
  • Pip asks Emma and Chloe if anyone had their drinks spiked at the house parties. It’s confirmed that people did. Pip reckons it was Max.
  • Max has a fake Facebook profile called Nancy Tangotits. With Cara’s help, Pip logs into Naomi’s profile to be able to see Max’s profile.
  • On Nancy’s page, Pip spots photos from the night Andie went missing. She questions who ook the photos, sinc ethe time on Naomi’s phone shows that they were taken past midnight, when Sal was suppsedly gone.
  • Pip and Ravi retrace Sal’s steps as if he had left the gathering at 12.10. They figure he couldn’t have murdered Andie, disposed of the body, and returned home by 12.50. Sal was innocent.
  • Pip goes to the Ward house. Naomi and Max are there. They admit to lying to the police about what time Sal left because they received a threatening message.
  • Max and Naomi were previously involved in a hit and run, and whoever sent the message somehow knew about it and threatened to tell the police unless the friends lied.
  • Max continues to be a prick.
  • The suspects are now Howie, Max, Jason, Daniel, Nat, and Elliot.
  • Pip returns home to find someone has been in her room. A note reads “You need to stop this, Pippa”.
  • Naomi breaks her phone and starts using Elliot’s spare one.
  • There’s a final warning note in Pippa’s locker.
  • Pip bumps into Nat in the hallway. Nat was applying for a job in the school but they won’t hire anyone who has been previously violent.
  • Pip goes to see Becca Bell, who is writing a piece on why it’s a bad idea to renovate the abandoned farmhouse just outside of town.
  • Pip asks about the burner phone, and Becca says Daniel da Silva was involved in the initial searches of the house. She says he wouldn’t have done it, and was close to Jason Bell.
  • Pip attends a town hall meeting and Daniel doesn’t really want to speak to her. Daniel’s wife, Kim, is there, and implies Daniel has a thing for young girls.
  • Pip takes Barney for a walk and he goes missing.
  • Pip receives a message from Unknown, asking her if she wants her dog back. Unknown tells Pip to destroy her laptop and all her research on the case.
  • Pip does so, but Barney is found drowned in the river.
  • Pip obviously backs up her research. Ravi and Pip are now even more determined to solve the case.
  • Naomi calls Pip to send her regards about Barney. The number she calls from is the one in Andie’s planner.
  • Pip goes round to the Ward house and is ready to accuse Naomi but then it turns out the phone and number are Elliot Ward’s.
  • Pip checks out the printer and finds out that it did print one of the notes – the one from the locker.
  • Ravi and Pip work out that Elliot is probably not tutoring and may be visiting Andie three times a week because he has her locked up.
  • Pip puts her phone in Elliot’s car and tracks him to Wendover, where the Wards used to live. She thinks he may not have sold the house and that’s where he’s keeping Andie.
  • Pip figures Elliot knew about the hit and run from Naomi’s diary.
  • Pip heads to Wendover and goes into the house.
  • Elliot admits to sleeping with Andie, to trying to get her to stop, and to arguing with her the night she disappeared. She tripped, and she hit her head on the desk. She left shortly after.
  • Elliot panicked when he learnt Andie was missing, and he killed Sal to frame him.
  • Later, Elliot saw Andie walking along the main road, picked her up, and locked her in the house in Wendover.
  • Pip goes to the loft and finds the girl, who isn’t actually Andie. She’s a young woman from Milton Keynes who now believes she is Andie because that is what Elliot has been telling her.
  • Elliot is arrested.
  • Pip is still thinking about where Andie really is, since Elliot didn’t kill her.
  • Pip figures it was Becca Bell. She heads over there.
  • Becca spikes Pip’s drink and admits to killing Andie. Andie came home that night and Becca tried to tell her she had been drugged and assaulted but Andie didn’t care.
  • Becca got angry and they argued, and Andie fell and started convulsing. She eventually choked on her own vomit.
  • Becca put Andie’s body in the septic tank of the abandoned farmhouse.
  • Becca tries to kill Pippa but can’t do it in the end. Ravi and Pip’s dad arrive in time. Becca and Max are arrested.
  • Pip gives a really nice speech and Ravi gets to clear his brother’s name.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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  • Lilypads says:

    WOW! You guys did a great job summarizing the book! this is very helpful for my project! thanks!

  • The Mad Hatter says:

    Me too, this website did such a good job and it was so neat and consise. Thank you so much and WELL DONE!

  • Alexa says:

    This was so helpful! I just finished the book today and this really helped me to summarize it. If I forgot a name, or which order things came in. This was so helpful, or thanks so much for this.
    I also may have used this when I was about one chapter away, and I needed to know if it ended up getting resolved, or if I would need to read the second one to get an answer haha.

  • Anya says:

    Gotta do a little revision before book 3 comes out!Anyway, god bless you for doing this.

  • Tiffany says:

    I’m getting ready to read Book #2 and I was fuzzy on details from Book #1. Thank you for taking time to recap the story!! I’d forgotten all about Andie’s sister.

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