Chapter 2: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (2023)

Transcript

Intro: Hello, every body. And welcome to the second episode of Such A Fun Read. A podcast where we come together to read a book and chat about it. Like a book club! I am your resident reader, Cherie Lampley, and I’m very excited to be here with you today.

Wow. We made it to episode two. Very excited about that. I will say that excited and fun are words you may hear a lot on these episodes. Just a heads up on that.

But I am “excited” to talk about the book that we’re going to talk about in this episode. But before we get into that though, I did want to say a few things. First, I wanted to thank everyone who listened to the first episode. I really appreciate you doing so as well as you coming back this week. If you didn’t listen to the first episode, do not worry. I appreciate you being here now. Also, this is not a podcast that you have to listen to each episode in order. If you wanted to, that would be awesome. You can also jump around, well when I get more episodes that is. This is just week 2. I will say that last week I did do some introductions on myself and the podcast. Just something for episode 1. You can go and listen to that. The short version: as I said my name is Cherie Lampley and I am your resident reader around here. We read a book each week and chat about it. Like a book club! A spoiler-filled chat that is.

I’d also appreciate it if you left a rating for us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you so much in advance.

Next thing, did any of you watch The Summer I Turned Pretty tv show? That was the first book for the first Such A Fun Read episode if you aren’t aware. I didn’t realize all of the episodes would be out all at once. I thought they were going to do them weekly. Well, I started watching them Friday night and stayed up late to finish. That was my Friday evening. When I say I’m a homebody, I mean it. I thought it was cute. I know there were some changes made from the book, but everything seemed to work well. Maybe I’m a bit more mellow now when it comes to adaptations. Especially with something I’ve read so quickly to when the adaptation gets released. I remember seeing Divergent just a few days after I finished reading it. I was nitpicking while watching. Saw it again a few months later and I was more relaxed. So I was a bit proud of myself for not picking at the tv show while watching it. Is that something you guys do? Do you watch an adaptation from a book you’ve read and immediately think “well that’s not what happened in the book” when they make a change? Let me know.

Oh and I will say I did like a character more in the tv show than I did in the book. Maybe I’ll do a bonus episode at some point on the tv show. If you guys want that, let me know. I will need to do some rewatching if that is the case though with me staying up late to watch.

That’s enough housekeeping, let’s get into this week’s book.

Booktalk:

The book for this episode is A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. It was published in hardcover on February 4th, 2020. It is a young adult mystery and one of the biggest mysteries for me while reading this book was why was this book set in Connecticut. The author is from London. Why wasn’t it set there? In doing some research after reading it, I found that the US version is set in Fairview, Connecticut and the UK/Global version is set in Little Kilton, Buckinghamshire. That version was also released in 2019. I’m curious if there were any other changes between the different versions outside of the location. I guess the publishers thought it would be better to change the location for the US version. But…sorceror’s stone…philosopher’s stone…it happens, I guess.

So why did I choose this book?

Last week I mentioned that I like reading cute fun reads during the summer time. I also mentioned a lot of different genres I like to pick up. And a good ole fashioned mystery is a perfect read for the summer. They can be fast-paced and keep you on your toes guessing what is going to happen next.

This book brought me back to when I used to listen to the first season of the Serial podcast. I remember being obsessed with that podcast. Not as obsessed as apparently a few people were on reddit, but I was obsessed enough to make sure I listened each week. Appointment listening it was. I told a lot of my friends “you have to listen to this! You have to listen to this!” I think that was around the time I actually wanted to start a podcast. 8 years later, I finally listened to myself and did it.

I’m also a huge fan of Veronica Mars and reading this brought me back to the first season of that show where Veronica was trying to find out who killed her best friend Lilly. Highly recommend that show if you haven’t watched it.

I had a lot of fun reading this book and I’m really glad I picked it up. I want to know your thoughts on this book as well. Let me know on twitter, instagram, or facebook. The handle is SuchAFunRead. You can also email me at hello@suchafunread.com.

But right now, let’s just get into it and we’ll start with the book summary.

Summary:

Everyone in Fairview knows the story. Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to the story. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent…and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns, with an ending you’ll never expect.

That is the summary on the book jacket of my copy of the book. And now, let’s talk about it. And as I mentioned before, there will be spoilers.

Book Spoilers:

Let’s start with a list of the characters. That might be the easiest place to start. I want to word-vomit everything and just talk about everything in this book all at once, but I’m going to try to be a bit organized while we go through it. I don’t know if I’m going to do a ranking like I did in the last episode with all of these characters. Some of these characters didn’t have enough page-time to receive a ranking. We’ll see.

  • We have our main character Pippa Fitz-Amobi. Also goes by Pip.
  • Her parents Victor and Leanne
  • Her brother Josh
  • Her dog Barney
  • Her best friend Cara Ward
  • Cara’s sister Naomi who was also best friends with Sal
  • Cara’s father Elliot or Mr. Ward
  • Pip’s other best friend Lauren
  • Pip’s other friends Ant, Zach, and Conner
  • The victim Andie Bell
  • Andie’s parent’s Jason and Dawn
  • Andie’s sister Becca
  • Andie’s best friends Chloe Burch and Emma Hutton
  • The accused Sal Singh
  • Sal’s brother, Ravi
  • Sal’s friend Max Hastings
  • Sal’s other friends Jake Lawrence and Millie Simpson
  • Sal’s parents Mohan and Nisha
  • One of Pip’s teachers, Mrs. Morgan
  • Reporter Stanley Forbes
  • Nat de Silva
  • Nat’s brother/police officer Daniel de Silva
  • Local drug dealer Howie Bowers

I hope I’m not missing anyone. That seems like a lot of people. Enough characters.

So Pip is trying to figure out what really happened to Andie Bell. She doesn’t believe that Sal did it and is trying to find out who did? Why is this so important to her? She knew Sal. She would spend time over at the Wards with Cara being her best friend. And with Sal being best friends with Naomi, she would see him often. Sal helped Pip when she was being bullied. In her words, he had been a hero to her and she just couldn’t believe he did it.

(Video) A Good Girls Guide To Murder Ch2

Throughout the story, you see that Pip is becoming obsessed with finding out what happened. She doesn’t have time to spend with her friends. Her parents are fighting over how much time she’s spending on this project. She starts to do things she normally wouldn’t do, like breaking and entering. We’ll get to that.

So Pip’s senior capstone project was how she was able to do her investigation into this case. She didn’t start off by saying she was going to prove Sal’s innocence. The topic was to be “a report on how print, televised, and social media have become key players in police investigations, using Andie Bell as a case study, and the implications of how the press presented Sal Singh and his alleged guilt”. Her project was accepted on the condition that no ethical lines would be crossed, she needed to find a more focused angle, and no contact would be made with the families involved. With that last one, how was she not disqualified so early? The first chapter has Pip go to speak with Ravi, Sal’s brother, and she interviews him soon after and enters the transcript in her capstone project log. The teacher must have been rather lenient when it came to her actually speaking with the families. Mrs. Morgan, Pip’s teacher, did say “I’m concerned about the direction of your project, but that was about it.

Let’s break down what is believed to have happened to Andie Bell.

  • Andie Bell was last seen Friday evening, April 18th, 2014
  • She was last seen alive by her younger sister Becca at 10:30pm
  • She left home with her cell phone, but did not take any clothes with her
  • She was seen by a security camera outside the bank on Fairview’s Main Street driving away from her home at about 10:40pm
  • She was supposed to pick up her parents from a dinner party at 12:45am
  • After her parents didn’t see Andie, they contacted her friends looking for her
  • Andie’s father, Jason Bell, called the police at 3:00am Saturday morning
  • Police spoke with Sal Singh sometime on Saturday, April 19th
  • Sal was with his friends Max Hastings, Naomi Ward, Jake Lawrence, and Millie Simpson
  • They were at Max Hastings’ house and Sal told the police he left there around 12:15am.
  • Sal was home at 12:50am
    • Distance between Sal and Max’s home is around 30 minutes walking
  • The police confirmed Sal’s alibi with his friends
  • Missing posters went up on Sunday April 20th along with house to house inquiries
  • Monday April 21st a hundred volunteers helped the police carry searches in the local woodland
  • Later that day, forensic teams were spotted going into the Bell residence
  • Mid-morning on Tuesday April 21st, Max, Naomi, Jake, and Millie confessed to police for providing false information. They then said that Sal had asked them to lie and that he actually left Max’s home around 10:30pm on Friday.
  • Sal was now missing
  • Tuesday evening, Sal was found in the woods while police were searching for Andie Bell. He had committed suicide. He also had sent his father what they believed to be a confession text earlier that day. He was implicated in the murder because:
    • Andie’s phone was on his body
    • Andie’s blood was under his fingernails
    • Andie’s blood was discovered in the trunk of her abandoned car
    • Sal’s fingerprints were around the dashboard and steering wheel along with Andie’s and the rest of the Bell family.
  • The Andie Bell case was administratively closed in the middle of June 2014 and eighteen months later Andie Bell was declared dead.
  • Her body was never found.

So my observation on this information Sal seemed to be the main suspect, especially with no longer having an alibi.

My first thought was wondering why his friends flipped on him so quickly. I’m not saying to get in trouble for your friends, it just seemed suspect that they decided to flip on him when they did. Per them, Sal had asked them to lie for him. I’ve never been in a situation like this, so I couldn’t say what I would do.

Let’s get back to Pip and her investigation. One of the first interview’s she did was with Stanley Forbes, a journalist at the Fairview Mail. He was convinced that Sal did it and he covered the Andie Bell case in the local paper. Not even close to a favorite character of mine since he thought Sal did it because it’s always the boyfriend oh and Sal is Indian. He also mentioned that there was a death-threat note left in Andie’s locker. He got that information from his source with the police. I’ll get back to Stanley later. I have a few questions about him.

Pip then interviews Ravi, Sal’s brother. He said that:

  • Sal did not act strange before leaving for Max’s. He left home around 7 and Ravi was already in bed whenever Sal returned home.
  • Sal was in a really good mood the next morning, at least until he got a phone call from one of Andie’s friends and he found out about Andie.
  • After Sal found out, he sat by his phone and called her over and over again.

I liked Ravi throughout this story. He was a big part of the investigation wanting to prove his brother’s innocence. And he nicknamed Pip “Sarge”. I like that nickname.

So Pip decided to make a person of interest list. If Sal didn’t do this, someone did. The first person on her list was Jason Bell, Andie’s father.

Her reasoning:

  • Pip watched hours of youtube footage on the early press conference when Andie went missing.
  • She thought Jason was a bit off. His body language with squeezing his wife’s arm when she would cry and how he used his shoulder to push his wife back from the microphone when she said enough. How Becca shrinks from his gaze. And how he talked about Andie in the past tense. This was before Sal’s alibi went away.
  • Ravi had also mentioned how Sal thought Andie had run away to punish someone and that her relationship with her father was strained.

The next person on Pip’s list was Naomi Ward. She had spoken with her as well as Max Hastings.

  • Naomi said that while they were at Max’s on that Friday night, Sal spoke to her about Andie. How they were fighting and he wasn’t going to talk to her for a bit. She said he got up around 10:30 and left. She and the others had stayed at Max’s that night.
  • She also mentioned how Sal asked them to lie for him when they went to see him on Saturday. Pip asked if he had told her where he was and Naomi said she couldn’t remember and she couldn’t remember if they had even asked.
  • When Pip spoke with Max, he said that Sal didn’t talk about Andie that night at his house and Naomi was missing for a while after Sal left. He also didn’t notice Sal leave. He also said that he wasn’t really friends with Andie and they only spoke every once in a while.

Pip asked them both if she thought Sal did it.

  • Naomi said “not the Sal I knew”
  • Max pretty much said with all the evidence, he must have

A reason that Pip added Naomi to the list was because of what Ravi mentioned. He said that Naomi might have been in love with Sal and also Naomi being MIA at Max’s house that Friday night. She was also a bit awkward during the interview. I thought her interview was awkward too. It felt like she was hiding something. The whole “I don’t remember if he told me where he was and all” didn’t sit well with me and I couldn’t believe that Pip didn’t ask Max if Sal told him where he was when he apparently asked them to lie. Again, I’ve never been in this situation so maybe that isn’t something friends would want to know…just in case. Or maybe they just assumed he killed her and didn’t have to say.

The next interview was with Elliot Ward, Naomi and Cara’s father. I’ll probably refer to him as Mr. Ward throughout this episode. She calls him that a lot. Especially with him being a teacher. He was Sal’s teacher, and he also knew Sal well with Naomi’s friendship with him.

From this interview we learned:

  • Sal wanted to go to Yale to study history. He helped him with his essay and Sal got accepted there as well
  • He called in sick on that Tuesday so he wasn’t at school
  • He didn’t know Andie that well since she only had a class with him her sophomore year

At this point Pip had 4 working theories. She tells these theories to Ravi.

  • Theory 1: A third party killed Andie, but Sal was involved somehow, like an accessory after the fact by helping to bury the body and his guilt would have led him to commit suicide. (this is her theory from her thought on Naomi and how she is on the person of interest list)
  • Theory 2: A third party killed Andie and Sal had no involvement. The evidence found on Sal have an innocent explanation to them and are unrelated to her murder.
  • Theory 3: A third party killed Andie and pinned the murder on Sal. The killer also kills Sal and makes it look like a suicide.
  • Theory 4: Andie is alive since a body was never found. She faked her disappearance and killed Sal herself pinning her murder on him as well.

Next up: Sal’s phone. Ravi gives it to Pip.

  • We see that Sal has a missed call from Andie that Friday night before 9. At this point we know from Naomi that Sal was not speaking to Andie because they were fighting.
  • We also see that from 10:33am on Saturday until 7:21am on Tuesday, Sal called Andie 112 times.

That is a lot of times to pretend to be worried about someone you’ve supposedly killed. Ravi was told by police that Sal was making a conscious effort to look innocent by doing this. I mean…that seems a bit farfetched to come to that conclusion without even thinking about it a bit for me, but I’m not a police officer. Sal was found with her phone so why would he call so many times if he still had her phone?

So after Andie called Sal on Friday, Sal sent her a text. The text read “im not talking to you till youve stopped”. He also sent her other messages when she was missing. There was something with the text messages that Ravi and Pip noticed. When Sal sent texts, he didn’t care to use punctuation or capital letters. But when he sent his supposed “confession text to his dad” there was punctuation and capital letters.”

Seems a little fishy.

They also found in his notes app on his phone a license plate number. 009 KKJ. This was written down 2 days before Andie went missing. We’ll put a pin in that.

Next we have Pip interviewing Andie’s friends Emma and Chloe. They were interviewed separately. They seem to have drifted apart after what happened to Andie.

What we learned about that night:

  • She said she found out about Andie around 1am and she tried to contact Sal but he didn’t answer until the morning.
  • She was questioned by police on Saturday
  • We learn that Sal and Andie were arguing at school that week. He was mad about something. That seems to corroborate with the text he sent her Friday night.
  • Andie was supposed to stay home that night. She was supposed to watch her sister Becca who had been hospitalized for self-harming a few weeks before.

We also learned some things about Andie:

  • Andie’s friendship was very destructive but her friends were addicted to her. Being someone she chose to spend her time with made you special.
  • Andie could be very cruel to her sister Becca.
  • Emma doesn’t like the person she was with Andie.
  • Sal and Andie were not intimate.
  • Andie had a lot of money and didn’t have a part-time job.
  • Andie liked her secrets.

Pip hit a wall with Chloe so she thought she would use an old pay as you go sim card to put in her phone to pretend to be Chloe and catfish Emma. Sim cards. These become a very important part of the story. I like how this was used so early to put that in the reader's thoughts.

So during this catfishing moment, Pip learns that there was this secret older guy that Andie said she could ruin if she wanted to. Also that Andie’s father was having an affair.

(Video) A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson| Chapter 2

So Secret Older Guy has now been placed on the person of interest list.

While camping with her friends, Pip receives a note that is placed in her sleeping bag. This of course happens when they believe they saw someone watching them and some of them chased after that person. The note read: Stop digging, Pippa. At first she thinks her friends were playing a joke on her and she doesn’t take it seriously.

Pip has another conversation with Emma and she learns that Andie did not like Mr. Ward and was pissed at him for some reason. This was around spring break, not long before her disappearance. If you remember, Mr. Ward told us that he barely knew Andie. Why would she be so upset with him?

Mr. Ward ends up on the person of interest list and then Pip goes to Mr. Ward for answers. She asks him about it. Then we learn that Andie was bullying another girl. There was an incident with a video that Andie had posted online. A video that would get Andie in trouble with school and the police. Mr. Ward didn’t want to get Andie into too much trouble so he called her father and told him what was going on. Hoping the family would sort it out otherwise he would have to tell the school and Andie would get expelled.

Pip ends up taking Mr. Ward off the person of interest list after this conversation.

Right now our person of interest list includes:

Jason Bell - Andie’s father

Naomi Ward - Sal’s best friend

And Secret Older Guy

Pip speaks with Naomi again and we learn some new things:

  • Nat De Silva is the girl that was being bullied by Andie.
  • Naomi was friends with her.
  • Andie started rumors about Nat. Saying that her family was incestuous and that Nat watched people undress in the changing rooms while touching herself. (Goodness Andie!)
  • Andie got the video when she pretended to be a guy that Nat liked asking her to send a video of her topless with her face in it.
  • Sal knew about all this but said “it’s Andie’s drama and he didn’t want to get involved”. Naomi thought Sal was too laid back about some things.
  • Andie also blackmailed Nat to get her to drop out of the play or she would go to the police and say that Nat’s brother Daniel statutorily raped her. Nat dropped out because she was scared of what Andie might do.

Andie…wow…wow

So we go to talk to Nat. She was back home. She had gotten herself in trouble while she was away at school. She had been arrested and charged with assault. Ravi comes with Pip.

Pip notices that Nat looks a lot like Andie.

  • Nat tells her about the bullying.
  • Also mentions how she left a death-threat note in Andie’s locker that week.
    • So that note that Stanley Forbes thought was left by Sal, wasn’t left by Sal. It was a note from Nat.
  • Nat’s brother, Daniel, is a police officer. He had just finished up his training that year.

After speaking with Nat, and looking up Daniel, they learn that Daniel is the officer that told Ravi to give up when he came to the station to ask questions. Two more people have been added to Pip’s person of interest list: Nat De Silva and Daniel De Silva.

Earlier, Pip had requested the transcript of Sal’s conversation with the police. She received it with some things redacted. In it, Sal is rather evasive about what he and Andie were arguing about that week. But why was he so evasive? What were they arguing about? “im not talking to you till youve stopped” was the text he sent her on that Friday night. Til she stopped what?

  • Seeing the older guy? Did Sal find out about that?
  • Bullying Nat? Naomi said that Sal was too laid back about it, but maybe he was trying to get Andie to stop doing that in his own way.

Those were the two things that crossed my mind. Her seeing an older guy might get her in trouble with her parents and her bullying would get her in even more trouble as well. He seemed to want to protect her. He could also be trying to protect himself by not saying enough. Maybe what they were arguing about would give Sal a real motive as to why he would kill her. That’s what Pip wondered. Also a possibility. But we gotta keep going to find out.

The next person Pip spoke to is a big one. Becca, Andie’s sister. The last person we know that saw Andie alive. And we learn something that put a certain character at the top of my person of interest list. Becca is interning at Fairview Mail. The same place Stanley Forbes works. And guess what? She is dating him! Or kind of seeing him as she says it. So many alarms went off in my head. Stanley is the secret older guy! He killed Andie. And now he’s dating her younger sister. Ewww. Pip also noticed how much Becca now looked like Andie and just got a lot of Single White Female vibes from that. Now that’s a movie I haven’t seen in forever. Anyway, I had talked myself down a bit about Becca. She was Andie’s sister after all. They were going to look alike. But I had not talked myself down about Stanley and I didn’t understand why he had yet been placed on the person of interest list.

But the next person Pip placed on the person of interest was….Max Hastings. Sal’s friend.

Pip spoke with Jess Walker, who was a friend of Becca’s while they were in school.

  • Jess spoke about how Jason was emotionally abusive to his family.
    • How he told Andie that she should always worry about how she looks and she would only be going to college to find a husband.
    • How he would put one of his daughters down when the other did something good
  • Jess also mentioned that Becca looked up to Andie and started to dress like her and planned to ask for the same car as her after getting her driver’s license.
  • Becca also started to want to go out like Andie to the calamity parties.
  • After one party, Becca asked Jess to go with her to get the morning-after-pill. Jess asked but Becca would not tell her who she slept with.
  • We also learned that the night Andie disappeared, the alarm had gone off at Jason Bell’s business offices during the dinner party. He had been nervous to talk to the police about it because he had driven there to check on it and he was drinking that night.
  • Jess thought Andie was dating someone else not Sal because of how close she was to someone at a calamity party. That guy turned out to be Max Hastings. They looked pretty friendly together.

Max had said he barely knew Andie, but why were they so friendly together at the party? Pip started to wonder if he could be the secret older guy because he had been held back a year. I was still thinking it could be Stanley, but I’ll let Pip have her own mind here. Pip learns that Max had a secret facebook profile. One that he could post anything he wanted.

I just want to say that Pip is pretty bold. She goes to question Max on her own. She does things on her own quite a bit throughout this story. In Max’s bedroom, Pip finds a photo of Andy where she is wearing nothing but black underwear. Max claims he found it in school. Pip doesn’t believe him and can you blame her? That seems very far-fetched. Then we learn that Andie Bell was dealing drugs. She was working with a drug dealer in town and gave him a market he didn’t have before. That could explain all the money Andie had that her friends mentioned since she didn’t have a job. Max claims to not know who the drug dealer was and he pretty much kicks Pip out of his house.

Pip gets her friends to go to a calamity party and she cozies up to a guy to figure out who the drug dealer might be. Howie Bowers. He ends up on the person of interest list.

So that list now is:

  • Jason Bell - Andie’s dad
  • Naomi Ward - Sal’s best friend
  • Secret Older Guy
  • Nat da Silva - girl bullied by Andie
  • Daniel da Silva - brother of girl bullied by Andie
  • Max Hastings - Sal’s friend and Andie’s potential secret older guy
  • Howie Bowers - local drug dealer

Pip goes to the train station. This is where Howie goes to deal. Down at the end with no cameras. Again, Pip is alone and again I’m wondering why! She hides in her car.

When a supposed Howie shows up, she ends up calling the number she got from the guy at the party and the guy at the train station answers. Of course after she hangs up, he calls the number right back. Luckily she thought to put her phone on silent.

Guess who shows up? Stanley Forbes! It seems he is being blackmailed by Howie about something. For killing Andie Bell perhaps? What is it!

(Video) A Good Girls Guide To Murder Ch12

After Howie leaves, Pip ends up leaving her car and following him home. Bold Pip. She finds out that the street Howie lives on is the same street that Andie’s car was found on. She also sees the license plate to the car at Howie’s house. It is the license number that Sal wrote down: 009 KKJ.

She calls Ravi to meet her and then they go to Howie’s home. They go into Howie’s house and gets him to talk because Pip had taken pictures of what she saw at the train station that night. Him dealing to a few kids and all. Also that she would go to the cops about how Andie used to work for him.

  • They learn that Andie was the one that came to Howie to deal and she had a second phone she got from Howie to use for her said dealings.
  • Andie kept that phone in a loose floorboard in her wardrobe. T
  • hey also got out of Howie the drugs Andie sold. One of them was Rohypnol. Andie was selling roofies.
  • One of the people that Howie described to buy the roofies was someone with the same description as Max.
  • Howie also denied being involved with Andie in a romantic fashion.
  • Howie didn’t have an alibi for the night Andie went missing. He was at his home alone.
  • Howie had Pip delete the photos before they left. She ended up recovering them after they left just in case.

Someone starts to send Pip text messages telling her to leave this case alone while she still can. So she is getting text messages as well as the message she got in her sleeping bag when she went camping. These messages are from someone that would know where she is as well as know her phone number. She is starting to not think it’s her friends playing a joke on her.

Next, Pip decides it is time to break into the Bell’s home. That is not a joke.

Ravi decides to go in with her. They want to get to the burner phone. It could lead them to the secret older guy. Burner phone isn’t in the loose board in the wardrobe. They almost get caught as well. Becca is supposed to be at her internship and the mother is supposed to be at work. Becca came home because she forgot something and left without thinking anyone was there. Way too close of a call, Pip! Andie’s room was left just how she left it and they find her old agenda. Pip takes pictures of some of the pages.

Pip looks at the photos she took later on. Andie wrote some things in code.

  • TS stood for the train station. She most likely wrote down when she went to meet with Howie.
  • IV was written down. Pip wanted to figure out what that meant.
  • HH was another code where she thought it meant Howie’s house.
  • A phone number was scratched out in it. Pip tried to figure out whose phone number it was but couldn’t.

Ravi thought IV could mean a couple things. The name of a nightclub or the name of an inn. When Pip did an online search she noticed something about the inn. The background of the bathroom looked like the background that was in the photo that Max had of Andie.

Pip and Ravi travel to the inn. The woman that owned the place said, after seeing a picture of Andie that Pip showed her, that she just was here and she just saw her a few weeks ago.

My thoughts went to Andie is either alive and she still frequents this place still or Becca was there, with probably Stanley.

Pip learns that the woman has alzheimers and she may confuse a few weeks ago with a few years ago. I don’t buy it though. It was either Andie or Becca.

When they returned to town at the train station, they saw Howie speaking with someone who turned about to be Max. It seems Max just had more lies. He became #1 on Pip’s person of interest list.

Pip starts to wonder about the Rohypnol and the calamity parties that Max threw. She did some investigation and learned a few girls felt like their drinks might have been spiked. Also Nat de Silva was one of the girls. Then there was a girl that was not named who got roofied. This was a few months before Andie went missing. The girl didn’t remember being at the party and she went to the police to report the incident but nothing ever came about it.

So with Max being suspect #1, Pip enlist Cara to get Naomi’s password to her facebook. Naomi is in fact friends with Max’s secret facebook profile. When Pip goes on there, she sees a bunch of pictures from that night that Andie disappeared. There is one picture that was taken that had Naomi, Max, Millie, and Jake in it. Naomi was looking away from the camera looking down at her phone and you could see the time on her phone’s lock screen. It said 12:09. There were only supposed to be 4 people in Max’s basement at 12:09 am so…who was taking the picture? That person was none other than Sal. His friends had taken away his alibi. And then we get an “I Know What You Did Last Summer” moment.

Naomi and Max come clean to Pip. Sal’s friends had gone out to a party and Max was driving. He claimed to not be drunk and was ok to drive them home. On their way, he ended up hitting a man. They left him there. The guy is now paraplegic and in a wheelchair.

Someone found out and blackmailed Sal’s friends. They were told that if they didn’t do as they asked, they would have to deal with the police on what they had done. So they took Sal’s alibi away to cover their tracks. Sal didn’t lie to the police and he didn’t ask his friends to lie for him.

Pip and Ravi try to time themselves on whether or not Sal still had time to kill Andie and it didn’t seem plausible. Sal seemed to be innocent!

They could go to the police with this information and clear Sal’s name. But that would mean that Naomi would get in trouble. Then Cara would lose her sister and she had already had to deal with her mother dying years earlier. Cara begged Pip not to go to the police. Ravi wanted to of course. They came to an agreement that if they didn’t find the killer in 3 weeks, they would take the photo to the police.

Then Pip gets a new note. A note that was on her word document on her computer. “You need to stop this, Pippa” was typed enough times to fill four full pages. Someone had been in her home. I suspected her parents for a hot second. A hot second each. I suspected Cara too, thinking she did that because of Naomi.

Pip also receives another warning at school. After running into Nat de Silva in the hallway, she was at the school trying to get a janitor job to no avail, Pip found in her locker a folded piece of paper telling her that this was her final warning and she needed to walk away.

Does that stop Pip? Nope. Not sure if it would have stopped me either, but next thing we know, Pip goes to talk to Becca. She goes to the Fairview Mail. Runs into Stanley Forbes but she doesn’t know who she is. Becca sees her and speaks with her. She is working on a story about this old farmhouse that has been vacant and neighbors are wanting to turn into a cafe-bar combo and Becca doesn’t think it’s a great idea. She wants it to go to a family. Her dad almost bought it before Andy disappeared.

Pip tells Becca that Andy has been dealing drugs. Becca doesn’t believe her. She asks Becca if she knew Max Hastings. Becca says only as Sal’s friend. Pip asks questions about Max and questions about Daniel de Silva. Pip finds out that Daniel was close with Jason Bell. and Daniel was one of the first responding officers when Jason reported Andie missing. Pip also tells Becca that she is close to proving that Sal didn’t kill Andie.

Pip then goes to a local meeting where she can speak with local police officers. She talks to Daniel for a bit and learns that he is the police officer that went to the Hastings house when Max ‘crashed’ his car into a tree in front of his house. This was the cover up to him hitting the guy on the way back from the party. Then, Daniel’s wife comes up and has an attitude about Daniel speaking with Pip saying that she wasn’t his usual type. Later, Pip sees Daniel speaking with Stanley Forbes. Something is going on with Stanley. I just know it.

Then something happens. Something that I’m still pissed about. Pip’s dog, Barney, gets kidnapped. She is told to destroy her laptop and any USB or hard drives her project was on. My first thought was this is set in 2019, right? Dropbox existed. One drive? Google drive? iCloud? Did she not keep stuff there?

She ends up doing as she is asked and yet…her dog still died. I was pissed. I’ve never had a dog, outside of playing The Sims, but don’t be out here killing her dog. She did what you asked!

I was ready for Pip to say “Eff this. I did what you asked and you killed my dog anyway? Imma find you.” But she didn’t. I know, she’s a senior in high school. She’s a teenager and she was scared something might happen to someone in her family. Or Ravi. She tells Ravi she’s done. She tells him that she isn’t working on the project anymore and she threw out everything. She didn’t have the photo anymore either, the one that Sal took of his friends that could help clear his name. Ravi is pissed and storms away.

But he comes back the next day. He couldn’t understand why all of a sudden for him that Pip would just change her mind. He realized that someone threatened her and they took her dog and killed him. That is why she said all that. She also didn’t really get rid of the photo. As well as her project. She emails everything to herself when after she writes in her capstone project, just in case.

(Video) Inside the Book: Holly Jackson (A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER)

Okay. We are getting close to the end of the story. Remember earlier when I mentioned how I liked it when the author added Pip using an old sim card to catfish one of Andie’s friends? Well…Naomi had broken her phone. She was waiting for it to be fixed and using an old phone of hers. She wasn’t using her own sim card though because it didn’t fit. They did find a pay as you go one in the house and that one fit so she’s using what is left of that.

Naomi called Pip one day and she knew someone that studied at Columbia. She thought they could help Pip with interview stuff.

I knew this call was important. Naomi wasn’t going to just call her out of the blue. This was a mystery novel after all. Everything that happens means something.

Pip realizes that the number Naomi called from looked like the number that Andie scribbled out in her planner. She speaks with Cara and finds out the pay as you go sim card that Naomi was using was their dads. Mr. Ward. Mr. Elliot Ward.

  • The man who said he didn’t know Andie well.
  • The man who said Andie was just upset because he had called her father and told him about her bullying.
  • The man who would have known that Pip was camping with his daughter and their friends.
  • He had a connection to the school where he worked and could have left the note in Pip’s locker.
  • He didn’t have an alibi the night Andie went missing with Naomi staying over at Max’s and Cara over at Pip’s.
  • He also called in sick the day Sal was found in the woods.

One thing Pip did earlier when she was at the Ward residence was turn on settings in the printer to know what has been printed. She did it because she was suspicious of Naomi. Pip heads to Mr. Wards office to see what has been printed. She reprinted one that was done the same day she got the note in her locker. It said the exact same thing.

So Pip and Ravi needed a plan. Mr. Ward was said to be tutoring 3 nights a week, but what if he wasn’t really tutoring? They turned on find my friends on Pip’s phone and on a ride home from Mr. Ward and Cara, Pip slipped her phone under his backseat. Pip and Ravi tracked Pip’s phone. It stopped at a house in a different town on a street where the Wards used to live. A house that he was supposed to have sold years ago.

Bold Pip is back. She decides to go to that house and confront Mr. Ward by herself. This isn’t the same night that she and Ravi had tracked him. She wanted to go, but Ravi didn’t think it was a good idea. Smart Ravi. This was a different night. But before she went into a house with a person she thought had murdered 2 people and her dog, she does at least dial 911. The operator tells her to stay in the car. Pip, of course, doesn’t listen. Mr. Ward is confused as to how she knew he’d be there. Then she told him she knew what he did. He seemed to be relieved it was finally out.

He confesses to being the secret older guy. He had gone to the inn with Andie. He was lonely after his wife died. Andie started to pay attention to him. It only happened a few times, he said. Then he broke it off during spring break over text message. She threatened to tell when they all got back to school. That is when he found out about her bullying. That was true when he said he called her dad. She could tell and have him arrested, but he would also get her expelled.

On that Friday before she disappeared, Andy showed up at Mr. Ward’s home at around 10. She smashed up some paintings that his wife had made him, and he pushed her. Andie hit her head on the desk. She seemed confused but she was conscious. He rushed out to get the first aid kit, but she left the home before he came back. The only thing left was her phone.

He found out that Andie had gone missing the next day and he was panicking. He needed to give the police a stronger subject. That is when he decided to blackmail his daughter and her friends. He had been reading his daughter’s diary, that is how he knew about the hit and run. Then on Tuesday when he was supposed to be at home sick, he went with Sal into the woods and killed him. He used the blood that he missed from cleaning in his office and used a tweezer to put it under Sal’s fingernails.

But now that we know what happened to Sal, what happened to Andy? According to Mr. Ward, he was driving one day in July and he said he saw her. She was walking from a different town and heading to Fairview. That is when Mr. Ward picked her up and brought her back to that house. She’s been there ever since. He wasn’t tutoring. He was looking after Andie. He didn’t want her to go back home and everyone find out she was alive. That would mean that they would probably investigate what really happened to Sal.

The police get there and Mr. Ward gets arrested. Pip runs up to the attic. There is a girl sitting on a bed. This girl thinks she is Andie Bell. But she isn’t.

Mr. Ward had kidnapped the wrong girl.

While they were talking, Mr. Ward told Andie that he didn’t kill her dog as well.

On the way home, Pip saw the Bell family. The parents were crying and upset in the front seat. Becca seemed to be in a daze in the back.

So Pip had set out to prove that Sal was innocent and she did just that. Sal didn’t kill Andie, but where was she? This seemed to bother Pip and she went through all the information that she had. It pointed to one person. She called Max Hastings needing to verify something. Becca Bell had been roofied at a calamity party and Max had raped her. That is why she couldn’t tell Jess who she had slept with. She didn’t know.

Pip, again, goes to someone she thinks might be a killer alone. She shows up to the Bell’s house and talks with Becca. Becca offers her tea and Pip for some reason drinks it. Becca confesses to what happened that night. She was upset after realizing what had happened at the calamity party. When her sister returned home, Becca didn’t know that she had a head injury. She told Andie what happened to her. Andie looked at her and told her she didn’t care. Andie also told her not to tell anyone because it would get her in trouble.

That made Becca angry. They started shoving each other and then Andie fell back onto the floor. She was coughing and choking. Becca stood there and watched. After seeing the blood in Andie’s hair, she thought she had done that to her. She put her body in the trunk of her car and drove her to the farm. The one she was writing about in her article. Becca is the one that was seen driving from the bank security camera at 10:40 pm. She didn’t want the farm to change because she didn’t want anyone to find Andie.

Becca also was the one texting Pip. Mr. Ward was sending her the notes, but Becca was sending her the text messages. She was the one that had kidnapped Barney. She claimed to not have meant to kill him, but he still died!

While listening, Pip realized something was wrong. Becca had roofied her. She tried to get away into the woods, but Becca caught up to her. Luckily, having find my friends turned on worked in her favor again. Her father and Ravi had found them before Becca could have strangled her.

And that is what happened to Andie Bell.

  • Mr. Ward had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of Sal Singh and kidnapping Ilsa Jordan in the first degree (she was the girl he thought was Andie).
  • Becca Bell would be tried for criminally negligent homicide, illegal disposal of a dead body, and tampering with evidence.
  • Max Hastings was charged with 4 counts of sexual assualt and 2 counts of rape.
  • Howie Bowers had pleaded guilty to the charge of possession with intent to sell.

But I still have questions.

  • What was Howie Bowers blackmailing Stanley Forbes over?
  • Why were Stanley and Daniel de Silva talking about at the town meeting?
  • Why did Jason Bell’s office alarm go off?

I feel like I had more questions than that but those are the few that come to mind right now.

I will say I didn’t spend a lot of time throughout this book really trying to figure out who actually did it. I’m pretty sure I suspected everyone at some point, but I wanted to just go along with the book and allow for it to just tell me what is going on. My suspicions of Stanley Forbes are still there. I don’t like or trust him.

This book is the first in a trilogy so at some point I am definitely going to have to read the others.

Outro: Well that’ll do it. Thank you so much for listening to episode two of Such A Fun Read. I really hope you enjoyed today’s episode on A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. I’d love to know your thoughts. You can find me on our website, SuchAFunRead.com or on twitter and instagram @suchafunread. You can also send an email to hello@suchafunread.com.

(Video) a good girl’s guide to murder by holly jackson booktok compilation

Don’t forget to rate us everywhere you listen to podcasts, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Thanks again and I’ll talk to you guys next week.

Videos

1. A Good Girls Guide To Murder Ch23 Pt 1
(Dorothy March)
2. A Good Girl's Guide To Murder with Holly Jackson
(Waterstones)
3. Good Girls Guide to Murder {Capstone Project Log 1, Chapter 2}
(Tis_I_ The_Frenchiest_Fry_Books)
4. i read a good girl's guide to murder... | reading vlog!
(Sara Carrolli)
5. A good girl's guide to murder by Holly Jackson
(Bucks Book Award)
6. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (Chapters 1-11)
(The Jolly Reader)
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