‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ by Holly Jackson – Book Summary and Ending Explained

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder Plot Summary

A 17-year-old student, Pippa (Pip) Fitz-Amobi, tries to investigate a five-year-old closed case to help exonerate her senior – Salil (Sal) Singh. She meets Sal’s younger brother – Ravi and the two embark on a journey to find the truth about Sal’s relationship with Andie as well as the cause behind Andie’s disappearance and Sal’s alleged suicide.

Despite receiving many threats from an unknown number, Pip does not stop trying to uncover the truth behind Andie’s mysterious disappearance. Ravi and Pip conclude that Sal is innocent after finding evidence of Sal’s friends being threatened by the killer to lie about his alibi on the night of Andie’s disappearance.

The duo decides to take 3 weeks to find some solid evidence against the killer. The killer kidnaps Barney, Pip’s dog and kills it after forcing Pip to destroy the evidence against them.

Who is threatening Pip?

After Barney’s death, Pip decides to stop the investigation so that she can keep the rest of her family as well as Ravi’s family safe. However, Ravi convinces her to find the killer instead of living in fear for the rest of her life.

One day, Pip is at her childhood best friend Cara Ward’s house when she learns that her father – Elliot Ward had printed the threatening note she found in her locker. She is shattered to learn that the man she considered to be her father figure had been threatening her and had killed her dog.

Pip tells Ravi that Elliot has something to do with Andie and Sal’s death. She shares her location with Ravi and hides her phone in Elliot’s car.

What happens when Pip follows Elliot Ward?

That night, Pip learns that Elliot spent three days a week in their old townhouse that the rest of the Ward family had presumed was sold. She also discovers that Elliot is taking food to the townhouse and is lying to his daughters. Pip is certain that Andie is alive and that Elliot has been hiding her in the townhouse for the last five years.

Without informing Ravi, Pip goes to the townhouse to confront Elliot. She is outside the house when she alerts the cops. Inside the house, Pip confronts Elliot and asks him to tell her the truth about Andie’s disappearance as well as Sal’s alleged suicide.

What happened between Andie and Elliot?

Elliot confesses that despite being a teacher and Sal’s mentor, he hooked up with Andie a couple of times after his wife’s death. He tells Pip that he asked to end things with her but Andie would threaten to expose him. Elliot states that he threatened to ruin Andie’s life by exposing the truth about her bullying a fellow student Nat.

The history teacher tells Pip that this made Andie furious. On the night of Andie’s disappearance, Andie came to confront Elliot about it. After an argument between the two, Andie tried to destroy his late wife’s paintings. Elliot tells Pip that he pushed Andie a little too hard due to which she hit her head on the table and started bleeding.

Elliot states that he rushed to find the first-aid kit only to come back and find that Andie had left to go back home.

How did Sal Singh die?

Elliot states that he did not think Andie had disappeared until the following day when the cops were alerted and the case blew up. As soon as the cops interrogated Sal, Andie’s boyfriend, Elliot decided to frame him for Andie’s disappearance. He threatens his older daughter Naomi as well as Max, Jake and Millie who were with Sal on the night of Andie’s disappearance.

Elliot uses the secret he found in Naomi’s diary and anonymously forces the 4 friends to lie to the cops about Sal’s alibi. He threatens to expose Max’s hit-and-run car accident which could ruin their lives. Elliot tells Pip that he called in sick to work and met Sal at his home where he was alone.

He claims to have sneaked Sal’s father’s sleeping pills as he invited Sal to go look for Andie in the forests. In Sal’s car, Elliot is revealed to have forced Sal to take the sleeping pills and suffocate him with a plastic bag until he dies. Elliot also reveals that he planted Andie’s phone that was left behind in his house on Sal as well as sent the confession text to Sal’s father. Pip is shocked to learn that Elliot also used Andie’s blood from his house to frame Sal.

Did Elliot kidnap Andie? Who is the girl Elliot hid for five years?

Pip calls Elliot a monster and asks why he is still hiding Andie. Elliot claims that he found Andie on the side of the street a few months after Sal’s death. He adds that Andie looked malnourished and disoriented from using a lot of drugs. Elliot tells Pip that he decided to hold Andie captive in his family home where he would keep her locked to protect himself.

The cops arrive and Pip tells Elliot how disappointed she was in him. She asks Elliot to keep the truth about the hit-and-run accident a secret from the cops as she does not want to see Cara lose her sister after he is arrested. Pip accuses him of killing her dog whom she loved so much but Elliot denies doing so.

Pip then rushes to unlock Andie but realises that the girl Elliot had kidnapped is not Andie. She rushes outside the Ward family house as the cops arrest Elliot and find Ravi waiting for her. On their drive back home, Ravi and Pip spot Andie Bell’s parents – Jason, Dawn and her sister Becca in the car.

Pip notices the confused expression on Becca’s face and finds it odd as she is not happy about the news of her sister being found alive even if it wasn’t the truth. Ravi’s parents thank Pip for exonerating their son after five years of the Singh family being shunned for a crime Sal had not committed. Ravi tells Pip that she should give it a rest as it was the cops’ job to find Andie’s remains.

Who really killed Andie Bell?

Pip is taking down the murder board when she suddenly realises starts wondering about Becca’s involvement in the incident. She also recalls that the threats she received via text were tonally more harsh and visits Becca at the Bell house. There, Pip tries to empathise with Becca and drinks tea with her.

Pip confronts Becca about being raped by Max at a party when she was drugged. Becca comes clean that reveals that on the night of Andie’s disappearance, she told Andie about being raped. Becca states that Andie mocked Becca instead of taking the incident seriously. She recalls being angry at Andie which results in the two sisters getting into a physical altercation.

Andie who was already bleeding from being pushed by Elliot suffers a concussion and chokes on her vomit. Becca tells Pip how she watched Andie die in front of her eyes and did not try to help her. She states that she initially did not know that Andie was having a concussion and thought that Andie’s death was entirely her doing.

She confesses to having dragged Andie’s dead body in her car and putting her inside a septic tank in their family home. Becca tells Pip that she had left Andie’s car at the drug dealer – Howie’s house so that he could be blamed for Andie’s disappearance. However, when Sal is found dead and is blamed for Andie’s death, she claims to wonder if she is indirectly being forgiven for what she had done. Pip tells Becca that she would not tell the cops anything and wants to give her a chance to escape Little Kilton.

Who killed Pip’s dog – Barney?

Pip tells Becca that she is certain that just like she did, the cops will eventually make the connection and arrest her for hiding her sister’s dead body. Shockingly, Pip finds herself passing out from the drug that Becca had added to Pip’s tea. She is worried and tries to run away when she hears police sirens outside the Bell house.

She finds Ravi waiting outside and learns that he had called the cops when he found her phone being located at the Bell house. Pip tells him details about Andie’s dead body being in a septic tank. Becca is arrested and Andie’s bones are found. Pip turns into a local hero and her school project gets a lot of media attention.

Do Pip and Ravi end up together?

Ravi, who is now dating Pip, motivates her before her EPV presentation which had turned into a huge event at school. Pip narrates how Elliot Ward and Becca Bell were arrested for the murder of Sal Singh and Andie Bell respectively. Elliot was also charged with kidnapping a mentally challenged girl by mistaking her for being Andie. Max Hasting’s is charged with drugging and raping Becca. Cara is still friends with Pip but has avoided attending the presentation because of her father’s involvement in the case.

How does A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder end?

Pip makes a presentation about how she and Ravi, with the limited resources at their disposal, solved a closed case for her school project. Pip talks about the failure of the justice system in discovering the truth about a murder which led to the ostracization of the Singh family. Pip invites Ravi on stage to talk about his late brother – Sal. The two are rewarded with cheers and claps for their bravery as they end the presentation hand-in-hand.

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