Books Like A Good Girl's Guide to Murder cover

7 Books Like A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (Small Town Thrillers)


When I think about books like A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, I think of mystery books set in a small town, involving an old case, crowded with young casts, and having a little romance.

Only a few books check all the boxes; however, I have tried to pick some with at least one similarity. Below are seven books that hopefully suit your taste as much as Pip’s story. (Don’t forget to check the age rating!)

Pines by Blake Crouch

Pines by Blake Crouch

Black Crouch’s Pines will keep you glued to the page because many of the mysteries and secrets are waiting to be unraveled. 

Wayward Pines is an idyllic town where Ethan Burke, a secret service agent, wakes up after an accident. And the worst case is he’s unable to reach his family.

Ethan starts to wonder about how everyone acts, how he can get out, and why he can’t contact anyone on the phone.  

This small-town mystery book is better if you know very little about it, and you just have to go in blindly, so I will stop talking. But let’s just say you’re going to have a bewildering experience.

The Devil in the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

The Devil in the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

I have previously recommended Stuart Turton’s 7 ½ Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle. This time, I want to talk about another work of his called The Devil in the Dark Water.

In the book set in 1634, Turton takes its reader to board Saardam, an East Indian Company ship, in which the passengers are convinced that the devil is aboard.

The book has a tense atmosphere that makes it even more fun to enjoy the mystery and discover many secrets. You might end up with a smile after you finish the book.

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris (Books Like A Good Girl's Guide to Murder)

Real Murders is one of the books like A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder because it’s also about a small town with a dark side. 

In Lawrenceton, Georgia, a librarian named Aurora “Roe” Teagarden solves murders. What leads her to that venture is rather an interesting story. 

Roe is a member of the Real Murders Club, which discusses famous cases every month. It’s surely not a dangerous activity, right? 

However, one night, she finds a member killed in a way that resembles the crime the club was going to discuss.

You will love Roe like you love Pip. Her attitude and intelligence bring a sense of coziness to a chilling and creepy story. 

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

I’m aware that AGGGTM is for YA readers and The Twyford Code is for Adults. But both have a similar style!

In this book, you will find a transcript of a series of 200 audio files. The reason for that is because the main character, Steven Smith, is dyslexic. 

In his diary entries on an iPhone 4, Steven took us back to his past, exactly forty years ago, when he found a popular children’s book on a bus he was riding. Inside the book, however, there are many unusual annotations and markings.

When he brought the book to his English teacher, Miss Isles, she was convinced it was the key to solving a secret code. And shortly after, Miss Isles disappeared. 

The mystery in this book feels original. Along with the unique style, The Twyford Code becomes a fun and exciting read. 

Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones

Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones

In their promotional material, Ripley Jones’ Missing Clarissa is said to be perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – and I think they have a point.

Twenty years ago, as the title suggests, Clarissa disappears and is never seen again after a party in the woods outside Oreville, a rural town in Washington.   

In the same area, but at a different time, Blair and Cameron are best friends and high-school juniors. They started a true crime podcast to unravel the truth about this urban legend in their rural. 

Based on what you just read, I’m sure you understand the similar theme and vibe between this book and AGGGTM.  

Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolfe

Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolfe (Books Like A Good Girl's Guide to Murder)

Wolfe’s Dead Girls Don’t Lie is another one of the books like A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder because it is a mystery book set in a small town. 

The author takes us to follow Jaycee in her attempt to find out about the murder of her best friend, Rachel. 

She doesn’t agree with the police, who blame the incident on a growing gang in their town. She knows it’s related to that terrible night at the old house. Therefore, she continues to dig.

I’m pretty sure you’ll also suspect every character in this book, just like how you felt when reading AGGGTM.

The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper

Similar to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Dry offers a small-town mystery. In this book, Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk has to solve a case of his childhood friend who killed himself after he killed his wife and son.

At first, Falk was reluctant to come back to his hometown. After all, he had already sworn to never visit the place again. 

The Dry is a compelling story that will engross you in the characters and everything that happens in the small town. The author did a great job of building suspense and tension throughout the book. 

Wrapping Up

There you have it – my selection of seven books like A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. 

If I have to pick one of them for you to read immediately, it would be Charlaine Harris’ Real Murders, which happens to be the kick-off of the Aurora Teagarden series. So, if you like this first book, you have many more books to read after.

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