A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Ending Explained

Still have questions after the end of the BBC Three YA murder mystery? Answers and spoilers ahead.

Photo: BBC/Moonage Pictures/Joss Barratt

Warning: spoilers for all six episodes of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

When TV audiences first meet 17-year-old Pip Fitz-Amobi (Wednesday‘s Emma Myers), she’s carrying a copy of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Months later, like the titular heroine of that book, Pip discovers a woman kept secretly locked in an attic. Literary allusions are threaded through this modern whodunnit, from village tearoom The Moonstone sharing a name with Wilkie Collins’ classic detective novel, to Pip’s discovery of a hit-and-run plot and an overt reference to a story that hinges on one in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, to her sharing a name with the protagonist of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

Our Pip may not meet an escaped convict on the moors like her book namesake, but like him, she does question the nature of good and evil, and do plenty of soul-searching growing-up throughout her story. With major finale spoilers, here’s how the TV version of that story, adapted by Poppy Cogan and directed by Dolly Wells from the first book in Holly Jackson’s hit YA trilogy, concludes.

Who Killed Andie Bell?

Though Elliot Ward (Mat Baynton) played his part when he pushed Andie (India Lillie Davies) during their fight and caused her to hit her head on a countertop, it was Andie’s younger sister Becca (Carla Woodcock) who watched her die and hid her body in a well underground in the woods. Becca also fought with Andie, who hit her head for a second time and choked to death on her own vomit due to a concussion, while Becca watched and did nothing to help save her. Becca was angry with her sister because she’d revealed her plan to move out of home and leave Becca to face their controlling dad Jason alone. 

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Becca was also resentful of Andie, who’d refused to go with Becca to the police to report having been drugged and raped by Max Hastings (Henry Ashton) at a party the previous month. Andie was selling drugs to raise the money to leave home, and she was the one who’d sold Max the Rohypnol he used to attack her sister, so if Becca had reported the crime, Max could have revealed Andie’s drug-dealing to the police. 

How Did Sal Singh Really Die?

Because a confession to having killed Andie was texted from Sal’s (Rahul Pattni) phone and he died after taking an overdose in the woods, he was widely believed to have been Andie’s killer. In fact, Sal was framed by his English teacher Elliot Ward, who’d abused his position and had a sexual relationship with teenager Andie when he was her teacher.

When Andie was reported missing after she left Elliot’s house with a head injury on April 19, 2019 (she’d attempted to blackmail Elliot about their sexual relationship, demanding £5k she wanted to run away from home – money that she’d earned by drug-dealing but her father Jason had discovered and stolen from her – and they fought)  Elliot assumed that she’d died. When Andie’s body would eventually be found, Elliot assumed that he would be held responsible and so he needed a scapegoat. He framed Andie’s boyfriend Sal as her killer to take the heat and conceal his scandalous role in Andie’s life and death. Elliot drugged Sal, smothered him to death, sent the confession text from his phone, and faked his suicide.

Why Did Max Find a Photo of Andie in Her Underwear at School?

Presumably, Andie took that selfie in the bathroom of The Ivy House Hotel to use as evidence in her plan to blackmail Elliot Ward for money about their sexual relationship. She showed the print-out to Elliot at school, and Max eventually found it. 

Who Blackmailed Naomi and Max into Lying for the Police?

That was Naomi’s dad Elliot. He’d read Naomi’s diary and learned about the serious hit-and-run Max had blackmailed PC Dan de Silva into covering up (using his knowledge that Dan had committed statutory rape by having sex with Andie Bell when she was underage). Elliot anonymously sent Max a note telling them all to lie to the police about the time that Sal left Max’s house on the night that Andie died, by threatening them that he would reveal their part in the hit-and-run that left a man seriously injured. They went along with it, but the guilt proved too much for Naomi and she led Pip to discover their subterfuge. 

Who Was the Girl in Elliot’s Attic?

Elliot stumbled upon a girl who looked like Andie and who had been sleeping rough, and lured her back to the family home, which he pretended he’d sold but had really hung onto. He drunkenly confessed to Isla that he’d killed Sal, and then trapped her there, secretly visiting under the pretence of being out giving English tuition for extra money. That explains his reference to having “mouths to feed” and the disappearance of the biscuits that his daughter Naomi saw he’d bought back from the shop but couldn’t find in the house afterwards. Thanks to Pip’s quick-thinking, she tracked Elliot to the house and called the police before entering and discovering Isla, who was banging on the pipes to draw attention to her presence. 

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How Did Pip Find Out Elliot Was “Secret Older Guy”?

She made a note of the mobile phone number written in The Ivy House Hotel guest book when Andie and Elliot checked in there under the names “Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby” and saved it on her phone as “Secret Older Guy?” Then after Max smashed Naomi’s phone when they confronted him about the Instagram photo proving Sal’s alibi for Andie’s murder, Naomi found an old phone belonging to her dad in a drawer at home and used it to call Pip, who realised the connection. 

Who Was Sending Pippa Threatening Messages?

Elliot Ward put the printed message that Pippa should “stop digging” in her sleeping bag so that she’d discover it while camping for his daughter Cara’s birthday. The anonymous text messages were sent by Becca Bell, who was the one stalking Pip in her garden.

Who Killed Barney the Dog?

That was also Becca Bell. In the book, Becca kidnaps Barney but it’s her father Jason who drowns him. 

How Did Ravi and Cara Save Pip from Becca?

Ravi found Pip’s car outside Becca’s house, and knew she was in trouble. He found Cara, and she tracked Pip using a Find My Friends app on her phone. They discovered Pip had been drugged with Rohypnol (taken from Andie’s secret bunny toy stash) by Becca, who was about to drop Pip into the same well where she’d dumped her sister’s body, but Ravi and Cara phoned the police and Pip was saved. 

What Next for Pip?

We last saw Pip debating whether or not to go to Cambridge, telling rapist Max Hastings that she wasn’t going to stop until everybody he’d ever hurt got justice, and kissing Ravi. There are two further books, each with their own mysteries to solve, in this Holly Jackson series, Good Girl, Bad Blood, and As Good as Dead. If the BBC renews the show, they could be adapted for screen with the same cast. We’ll bring you more info as it arrives. 

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. 

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