This Book Kills

Ravena Guron’s novel takes place at Heybuckle – an elite English boarding school stereotypical in its hierarchical structure, parental overinvolvement and emphasis on its own reputation. The story takes a dark turn when a student named Hugh Henry Van Boren is murdered. The novel’s main protagonist, Jess Choudhary, is thrown into the midst of the investigation, as she depicted the murder scene exactly in a short story she wrote for a school assignment. In order to catch the real murderer, Jess must battle a corrupt education system that has been in place for many years.

The plethora of side characters we meet along the way form the typical suspect cast list: academic rival (Summer) who was working on the story with Jess; betrayed ex-girlfriend (Millie); and many indifferent but suspicious classmates. Both Jess and her best friend Clem (who was also Hugh’s girlfriend) must narrow down the list quickly and catch the culprit to clear Jess’s name and, most importantly, stop them before they strike again!

The main plotline takes some time to get going, and at first it might appear that the litany of subplots and character arcs (such as the stereotypical secret school society, the Regia Club) will take away from the main mystery. However, this is not the case. Guron successfully blends familiar themes associated with adolescent boarding-school shenanigans and teenage dynamics with the page-turning plot twists of a classic murder-mystery tale.

Book Cover - This Book Kills
Publication Date
January 2023
Age range