Eleanor Jones Is Not a Murderer

Amy Doak

Eleanor Jones Is Not a Murderer
Penguin Random House Australia
4 September 2023

Eleanor Jones Is Not a Murderer

Amy Doak

Eleanor Jones has just started at her ninth high school in less than five years. Since she and her mum are always moving on, Eleanor likes to stay on the outer, to stay invisible. So maybe it's just bad luck that the very first person she talks to at Cooinda Secondary College, Angus Marshall, is stabbed and left for dead the same day. The last message on Angus's phone is from Eleanor Jones.

After being interviewed by the police, Eleanor realises they don't have all the facts and decides to investigate. In trying to understand what happened to Angus, Eleanor inadvertently becomes involved with an eclectic group of fellow students - all of whom have their own reasons to want to solve the mystery.

As they slowly unravel Angus's secrets, Eleanor discovers the true meaning of friendship - and uncovers a danger lurking at the heart of the town . . .


A fast-paced murder mystery, Eleanor Jones Is Not a Murderer takes the YA murder-mystery genre and humanises it, placing friendship and self-discovery at its core.

Eleanor Jones has spent her whole life moving from town to town. As a result, she’s struggled to make friends and develop meaningful and lasting relationships. A day after arriving at her latest school, there’s a stabbing, and the one friend she made the previous day is the victim. So, Eleanor sets out to track down the suspect and solve the mystery.

Eleanor as a protagonist is incredibly relatable, dealing with common teenage problems such as moving schools, making new friends, and discovering who you are. She’s clearly not just trying to solve a crime, she’s navigating a complex and confusing teenage world. Through the process of trying to solve the mystery, Eleanor begins to bond with other students at school – kids who don’t have close friends, just like her. These characters support each other throughout the novel in a way which not only propels the plot forward, but also serves as a great role model for teenagers.

While this book does feature a mystery at the centre of its plot, what ultimately drives the story forward and gives it heart is the developing relationships between the characters. Eleanor Jones Is Not a Murderer is most appropriate for people aged 14+ due to infrequent but explicit references to drugs.

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