Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review: The Girl Is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines

The Girl Is Murder
Author: Kathryn Miller Haines
Publication: Roaring Brook Press; 1 edition (July 19, 2011)

Description: Iris Anderson is only 15, but she's quickly mastering the art of deception in this YA novel for fans of Veronica Mars.
It's the Fall of 1942 and Iris's world is rapidly changing. Her Pop is back from the war with a missing leg, limiting his ability to do the physically grueling part of his detective work. Iris is dying to help, especially when she discovers that one of Pop's cases involves a boy at her school. Now, instead of sitting at home watching Deanna Durbin movies, Iris is sneaking out of the house, double crossing her friends, and dancing at the Savoy till all hours of the night. There's certainly never a dull moment in the private eye business.

My Thoughts: This historical mystery immersed me in New York's Lower East Side in 1942. Iris Anderson is adjusting to lots of changes. Her mother commits suicide, the father she barely knows comes home from Pearl Harbor missing a leg, and she is attending public school for the first time.

Her father has set up his own detective agency after and argument with his brother. His loss of a leg has made many parts of detective work difficult and money is tight. She wants to help her father but he sees her as a child and refuses her help. She decides to help him without his knowledge. When the case she wants to help with is centered around a boy she know at school, she finds it easy to go undercover.

Besides making new friends at her new school, she does meat again with her "best friend" from her old school. She finds her very changed but doesn't know which of them has done the changing.

The mystery has a pretty non-mysterious resolution but Iris's investigations, the atmosphere and attitudes of the time, and her growing acceptance of her new life carry the book.

Fans of historical fiction and mysteries will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
This was how it was with him and me; he tried to be a private detective, I tried to pretend like I no longer existed. So far, I was the more successful of the two of us.
I bought this one in 2012 when it was nominated for a YA Edgar. You can buy your copy here.

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