Friday, June 22, 2018

Review: The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
Release date: July 19, 2011
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 352
Reading level: Young adult
Genre: Historical fiction/mystery
Series: Book 1
Source: Gift
Links: Author Goodreads Amazon 

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars 

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.


This book has been sitting on my shelf for years and I am surprised at that. I love mysteries and historical fiction, plus the cover is very alluring. I can't say for sure whether I would have enjoyed this more if I had read it when I was 15, but I felt that it had a lot of promise that didn't ultimately deliver. THE GIRL IS MURDER is supposedly the first in a series, but I think this could have been a standalone. At 15, Iris lives alone with her father in New York and longs to be involved in his private detecting work. He forbids her, but Mr. Anderson's war injury combined with the fact that his latest case involves a missing student from her daughter's school, makes it hard for him to completely keep his daughter uninvolved. What follows is a quick read that involves Iris sneaking out and immersing herself in the case all while trying to help her dad without his knowledge.

The plot seemed promising and I loved the idea of a mystery set in Manhattan in the early 1940s. The author seemed intent on clearly defining the setting with a lot of slang and other references to the time. Iris did seem to want to actually help her dad, but it seems she might have been more helpful if she wasn't always sneaking out and lying to him and her friend(s). I can't imagine how difficult it was for Iris to know her father was struggling financially and thinking his only option was her help. Iris was adventurous and an entertaining main character, but the plot often fell flat. I wasn't particularly invested in learning what happened to the missing boy, Tom, and the ending also seemed a bit too easy, while definitely not what I was expecting.

There were a multitude of supporting characters and I enjoyed reading about what they did for fun and hearing the slang they used. All in all, this was a fast paced and entertaining mystery that doesn't get too in-depth. Iris was sweet in her dedication to solving the mystery and helping her family, but beyond that I do not think I will be picking up the sequel. Reviews do mention that it was much more plot driven than this one so that is a bit appealing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments, so feel free to leave your thoughts :)