Monday, April 2, 2012

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines

Title: The Girl is Murder
Author: Kathryn Miller Haines
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: July 19, 2011
Source: Library
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Summary: 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.  

Review: The Girl is Murder combines both mystery and World War II in a combination that isn't always winning but definitely addicting. 

I seem to have a problem with WWII books. Especially ones that feature mysteries. They promise a fantastic mystery, romance, and a backdrop of New York during the war. They usually only deliver on one thing and that's the setting. The setting just happens to be my favorite part of this book, as well.

Haines writes wartime New York beautifully. All I wanted to do during The Girl is Murder is soak up more of the factoids about the way New York was during the war. I'm in love with history and I felt the historical elements of this one were fantastic. 

I was so disappointed by the mystery aspect of the story. I didn't expect much romance in this one so that wasn't a problem, but the mystery? It just felt like something was missing. Iris's desire to go traipsing around New York was grand but it felt a bit forced. The way she did is was a tad cheesy, too. The end of the book was a little unbelievable. The mystery was solved with just a snap of the fingers. In fact, the whole mystery began to seem pointless. If you've read this you know what I mean. 

Iris wasn't a favorite of mine, either. I'm not going to dwell on that, though. What I did like was her friends, The Rainbows. They were slang using "bad kids" from Iris's new public school. They were tons of fun and I felt like I got to know them better than I did Iris! 

If you're a huge fan of historical fiction I'd suggest picking this one up. If you like mysteries this might not be the one for you since the mystery is so unbelievable. I'm still going to read the next book, mainly because I have it from Netgalley. I'm anxious to see how Iris develops as a character and to see a new mystery. 



Mary @ BookSwarm said...

While I like historicals, I really prefer the Victorian era or before. WWII just makes me sad. But the clothes and music were cool! Sad that the mystery was lacking in this one. That's what intrigued me when I read the blurb. Great review.

Jenny said...

Hm. While the setting sounds fabulous, the fact that the mystery is wrapped up quickly and easily is a bit disappointing, I like to work for it you know? It's part of the fun. I'm not sure this is one I'll rush to read when there are so many other books I'm dying to get my hands on. Thanks for the review Katie!

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