Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Review: The Girl is Murder (#1) by Kathryn Miller Haines

The Girl is Murder (#1 in series)
by: Kathryn Miller Haines
Young Adult Historical/Mystery
Published: 2011

image: Goodreads
I'm always on the lookout for unique settings and different time periods for YA fiction. In this series, 15-year-old Iris lost her mother to suicide and her father just returned injured from the war, World War II in 1942. Despite all this, she's rather plucky, ambitious, and ready to make new friends. But life is pretty different living with her father whom she barely knows, and public school is nowhere near the same as her old private school. Iris fumbles with new friendships, and her relationship with her father, so she takes on some of her father's private investigation duties in attempts to help out at home. She uncovers a mystery of a missing student, and Iris believes if she can solve the case, she can win over her new friends, and her father.

I liked the voice in this book a lot; Iris is a bit naive, and her new friends definitely let her know it. There are a lot of fun '40s phrases and slang. I listened to the audiobook, which was wonderfully narrated (would recommend). Iris gets into trouble, but it always feels like "safe" trouble; nothing too shocking, and it's all couched in historical context. One nitpick is the Goodreads blurb compares this series to the TV show Veronica Mars, but the only similarity is teen girls who sleuth and have a single dad; Iris and Veronica as characters are completely different and the tone is not even the same. So, this is not historical Veronica Mars, but it's still a fun read.

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