Thursday, March 22, 2012
YA Edgar Nominee Review: The Girl Is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
But in the historical context, this YA cliche became fresh and interesting. Iris goes from a private to public school after her mother dies, and finds herself hanging with not-so-popular Pearl. To make matters worse, her P.I. father, an injured war veteran, is hanging on by a thread financially--which is what prompts Iris to help him with his cases. Her stubbornness is endearing, and her search for belonging in her new life recognizable.
Iris' quest shifts when a boy at her new school goes missing, and she begins her amateur sleuth quest for his whereabouts. We quickly get caught in some girl-drama, 1940s style. The historical detail in setting, dialogue and social mood were spot-on; big kudos to the author for getting the details right. This historical context got in the way of the story though, and the mystery's resolution felt a little disappointing to me. Still, The Girl Is Murder is a very solid P.I. mystery, well-plotted, and a unique read.
Verdict: recommended for a teen-view of the 1940s in America, probably better-suited for girls.
Mystery Quotient: 5 out of 5; a solid P.I. mystery.