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The Girl is Murder

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Girl is Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    2.5 stars. I liked Iris enough as a character, and while I thought the mystery played out fine, it was everything else that didn't quite work for me. First, I thought the repetition of the fact it was 1942 became old quick. There's showing me a setting and a time period, which is done well, but then it also falls a bit too hard into telling with the repetition of television show names, radio show names, product brands, etc. Those things are pretty meaningless to me as a reader and don't add to the 2.5 stars. I liked Iris enough as a character, and while I thought the mystery played out fine, it was everything else that didn't quite work for me. First, I thought the repetition of the fact it was 1942 became old quick. There's showing me a setting and a time period, which is done well, but then it also falls a bit too hard into telling with the repetition of television show names, radio show names, product brands, etc. Those things are pretty meaningless to me as a reader and don't add to the sense that it's 1942. It's clutter. My biggest problem, though, came down to one involving social/economic status. We're dropped into this story when Iris has moved from the Upper East Side to the Lower East Side, and that's indication of a change in finances for Iris's family. Her mom killed herself, and now it's just her and dad, and he's a private investigator, so he doesn't make much. Rent's been late, and Iris wants to help her dad out financially. But there's a weird relationship then when Iris wants to reconnect with her old life. She's very judgmental about the wealth there, unable to realize that she was once a part of that very life. There's a lot of stigma attached to money, both the having it and not having it, and while this is a thread I find powerful in a lot of stories, here it's not developed as well as it should be, and it falls flat. It makes me question Iris's sincerity in getting to the bottom of Tom's disappearance, but more than that, it makes me question her character and her interest in developing real friendships with people. I'm not sure this ties in EXACTLY with the money issue here, but Iris had a lot of other complicated feelings I couldn't unwind. She really dislikes the fact Pearl is not a thin girl, and she's constantly commenting on how Pearl is fat and she repeatedly points out what and how much she's eating. I get that Iris wants nothing from Pearl other than someone to do some of her dirty work, but this felt shallow and hollow. Part of me does think this relates right back to the complicated issue of social class. Pearl's clearly not wealthy, and Iris makes it clear she's not of the physical caliber of her former friends. She eats a lot. Iris is not only quick to judge, but she likes to place blame everywhere. (view spoiler)[ So when she finds out Tom died in an Army training exercise and that Grace pushed Tom into the Army so he could be with her, she blames Grace for the entire thing. As if someone would choose to join the army for one girl he'd only met a little while ago. As if it wasn't TOM'S decision ultimately. Because it IS his decision, not Grace's. But the fact is, Iris wants a reason to resent Grace (maybe because she has money or maybe because she manages to make friends even after Iris leaves, etc.) and this is her easy out. (hide spoiler)] While I know Iris wants to help her father initially, her motives are ultimately selfish. It doesn't make sense to me why she invests so heavily in Tom, especially because she knows he's played her. I don't buy (view spoiler)[ the abortion/pregnancy story line because it's SO cliche (hide spoiler)] . And while (view spoiler)[ Iris's dad finds her at the Savoy at the end (hide spoiler)] , he's a pretty crappy detective to not put anything together about why his daughter is always gone and always lying left and right. So the assessment one of his clients gave about being lousy? Well, they were right. The writing was fine, though at times it became a bit drippy with how hard it tried to master the slang. I noticed it because it became repetitive to a fault. "Square from Delaware" and "Boy Howdy" didn't need to be used as much as they were. All that said, I think readers who enjoy Judy Blundell or who liked Christine Fletcher's Ten Cents a Dance will enjoy the read. I'm being much more critical than most readers would because these are personal peeves, but on the whole, it's an enjoyable read. It's a time period I find fascinating, especially as it's not set out to be a war-time story, and yet it so much is simply because that was the world.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maree

    This is one of those situations where I'd kind of like a half star. This book isn't the average meh YA book, but it didn't astound me either. Iris is a teenager recovering the dramatic suicide death of her mother a year earlier, the move from the Upper East End to the lower, poorer side, the shift from private school to public and the return of her father, a Pearl Harbor victim who lost his leg in the first throes of the second world war (for the US). Her father takes up practice as a private eye This is one of those situations where I'd kind of like a half star. This book isn't the average meh YA book, but it didn't astound me either. Iris is a teenager recovering the dramatic suicide death of her mother a year earlier, the move from the Upper East End to the lower, poorer side, the shift from private school to public and the return of her father, a Pearl Harbor victim who lost his leg in the first throes of the second world war (for the US). Her father takes up practice as a private eye, but as a cripple, finds it difficult to follow people and blend in. Iris secretly decides to help out when a boy from her school disappears, and throws herself into the world of drugs and alcohol and Harlem dancing with boys to solve the case. The mystery is the dinner mystery kind, where you can't really figure out what happened until it's explained. That does mean I didn't guess the ending, but that also means that there wasn't much fun in trying to figure it out. The characters were engaging and dealt with their problems as teenagers might in this era. The slang was kind of fun but confusing at times - but it explained the title to me a little better. Still not sure how it's relevant to the story aside from making you think the book is about something it's not. Still, an enjoyable read. It does tread on touchy subjects for the young, such as teenage pregnancy and sex, but very lightly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Smothers

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was decent, but I've gotta say, the cons definitely outweighed the pros. Here were some of the issues I had with this book: (SPOILER ALERT) Tom was set up to be interesting and unique, but after one or two inconclusive conversations with Iris (protagonist) he disappears. You never really get to know him yet he was a major theme throughout the book. That was a definite downside. The characters were a bit underdeveloped. Everyone who interacted closely and almost daily with Iris had a clos This book was decent, but I've gotta say, the cons definitely outweighed the pros. Here were some of the issues I had with this book: (SPOILER ALERT) Tom was set up to be interesting and unique, but after one or two inconclusive conversations with Iris (protagonist) he disappears. You never really get to know him yet he was a major theme throughout the book. That was a definite downside. The characters were a bit underdeveloped. Everyone who interacted closely and almost daily with Iris had a close to unique personality, but everyone else was pretty much exactly the same. Also, the characters who were supposed to be particularly different showed traits and a repetitive speech pattern displayed in other characters. Any witty banter and/or snappy dialogue was non-existent. The investigative techniques of Iris were very predictable and displayed a serious lack of initiative or imagination - even after acknowledging Iris as an amateur detective. Fake crying to get someone to talk to you. Eavesdropping on conversations. Nothing that really stood out. At first you get the impression that Iris only wants to help her father out as a detective for money. Yet, she develops a stalkerish interest in Tom that never goes anywhere. Then when he disappears, she seems obsessed with him and his story. It was a little odd because she had no reason to be. Her newfound interest was a bit too feverish and sudden to be completely innocent; and even though she claims to be helping her father, she continuously ignores and worries him. Does that sound like a concerned daughter? I was expecting the conclusion to be a great scandal as a way to tie all of the seemingly unimportant and monotonous ends together, but I was sorely dissapointed. Tom died because he joined the army to impress a girl. It was anticlimactic and unimpressive. My conclusion: Iris is a far cry from Nancy Drew.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Well, what can I say? It was a decent historical mystery. The solution to the mystery, however, was a bit of a letdown. Scratch that; it was a complete letdown. I read this book right after reading What I Saw and How I Lied and the two are astonishingly similar. Even the covers look alike! However, What I Saw and How I Lied was the superior novel. This book has the right idea. The characters are cleverly written and the dialogue, though stilted at times, is realistic to the time period. The prob Well, what can I say? It was a decent historical mystery. The solution to the mystery, however, was a bit of a letdown. Scratch that; it was a complete letdown. I read this book right after reading What I Saw and How I Lied and the two are astonishingly similar. Even the covers look alike! However, What I Saw and How I Lied was the superior novel. This book has the right idea. The characters are cleverly written and the dialogue, though stilted at times, is realistic to the time period. The problem is the antagonist. When I read "What I Saw", I always felt a bit afraid of the antagonists. In this book...well, I won't spoil anything, but let me just say the antagonist is not a bit frightening. Also, the actual mystery? While it may be realistic, it was completely boring. After investing your time in this book, you turn to the last chapter and find out (view spoiler)[Tom joined the ARMY and died? Whether Grace told him to or not, it's not very exciting. (hide spoiler)] . If someone is interested in reading this book, I'd suggest they try reading What I Saw and How I Lied instead.

  5. 4 out of 5

    AnnaBnana

    Iris is desperate to help her father with his private dectective business. Since his injury in the war, she sees her services as indespensible to him, but since he's been gone half her life, all he can see her as is a little girl. There were elements of this book I liked very much. I love mid-century mysteries and I liked Iris. She was a plucky girl going for what she wants, making mistakes along the way, but learning as she goes. I was hoping to like this installment of noir historical mystery/d Iris is desperate to help her father with his private dectective business. Since his injury in the war, she sees her services as indespensible to him, but since he's been gone half her life, all he can see her as is a little girl. There were elements of this book I liked very much. I love mid-century mysteries and I liked Iris. She was a plucky girl going for what she wants, making mistakes along the way, but learning as she goes. I was hoping to like this installment of noir historical mystery/drama as much as I liked Ten Cents a Dance and What I Saw and How I Lied, but this book just fell a little short for me. Iris' mother had to be dead in order for she and her father to be put in the situation they are in, but the resulting plotline of her suicide felt extraneous to the rest of the story and while having it remain unresolved is realistic, it made the whole subplot feel unnecessary to me. Without saying too much, I'll also so thatt the resolution of the mystery itself was also a bit unsatisfying to me, but all that said, it was a fast-moving plot with enough intrigue and good characterization to keep me going.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    Veteran mystery writer Kathryn Miller Haines has penned her first YA mystery and like her adult mysteries, it is set in New York City during World War II. And though it is war time, the war seems to play the part of another character. The story isn’t war related, but the action couldn’t happen if there wasn’t a war happening. It is the first day at her new school for 15 year old Iris Anderson and she is understandably nervous. A former student at the post Upper East Side private girls’ school, C Veteran mystery writer Kathryn Miller Haines has penned her first YA mystery and like her adult mysteries, it is set in New York City during World War II. And though it is war time, the war seems to play the part of another character. The story isn’t war related, but the action couldn’t happen if there wasn’t a war happening. It is the first day at her new school for 15 year old Iris Anderson and she is understandably nervous. A former student at the post Upper East Side private girls’ school, Chapin, she is about to begin public school on the Lower East Side. Just before her Pop came home from the war, having lost a leg at Pearl Harbor, her mother had inexplicably committed suicide. Now, out of money, Iris and her dad have moved into a cheaper place downtown, where he has resumed the detective business. At school, the first person Iris meets is Suze, a tough girl smoking in the girls‘ room with her friends. But Iris and Suze actually manage to bond - Suze has a boyfriend in the army and Iris lies about her dad being home. She also meet Tom Barney, good looking guy who helps her find her class. At home, Iris overhears a client telling her father he is dissatisfied with proving his wife’s unfaithfulness. Iris decides to help out, manages to get photos of the cheating wife, but her father gets angry instead of appreciating her efforts. He wants her to stay out of his business because she doesn’t know or understand how to properly detect. But when Tom Barney goes missing, and Iris has capitalizes of her bond with Suze to get in good with Tom’s friends, she find she can’t stay out of her father’s business, especially when she learns there is a connection between Tom and her best friend from Chapin, the very well to do Grace Dunwitty. Kathryn Miller Haines has created a realistic historical fiction novel and a good mystery, though in this first book od a series the mystery falls a little flat. But that is ok, because the real purpose of this novel is to introduce and familiarize the reader with Iris, her family, her friends, and her environment and Haines has done an excellent job at recreating 1942 New York. And Iris is an interesting character. Once a happy, carefree girl who had whatever she wanted, she is now forced to become more ‘street smart‘ with her change of circumstances and, yes, she has taken up lieing to her father. Haines does a good job of making this change seem plausible. It doesn’t just happen, Iris makes all kinds of mistakes right from the start because she is impulsive and doesn’t always think things through very well. But she learns from her mistakes. Originally, I didn't care much for Iris, but she grew on me and I ended up finding her a very likable character. I even liked the Rainbows, even though they were supposed to be the school badies - teens who cut classes, went dancing at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, and even smoke a lot and drink not so much. The girls dress suggestively. the boys go dancing in Zoot Suits. Haines includes a disturbing but realistic episode about the Zoot Suits, which were considered very unpatriotic because the large amount of material used to make them should have gone to the war effort. And there are other realistic touches throughout the book, adding to its appeal. When I was in high school in NYC, there were groups just like the Rainbows, even that many years later. The story is fast paced, full of 1940s slang and so New Yorkish, I kept wanting an egg cream while I read it. Haines brings up and deals with issues around race, class and touches on religion, all very much a part of the time. This book is recommended for readers age 12 and up. This book was purchased for my personal library.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I always liked Nancy Drew but also found her a little white bread if you get my drift. Iris Anderson is how Nancy Drew would be in reality, if Nancy's dad lost all his money and his leg. It's 1943 and Iris is just starting public school after going to private school for most of her life. Her father is back from the war after losing his leg at Pearl Harbor and her mother has committed suicide some months before. Iris's dad is a private eye but his business has suffered since he lost his leg. Iris I always liked Nancy Drew but also found her a little white bread if you get my drift. Iris Anderson is how Nancy Drew would be in reality, if Nancy's dad lost all his money and his leg. It's 1943 and Iris is just starting public school after going to private school for most of her life. Her father is back from the war after losing his leg at Pearl Harbor and her mother has committed suicide some months before. Iris's dad is a private eye but his business has suffered since he lost his leg. Iris is now forced to move to the Lower East Side and start at public school and she's really nervous about it, needless to say. She meets a melange of interesting and fun characters and wants to help "Pop" with his business but he is dead set against it. What's a girl to do but do some investigating on her own. I LOVED this book! It had everything I like in a book: plucky and engaging heroine, good mystery, likable supporting characters, accurate historical content and an interesting plot line. Plus all the great 40s slang was awesome! I'm definitely going to incorporate "Boy Howdy" into my everyday life. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was fabulous. The second in the series, The Girl is Trouble just came out and I can't wait to read it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elise Rose

    I liked this book. Definitely nothing too special, but a nice mystery. The resolution was a bit underwhelming and I was missing the witty banter that could’ve thrived in the setting. Overall, a fine book, but don’t go in expecting an Agatha Christie.

  9. 5 out of 5

    katnissbraid.

    4- http://katnissbraid.blogspot.it/2012/... 4- http://katnissbraid.blogspot.it/2012/...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Banner

    Name: Kaitlyn Banner Book title: That Girl is Murder Personal response- The novel by Kathryn Miller is incredibly intriguing and inspiring. In her novel That Girl is Murder we follow the difficult time of Iris a young girl in the time directly after Pearl Harbor. Plot summary- In That Girl is Murder we are brought back to the past directly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The main character, Iris, is the daughter of a veteran who became a amputee because of the loss of his right leg during the Name: Kaitlyn Banner Book title: That Girl is Murder Personal response- The novel by Kathryn Miller is incredibly intriguing and inspiring. In her novel That Girl is Murder we follow the difficult time of Iris a young girl in the time directly after Pearl Harbor. Plot summary- In That Girl is Murder we are brought back to the past directly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The main character, Iris, is the daughter of a veteran who became a amputee because of the loss of his right leg during the first bomb drop of Pearl Harbor. After that, he became a detective for the local crimes. Iris also lost her mother apparently to suicide, but later in the novel, we find she was murdered. In the very first chapters of this novel, Iris had left her private school and has moved to the east side to attend public school for the first time in her life. During this time she is introduced to diversity for the first time as well meeting, Barney, Susie, and their friends. Barney later becomes her love interest but they are forced to separate because Iris’s father found that he is Italian. After Iris has found these new friends she is in a way, set free finally she is able to explore the world as she pleases. Later in the novel, we find that Iris’s dad is unable to complete a case because his disability restrains him from trailing someone without becoming unnoticed. Iris decides to help her father and follow the person without telling her father. As she does this she accidentally discovers her mother’s murder scene after she heard locals talking about the accidental “suicide”. We are left on a cliffhanger after we learn this. Recommendations- I believe this novel by Kathryn Miller is an excellent book for anyone who loves historical fiction. I truly enjoyed this book because of the unique storytelling and time placement in history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Camellia Schwartzman

    I couldn’t put this book down and read it all in one sitting. I loved Iris and thought her character was charismatic and witty. The plot line had twists and turns and you never knew who was telling the truth. The author used plenty of slang but it made sense in the book. I would highly recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia

    3.5 stars This book was so good! I really enjoyed the feel of WWII, Iris´ character and the mystery aspect of the story. The use of slang was a great touch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book should've been called The Girl Who Lies. BECAUSE THAT'S IRIS SHE DOES. (When she's not fat shaming her supposed-BFF or looking down her nose at all the ~public school kids she's forced to breathe the same air as.) She lies to everyone about everything in every situation and it was DELICIOUS when alllll her lies finally bit her in the ass. Iris is from the Upper East Side of New York and attended a pricey private all-girl school until her mother committed suicide for unknown reasons and This book should've been called The Girl Who Lies. BECAUSE THAT'S IRIS SHE DOES. (When she's not fat shaming her supposed-BFF or looking down her nose at all the ~public school kids she's forced to breathe the same air as.) She lies to everyone about everything in every situation and it was DELICIOUS when alllll her lies finally bit her in the ass. Iris is from the Upper East Side of New York and attended a pricey private all-girl school until her mother committed suicide for unknown reasons and her father returned from Pearl Harbor missing a leg. They're forced for whatever reason to move to the Lower East Side and Iris has to attend public school. She doesn't fit in at public school because presumably, everyone can smell the stench of snobbishness wafting off her. And yet she doesn't fit in with her old private school friends because they speak in euphemisms about her ~fall from grace~ and are nosy about her reduced circumstances. Iris is an obnoxious brat. She's in the pantheon of my Most Hated Protagonists Ever. She's self-centered, a liar, snobby, a lying liar who lies, makes stupid decisions that most 5-year-olds wouldn't make, judgmental and careless with other people's feelings. The rest of the characters are cardboard cut-outs with one or two characteristics. Then there's the plot, or rather the plot resolution. One of Iris's public school classmates (Tom, a "bad boy" who was nice to her on her first day of school) goes missing and his parents hire Iris's private investigator father to find him. Iris thinks her father is useless because he lost a leg at Pearl Harbor and she thinks his inability (in her opinion) to do his job will lead them to the poor house and decides she's going to investigate on the side. So she infiltrates the NEFARIOUS GANG – the Rainbows (are you quivering in fear?) to get information from his friends. (Basically this gang is considered bad news because the girls wear lots of make-up and tight sweaters, they go dancing in Harlem and the boys are "dark-skinned Italians and Puerto Ricans".) (This book made me really uncomfortable in a lot of ways. Iris constantly mentions how fat Pearl is, how much Pearl eats, how grossly she eats, how she has to leave buttons undone on her skirt because she's fat FAT FAT. I think the author needs to work on her deep-seeded disgust of fat people. Also Iris can barely mention her father without noting that HE LOST HIS LEG AT PEARL HARBOR and you get the sense this is embarrassing for her. And then she mentions how there are "colored people" in the public school she attends and more than once refers to the "dark-skinned Italians" and can't seem to mention the boys in the Rainbows without repeating that they're Puerto Rican or Italian. I realize the book is set in 1942 but I'm still side-eyeing this book.) Iris discovers that her ex-BFF from her rich days, Grace, likes to troll for servicemen or lower class boys. Just to toy with them and manipulate them. She has a new BFF, Jo, who is BAD NEWS because she attends private school with Grace on *gasp* A SCHOLARSHIP. She's also a pickpocket. Grace tells Iris that Jo is the reason Tom disappeared. But when the truth shakes out, we find that Tom joined the army to impress Grace and was killed in a training exercise. And Grace knew it all along but still tried to pin his disappearance (and frame it as a murder) on Jo? And even after Iris's father discovers how Tom was killed, he keeps it from Iris, knowing that she's concerned about Tom…wouldn't he tell her what happened just to shut her up at least??? The writing is odd, too. You'll be reading along and then the author will decide to show off and throw in some 1942 slang every 4th page or so and it's so jarring. I'm a glutton for punishment because I decided to continue with the series because the synopsis for the second book promises we'll find out what happened to Iris's mom. Why do I do these things to myself???

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Janifer

    This a perfect book for anyone who likes mystery and drama! This book is about a young teenage girl who wants to be just like her did who is a detective. Although, things don't always go her way , exactly because her dad things she is too young. This amazing story is also about a young women finding her way in a male based world. This a perfect book for anyone who likes mystery and drama! This book is about a young teenage girl who wants to be just like her did who is a detective. Although, things don't always go her way , exactly because her dad things she is too young. This amazing story is also about a young women finding her way in a male based world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    2.5 stars, rounded up because there were things I liked a lot about the book, despite much shakiness. Actually, I found this to be an odd mix of solid, intriguing, and really dodgy. The best part, to me, was the setting, as I can't think of any other books I've read set in New York City during World War 2 (it's 1942). That's also a bit of a problem, however, as I didn't feel that the characterization was up to the setting, so there was nothing to carry my attention over rough spots. Specifically, 2.5 stars, rounded up because there were things I liked a lot about the book, despite much shakiness. Actually, I found this to be an odd mix of solid, intriguing, and really dodgy. The best part, to me, was the setting, as I can't think of any other books I've read set in New York City during World War 2 (it's 1942). That's also a bit of a problem, however, as I didn't feel that the characterization was up to the setting, so there was nothing to carry my attention over rough spots. Specifically, Iris wasn't a particularly engaging character. Theoretically it was easy to understand how very emotionally fragile she would be after the triple whammy of her mother's suicide, her father's returning from the war having lost his let at Pearl Harbor, and his then moving them from their Upper East Side home to the Lower East Side (and from a private girls' school in the former to a public school in the latter). All the same, that fragility led her to some terrible choices, primarily lying about everything to virtually everyone, and not even bailing herself out by coming clean until the end of the book. She lies about being Jewish, about her father's being home from the War, to her father about where she's going and with whom, and so on and on and on. She also uses people pretty badly, although she does also realise this about herself by the end, and starts to make some amends. The mystery element was fine, although it had two major credibility problems, both spoilers. First off (view spoiler)[when Tom died in a training exercise, I found it pretty hard to believe that the Army would have made no attempt to track down his parents and tell them. Although he lied about his age to enlist, he certainly wasn't the only one to do so, and if they'd found his home address was also wrong, they'd have gone to the school nearest the recruit office or something. Iris's father didn't seem to be a very successful PI, and yet he found out what had happened to Tom, so why couldn't the Army have done something even easier? (hide spoiler)] The other was to do with the address they found in Tom's things. As an oldie in 2013, I guessed almost immediately what it was and what followed from that. (view spoiler)[But that Pearl's brother (Paul?) would have known immediately that it was an illegal abortion clinic was highly unlikely and even less likely was that Iris would have copped on immediately when he told her it was "a place for girls in trouble". The whole abortion subplot was more than a bit of a cliché. (hide spoiler)] I did learn some things from reading this book though - I'd never known that the zoot suit was considered unpatriotic because of the large amount of material needed for it! And the scenes in the Savoy, in Harlem, were vivid and interesting. I'd consider reading the second, but only if someone else I know reads it first, and says that Iris is more sympathetic in it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jimena DeLaTorre

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Iris just moved from private to public school after her father could not afford the cost. After a few days, Tom, a boy from her new school, goes missing. Her father is the detective assigned to the case, and Iris desperately wants to help, even though it means she has to break the rules. I liked that Iris wanted to follow her own rules, but sometimes she took it too far. I learned that one should not jump to conclusions so quickly. Iris was convinced that Josephine, a girl from private, school h Iris just moved from private to public school after her father could not afford the cost. After a few days, Tom, a boy from her new school, goes missing. Her father is the detective assigned to the case, and Iris desperately wants to help, even though it means she has to break the rules. I liked that Iris wanted to follow her own rules, but sometimes she took it too far. I learned that one should not jump to conclusions so quickly. Iris was convinced that Josephine, a girl from private, school had something to do with Tom’s disappearance, but his father had already solved the case, and Tom had enlisted for the army and died in a training exercise.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    It’s 1942, and everything has changed so quickly for Iris Anderson. Her mother is gone, and her father has just returned from the war with a missing leg. They’ve moved to a new neighborhood for financial reasons, and Iris is finding it difficult to adjust to life on the Lower East Side. The only constant in her life has been Pop’s job as a private investigator, but even that is challenged as Pop finds it harder to keep up with the more physical demands of his job. All Iris wants to do is help ou It’s 1942, and everything has changed so quickly for Iris Anderson. Her mother is gone, and her father has just returned from the war with a missing leg. They’ve moved to a new neighborhood for financial reasons, and Iris is finding it difficult to adjust to life on the Lower East Side. The only constant in her life has been Pop’s job as a private investigator, but even that is challenged as Pop finds it harder to keep up with the more physical demands of his job. All Iris wants to do is help out, but Pop isn’t really receptive to that idea. But when Pop takes a case involving a student at her new school, Iris realizes that she needs to take matters into her own hands. Soon, she’s lying to her friends, sneaking out at night, and cozying up to some different people at school. Her investigation will take to old and new neighborhoods and will draw connections between the unlikeliest of Iris’s acquaintances. But Iris can’t stop until she finds the truth—even if some horrible secrets close to home are dredged up in the process. The Girl Is Murder is a simply fantastic mystery that whisks readers into the glamorous past of the World War II era. Haines has creates a wonderful heroine in Iris. Readers will be drawn to her spunk and fierce loyalty to her father even when Iris appears to be just a lonely girl in a scary new place. Iris is really the perfect protagonist for this story, with a great blend of girlishness and daring that allows readers to access both the investigation and the day-to-day struggles over friends and boys. I initially thought that his novel would merely focus on the historical mystery, but I was thrilled by the way Haines makes the mystery so much more personal for Iris. I did feel that the solution to the mystery was a little bit of a letdown after such a buildup of suspense, but I can’t deny that it was very realistic. Despite this, The Girl Is Murder is an utterly charming read with historical and detective flair. I know I can’t wait for Iris’s next adventure in The Girl Is Trouble. The Girl Is Murder will definitely be enjoyed by fans of Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher and What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christie

    First Sentence: "Pop's leg was across the room when I came downstairs." Iris Anderson is a teenage girl living on the Lower East Side in New York in 1942. Her father has returned home from the war with a missing leg. Her mother, faced with the prospect of a wounded husband and dealing with the discrimination hurled at her for being a German, has committed suicide. As a result of her mother's death and her father's inability to work as he once did, Iris has gone from private school, upper East Si First Sentence: "Pop's leg was across the room when I came downstairs." Iris Anderson is a teenage girl living on the Lower East Side in New York in 1942. Her father has returned home from the war with a missing leg. Her mother, faced with the prospect of a wounded husband and dealing with the discrimination hurled at her for being a German, has committed suicide. As a result of her mother's death and her father's inability to work as he once did, Iris has gone from private school, upper East Side girl to public school, Lower East Side girl. With her father struggling to make ends meet as a private investigator, Iris decides to take matters into her own hands and start investigating with him. I did like some things about the book. I think that racial and social stratification were exemplified very well in the book. It was probably very true to life in the 1940s. Though this book isn't really a war story by any means, the war does pervade every aspect of life at this time. The author does a good job in showing that. The story is a good one for the most part and brings to light the lessons of knowing who your friends really are and that people are not always what they seem. The mystery was a good one. It keeps you guessing but there are also enough hints about the outcome. I found the 1940s slang to be incredibly interesting and added fun to the book. The main reason I gave this book two stars is the characters. The only one I sympathized with at all was Pearl. Iris irritated me beyond reason. The big reason for this is that she seemed to be a compulsive liar. She lied to everyone with very little reason. She had plenty of chances to come clean with little or no penalty, but she never took them. She treated all the people in her life as just a means to an end. Though she did learn her lesson a bit after looking at Grace's actions, it was just too little too late for me. In final analysis, the mystery was good, the history was excellent, but the characters fall flat for me. It is a quick and fun read, and if you like cozy mysteries it's probably right up your alley. Iris is just not the most likeable character in the world, which made it only ok for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna Kay

    Iris Anderson is still in shock from her Mother's sudden suicide less than six months ago. Now she's living with her Pop in run-down neighborhood, going to public school. She's been taken away from the Upper East Side, her private school and all the friends she's ever had. Not to mention that Pop is barely scraping by as a private detective because he only has one leg after the disaster at Pearl Harbor, and he refuses to ask for help. Iris is miserable in public school and starts creeping around Iris Anderson is still in shock from her Mother's sudden suicide less than six months ago. Now she's living with her Pop in run-down neighborhood, going to public school. She's been taken away from the Upper East Side, her private school and all the friends she's ever had. Not to mention that Pop is barely scraping by as a private detective because he only has one leg after the disaster at Pearl Harbor, and he refuses to ask for help. Iris is miserable in public school and starts creeping around trying to solve Pop's cases for him, even after he told her to stay out of it. She begins to make friends in school with the 'Rainbows' a group of outcasts after she tells a white lie about her Pop. Then Tom, one of the group, goes missing all of the sudden. Iris' Pop takes on the case, but is getting further and further off the trail. So she steps in, getting in closer to Tom's friends and staying out late into the night at Harlem clubs, rolling them for information. The information leads back to Grace, her former friend at private school who had been secretly involved with Tom. What really happened to Tom? Was he murdered, did he run away or did someone make him 'disappear'? By the time the book ends, you find out all of the answers to these questions. I liked the start of this book and it had a very promising premise. I do however, have a few complaints. Iris was not a very strong heroine. She came off as weak and clingy in some parts of the book. Others she seemed like a stubborn brat. That was okay though because she was very much a teenager. That I could handle withough complaint. It was the lackluster ending to the booklong mystery that truly irritated me to no end. It might have been realistic, but it was not at all exciting and it made me feel like I'd wasted my time. If you're in need of a girl detective fix, go watch Veronica Mars instead - you'll be much more satisfied. VERDICT: 3/5 Stars *No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Oh, kids. I have a weakness, and that weakness is teenage girl detectives. Ever since my dad brought home my first Nancy Drew book when I was a little girl I have been hooked on the girl detective. I was a faithful watcher of Veronica Mars, even when she broke up with Logan and went to college and hooked up with that dude who was cute but about as interesting as a sink full of cold dishwater. And! Not only does The Girl is Murder have a girl detective, it’s set in the 1940s. POW. I love anything Oh, kids. I have a weakness, and that weakness is teenage girl detectives. Ever since my dad brought home my first Nancy Drew book when I was a little girl I have been hooked on the girl detective. I was a faithful watcher of Veronica Mars, even when she broke up with Logan and went to college and hooked up with that dude who was cute but about as interesting as a sink full of cold dishwater. And! Not only does The Girl is Murder have a girl detective, it’s set in the 1940s. POW. I love anything set in the 1940s. I’m totally fascinated by that entire wartime era. If I could pick a period of time to go back in time to visit, I think it would be this time. Obviously it’s not without its problems (racism and classism both play roles in The Girl is Murder) but just for the styles, slang, etc. Social issues aside, it just seems like a simpler time in a lot of ways. Oh, the 1940s. Quite possibly the last era in which a badass gang could call themselves The Rainbows and still be considered badass instead of getting beaten, pantsed, and laughed out of town. All of the 40s references, slang, etc. were totally awesome. Miller Haines must have spent a ton of time researching the period to get everything historically accurate. I got a lot of the references but had fun looking up some of the others. The story itself is slow-paced but engrossing with a lot of twists and turns. The characters are really interesting, particularly because the gang members are actually far and away some of the most likeable characters in the book (certainly more likeable than the richie riches). Overall I really enjoyed reading about Iris’s adventures and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series later this year. And as a side note, I read most of this book with a soundtrack of Squirrel Nut Zippers, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Brian Setzer Orchestra stuck in my head, which only added to the joy. 4/5 Stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christie

    As a fan of both historical fiction and Nancy Drew, I knew The Girl Is Murder was a must read. Iris Anderson is a wonderful main character that does an amazing job of giving us a glimpse into life of a 15-year-old girl living in 1942. She is dealing with the aftermath of her mother's suicide and her long absent father's return from Pearl Harbor (minus one leg). With money tight, Iris finds herself leaving her fancy private school and life on the Upper East Side behind for a life as a public scho As a fan of both historical fiction and Nancy Drew, I knew The Girl Is Murder was a must read. Iris Anderson is a wonderful main character that does an amazing job of giving us a glimpse into life of a 15-year-old girl living in 1942. She is dealing with the aftermath of her mother's suicide and her long absent father's return from Pearl Harbor (minus one leg). With money tight, Iris finds herself leaving her fancy private school and life on the Upper East Side behind for a life as a public school student and a new home in the less desirable Lower East Side. When she discovers her father is late with the rent and having difficulty fulfilling his job as a private investigator, Iris decides to help him. He asks her to stop, but Iris quickly learns how much she likes the role of investigator and it leads her into all kinds of sticky situations over the course of the story. I enjoyed the mystery aspects of The Girl Is Murder very much. The author did a fantastic job of walking us through the steps of solving the whodunit without making the pending outcome predictable. Iris was also a narrator I adored. I loved watching her transformation from beginning to end. By the end of her story she has a certain sense of the world she wasn't privy to at the start. I also enjoyed watching the way the relationship between Iris and her father developed. At the beginning he was almost a stranger to her. After living most of his military career away he suddenly becomes her soul parent. Iris had so many changes and adjustments in such a short period of time. I felt these molded and shaped her character in quite a positive way. The Girl Is Murder is a highly enjoyable read that I most definitely recommend. I'm so excited this is a series debut and look forward to more adventures with Iris Anderson.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Precious

    Originally posted at Fragments of Life. Things weren’t going so well for Iris. After losing her mother and her life and getting the father who was a stranger to her, she had to go to a public school and be the new girl. Iris was a very curious girl. Intuitive, determined and stubborn, she took after her mother. I liked her and I found it easy to relate to her. She was not perfect. She lied too many times, disobeyed her father and kept things from everyone. But she was able to unearth the truth, a Originally posted at Fragments of Life. Things weren’t going so well for Iris. After losing her mother and her life and getting the father who was a stranger to her, she had to go to a public school and be the new girl. Iris was a very curious girl. Intuitive, determined and stubborn, she took after her mother. I liked her and I found it easy to relate to her. She was not perfect. She lied too many times, disobeyed her father and kept things from everyone. But she was able to unearth the truth, at least some of it, discover herself and build a decent relationship with her father. I got to witness how Iris changed from the posh girl to the down-to-earth girl. The difference between her life before and her life after the move was something that really caught my interest. Her metamorphosis was one of the things that I appreciated in this novel. Iris grew as a daughter, as a girl and as a friend. She became more mature after facing the rough side of life. Well-written and well-thought out, The Girl is Murder showed a violent, troublesome year from the angle of a curious teen detective. I was really interested in the language and the fashion. It was so vivid that I could easily imagine it all in my head. The life at a public school also intrigued me. The people that she met at her new school, Pearl and the Rainbows, had their own struggles in life. They dealt with their problems in their own flawed and reason-backed ways. Suze was an endearing character. With her trusting, concerned and calm qualities, she was very easy to like and relate to. The Girl is Murder is a worth-it historical mystery read. Realistic, intriguing and shocking, this will give enjoyment to readers. I recommend this to historical readers and mystery readers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Why I picked it up: A review I read compared main character Iris to Veronica Mars. I nominated it for my GR YA Historical Fiction group’s monthly selection based on that alone. Iris is 15 in 1942 and her life has changed a whole lot in the past year. Her father was injured at Pearl Harbor and is now home trying to make his detective agency work as an amputee with an artificial leg. Her mother committed suicide after learning that her husband would be coming home without a limb. Iris and her fathe Why I picked it up: A review I read compared main character Iris to Veronica Mars. I nominated it for my GR YA Historical Fiction group’s monthly selection based on that alone. Iris is 15 in 1942 and her life has changed a whole lot in the past year. Her father was injured at Pearl Harbor and is now home trying to make his detective agency work as an amputee with an artificial leg. Her mother committed suicide after learning that her husband would be coming home without a limb. Iris and her father have moved to the lower east side of Manhattan and she is now in public school, something thought to be horrid by the people at her previous all-girls private school. A boy from Iris’s new school has disappeared and her father has been asked to investigate. Iris wants to help her father with the detective agency and does so on the sly when he refuses her help. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t extremely deep, but the historical time period is captured really well and the mystery is fairly complex. Iris is more naïve than Veronica Mars, but I understand the comparison, though it is worth noting that Veronica worked with her father with his permission. The class distinctions were especially interesting to me, and, I suspect, especially accurate. Contains: alcohol use; one mention of “reefer;” vague references to sex

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melyssa

    I really enjoyed this book. I love the World War eras and I liked the idea behind this novel. I was a little disappointed that Tom's character was introduced and then pushed aside. And I could not make up my mind which was the evil girl. Rhona. No, Pearl. No, it has to be Grace... No, defo Jo. But as it drew to the end I started to figure it out... I am really looking forward to reading the next one. I hope Suze is in it more. I liked her. :D I really enjoyed this book. I love the World War eras and I liked the idea behind this novel. I was a little disappointed that Tom's character was introduced and then pushed aside. And I could not make up my mind which was the evil girl. Rhona. No, Pearl. No, it has to be Grace... No, defo Jo. But as it drew to the end I started to figure it out... I am really looking forward to reading the next one. I hope Suze is in it more. I liked her. :D

  25. 5 out of 5

    Miss Clark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. For me, tried too hard to be the hard-boiled 40's mystery novel. Failed to connect to the protagonist and some of the lingo was going to drive me batty. (This is also a problem with some 40's films so not an isolated issue of this book.) No one really seemed worth rooting for or caring about their path (esp. given the choices some of these people made), so I would give it a pass. However, full marks for that gorgeous cover. Perfect! For me, tried too hard to be the hard-boiled 40's mystery novel. Failed to connect to the protagonist and some of the lingo was going to drive me batty. (This is also a problem with some 40's films so not an isolated issue of this book.) No one really seemed worth rooting for or caring about their path (esp. given the choices some of these people made), so I would give it a pass. However, full marks for that gorgeous cover. Perfect!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelsie Gause

    This book was incredibly good! I don't normally like books that occur in the "olden days"; 1942. I was real surprised with myself that I enjoyed it so much. I'm also shocked that I picked it up in the library cause it sounded so interesting. I loved it! This book was incredibly good! I don't normally like books that occur in the "olden days"; 1942. I was real surprised with myself that I enjoyed it so much. I'm also shocked that I picked it up in the library cause it sounded so interesting. I loved it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    MΔRI JΔNE

    Awesome. What's makes it amazing is the characters. Sound just like they are from the 1940's. Young, intriguing, beautiful. A mystery that leaves you on the edge of your seat and there are just moments in this book that makes your jaw drop. Impressive Miller Haines. Awesome. What's makes it amazing is the characters. Sound just like they are from the 1940's. Young, intriguing, beautiful. A mystery that leaves you on the edge of your seat and there are just moments in this book that makes your jaw drop. Impressive Miller Haines.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I don't want to sound harsh, but... the girl who is "murder" never actually does anything to help her father. The murder reference was mentioned a grand total of ONE time, so I don't think it was a suitable title. The title did catch my eye, though. I don't want to sound harsh, but... the girl who is "murder" never actually does anything to help her father. The murder reference was mentioned a grand total of ONE time, so I don't think it was a suitable title. The title did catch my eye, though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This was an amazing book. It was one of the best boooks i have read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    How much do I like this? I actually WANT a sequel!

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