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The Girl is Murder (The Girl is Murder #1)

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,165 ratings  ·  222 reviews
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'
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Roaring Brook Press
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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...more
Taylor Smothers
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...more
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...more
Erin S.
In The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Jones, the author tells the reader that sometimes it's better to just mind our own business than start a riot with our beliefs. Iris' dad has been a detective for a few years now, and Iris suddenly has a passion to be one, too. She believes that it would be better for her to take over for her father since he lost his leg in World War II; so, she decides to look into a case that will unite with her old friends, make new ones and drop her current ones. Iris...more
Jillian A
In "The Girl is Murder" by Kathryn Miller Haines, Iris is starting public school for the first time. She is very scared because she is used to going to an all girls private school. Ever since her mother committed suicide and her father came back from the war hurt, Iris feels like she doesn't have any one to turn to. As a detective, her father soon has to work on a case about a boy at Iris's new school. Iris soon learns that she wants to help her father with the case, even if it means she has to...more
Erica
Mar 27, 2014 Erica added it
Summary Tease
The main character Iris, is fifteen years old and trying to help her father run a private investigation. Her father keeps refusing her help even though she keeps risking it. Iris is just starting a new school and she gets involved with people she normally never would have at her old private school. When a student and a kind of friend of Iris’s goes missing she finds that she’s the only one the believes that he didn’t just run away but something bad had happened to him.
The time frame...more
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
Kris
3.5 Stars

"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 certai...more
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!
Madigan W.
This summer, I read The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines. Iris Anderson is a 15-year-old girl living in New York City during World War II. Her father, a soldier, lost his leg during Pearl Harbor. Tragically, the night that Iris’ mother finds out about her husband, she commits suicide. When Iris’ wounded father’s detective business is struggling, Iris secretly launches herself into one of his cases. After solving the case and sharing it with her father, he immediately banishes her from his...more
Kathy Martin
This historical mystery immersed me in New York's Lower East Side in 1942. Iris Anderson is adjusting to lots of changes. Her mother commits suicide, the father she barely knows comes home from Pearl Harbor missing a leg, and she is attending public school for the first time.

Her father has set up his own detective agency after and argument with his brother. His loss of a leg has made many parts of detective work difficult and money is tight. She wants to help her father but he sees her as a chi...more
The Library Lady
How much do I like this?
I actually WANT a sequel!
Pam
A nice twist on the WWII theme as this historical fiction book deals with the homefront and what it was like to be a teen girl at the beginning of the war. A father who loses a leg in Pearl Harbor after being stationed away from the family for 5 years comes home and tries to cope with civilian life and parenting a teenage girl he barely knows as a single parent because his wife has committed suicide. The daughter, Iris, is dealing with the death of her dear mother, arrival of her father, moving...more
Brett
This very engrossing book is a hybrid of a historical coming-of-age story & Golden Age noir mystery for teens, with a lot going on besides the main plot line. 16-year-old protagonist Iris is dealing with a lot: she & the wounded veteran father she hardly knows have moved to a new place on the Lower East Side following her mother's suicide, & since the family fortunes have taken a definite turn for the worse, she's also experiencing public school for the first time. Her new life may b...more
Annie
If I wasn't such a romance buff I would have given this book 5 stars, unfortunately there was too much mystery plot and not enough 'romance' in it for me. I thought I should start my review with this fact, to make it clear that this is a personal review - not an 'objective' 'truthful' 'perfectionist' review.

Iris is a kick ass heroine, easy to relate to and earnest in her conviction that sometimes deception is the very best policy around. Oops.

This novel was a lot of fun, and there's obviously...more
Natalie
Iris's life has been turned upside down - her father was seriously wounded at Pearl Harbor and her mother is dead. She is going to public school for the first time, and her father is struggling with money. Iris decides that she must do something to help.

Her father is a private eye. When a missing person's case involving a boy at Iris's school lands on his desk, Iris jumps on board - without her father knowing of course.

Iris meets new friends, and explores the seedier side of New York. All the...more
Bookworm1858
I love the cover for this, as it immediately conjures up a historical mystery for me. This one is set in 1942 New York City, with a young girl and her injured private detective father (lost his leg at Pearl Harbor). Beyond references to the war and topical events like the zoot suits beatings, the most obvious reference to the time period was the slang. There was a lot of slang, which was a little jarring with how much is peppered through the novel but still easy enough to understand.

Obviously th...more
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The Young Adult H...: The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller - May Group Read 14 25 May 31, 2012 10:59PM  
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Kathryn Miller Haines is an actor, mystery writer, and award-winning playwright. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and received her BA in English and Theatre from Trinity University in San Antonio and her MFA in English from the University of Pittsburgh. She's a member of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime and has been a board member of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers o...more
More about Kathryn Miller Haines...
The War Against Miss Winter (Rosie Winter, #1) The Girl is Trouble (The Girl is Murder, #2) The Winter of Her Discontent (Rosie Winter, #2) Winter in June (Rosie Winter, #3) When Winter Returns (Rosie Winter, #4)

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