M.E.'s Reviews > The Girl is Murder

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
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's review
Jul 09, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 08 to 09, 2012

One of the marks of a good book, to me, is that it grabs my attention and makes me focus on it - often to the point of keeping me up past my bedtime. It's been a long time since a book did that, but THE GIRL IS MURDER certainly did.

Set in 1941, the book follows Iris Anderson. She's fallen on hard times - mother dead, father crippled after Pearl Harbor, made to leave her all-girls private school and attend public school. She must learn to navigate a new social structure and mend her relationship with her father. Oh and there's the little fact that one of her classmates is missing.

The book is tightly plotted and moves quickly with a tone appropriate for a young adult audience. The 1940s slang takes a minute to understand, but if you're familiar with the history, you'll manage (and even if you aren't, you'll figure it out). Iris is a sympathetic, believable character - a 15-year old girl searching for her place in the world, in school, and with her father. The characters are drawn well, all of them very vibrant, 3D people, not flat caricatures (which would be easy given the war-time setting). And the ending is not what you think - which is good in a mystery story.

Adults should not be put off by the "young adult" label - this is a story for anyone who enjoys a good "whodunit." I'm eagerly looking forward to the next book and the continuation of Iris's adventures.

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Reading Progress

07/08/2012 page 224

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