The Girl is Murder
by Kathryn Miller Haines
Iris Anderson is only fifteen, but she's quickly mastering the art of deception.
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. (description from Amazon.com)
Love mystery? Love historical fiction? Love Veronica Mars??? (Of course you do, who doesn't??!!) Then...you NEED to check out this book.
Set in the 1940's, this book's atmosphere was exceedingly well done. The clothes, the slang, the political unrest... I felt like I'd dropped straight into the forties and I wanted to dance the night away with the Rainbows! The best part was that even with the slang and the differences in our culture between then and today, Iris still felt like an average teenager. I didn't have that horrible disconnect that you can sometimes get when historical fiction feels too foreign.
Iris was a great character through which to view the forties. She's Jewish, so considered an outsider, and she's just been exiled from the richest section of New York City down to a much lower socially acceptable area because of scandal and economic misfortune... (does this sound familiar to anyone else? Is your name Veronica in real life, Iris? LOL... J/K) Similar (but not an exact rip-off, I promise) to Veronica Mars in tone, Iris decides she needs to help her Private Investigator father to close his cases because their family desperately needs the money and because she can go places he can't.
Which leads to a new life built on secrets and lies. Soon Iris is double-crossing "friends" at school and misleading her father... how long can she keep that up? The answer...not too long. The real question, though, is will she be able to solve a potential murder before it all blows up in her face??
A rollickingly good ride...and I'm looking forward to the sequel, The Girl is Trouble.
Full disclosure: Borrowed from my Library