Iris Anderson has won the standoff with her father, and he’s agreed to let her be a detective at his struggling detective agency one on condition: he’ll teach her the methods. Then not one, but two, cases fall on Iris’ plate. She uncovers evidence indicating her mother’s may have not committed suicide as previously thought, and Jewish students are finding anti-Semitic letters in their locker at her school.
Iris Anderson returns in this follow-up to The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines. When we last saw Iris, she had just helped solve the case of a missing fellow student. Now she’s a little older and a little wiser. All the elements I loved from the first book return: New York, the period slang, and some side characters. I’d put The Girl is Trouble as a bit more noir than its predecessor but just as enjoyable. Once again I thought this book moved at a good steady pace, and definitely kept ramping up the action.
I love the main story – the mystery of Iris’ mother’s death. It had me guessing the entire time I was reading, and there were times I drew the completely wrong conclusion. I’ll always love a mystery that stumps me. The subplot of the anti-Semitism was well-done and I think it was so strongly done it could’ve stood alone as a separate novel, however, Haines has elements of both subplots intertwine and echo each other, which came together in a brilliant way. And at the core of the novel is Iris trying to reconcile her faith and beliefs.
There’s a nice side romance, something I can always take or leave in a non-romantic YA, and it distract me from the plot. I was very surprised by one romance. I was pleased to see Susie come back, but the best character of all is New York in the 1940s. I simply eat up every bit of detail evoking the time and Kathryn Miller Haines is so good at dishing them out.
You can read this The Girl is Trouble without reading the first book, but I recommend it, especially to see Iris’s character transformation. Trouble keeps you guessing as Iris winds her way down dark alleyways and abandoned streets searching for the truth about her mother and the note-leaver. Get it Veronica Mars fans!
Copy for review provided by the publisher.
Title: The Girl is Trouble
Author: Kathryn Haines
Date: July 2012
Publisher: Roaring Brook
This review comes to you as part of the The Girl is Trouble blog tour run by The Teen Book Scene! Be sure to visit all the stops on the tour!