Iris is the daughter of a private detective living in the Lower East Side of New York City in 1942, and she's not who you'd expect her to be.
You see, Iris used to live in the Upper East Side and attend a private school and associate with "all the right people." That was until her mother committed suicide, and her father, who is essentially broke, moved the family.
As the book begins, Iris attends public school for the first time. The first day, she meets Tom. Tom is the kind of kid who could be really studious and handsome, but chooses not to be. He's one of the only people in Iris' new school to whom she feels connected.
A while later, Tom goes missing. One day, Iris comes home to her father talking to Tom's parents about the case. Iris, of course, wants in, but no matter how many hints she gives, her father is adamant about keeping the facts of the case from Iris.
Soon enough, she's drinking, sneaking out of the house behind her father's back, and disobeying what seems to me to be every rule she has...
Kathryn Miller Haines employs a writing style that I quite like. She does an especially great job writing the mystery. I love the twists and turns she adds to The Girl is Murder. Although some plot elements are very small, they add a lot to the story. In this sense, the story is similar to some of Agatha Christie's tales, but not as complicated.
I'm also impressed by Haines' ability to produce emotions in her readers similar to those Iris feels throughout the story. For example, there were times that I was as annoyed by Iris's Pop as Iris was because he seemed to be `holding back' the story by not asking Iris for her help.
Though, as with any story, I have complaints. Mainly, they are about Iris. Although her actions are necessary for the story, I was quite annoyed by her at some points. She continuously lies to her father after she's gained his trust back, even after being yelled at and even grounded multiple times. By the end of the book, I was pretty much like "Oh my God, you idiot, again?"
A mystery should be addictive; you should feel like you must read the next chapter and it should be difficult to physically put the book down to allow yourself to go on with normal human life. The Girl is Murder is missing that addictive element. You read to know the ending, not what happens in the next chapter.
But the end of the book is unexpected, making The Girl is Murder a worthwhile, albeit not outstanding, summer read for mystery fans.