The Girl is Trouble opens just a few weeks after The Girl is Murder ended. The first anniversary of Pearl Harbor is approaching, Iris is still attending PS 110, and hanging around with and confiding in her best friend Pearl. The Rainbows, the school badies, are still mad at Iris for events that occurred in the first novel, including Benny, Iris's crush. In other words, Iris's life is status qua at the moment.
But then, all that changes. First, Iris is asked to investigate a series of anti-Semitic notes being left in the lockers of the students who belong to the Jewish Student Federation. Then, she finds a strange man outside her house after school one day who wants her to tell her private detective Pop that Stefan says hello. And Pop is definitely upset when she gives him the message. Lastly, when Pop accidentally leaves his safe open, Iris goes snooping and finds two sets of photographs. The first set are random, candid pictures of her taken from a distance, the second set are of her mother in the hotel room at the White Swan on East 86th Street where she supposedly committed suicide - only the photos don't look like a suicide, they like more like a murder.
Suddenly, Iris has a lot on her plate, but first and foremost she needs to finds out what happened to her mother. But Pearl refuses to go to the Upper East Side, a German American neighbor at the time, because she tells Iris Jews are no longer welcomed. Iris determines to go alone, but as she is sneaking out of school, she runs into Benny, who offers to go with her.
In the hotel room at the now abandoned White Swan, they are confronted not only with her mothers blood splatter on the walls and mattress, but by a man holding a gun. Turns out, he is the estranged husband of the woman, Anna Mueller, who found Iris's mom.
And so, off they go to the biergarten (beer garden) where Anna Mueller now works. She confirms that she found the murdered Ingrid Anderson, and called the police and was handsomely paid to keep her mouth shut and say it was a suicide. Turns out, Anna was well paid, she now owns the biergarten.
Meantime, at school, more students in the in the Jewish Student Federation have received anti-Semitic notes and they are getting really annoyed at Iris for not really doing anything to find the person or persons responsible.
This is an awful lot of responsibility for one 15year old girl to shoulder, but Iris feels determined to find her mother's killer, no matter what.
Kathryn Miller Haines has once again written a realistic historical fiction mystery, full of the kind of detail that a reader can sink their teeth in and though Benny teasingly calls Iris Nancy Drew, this book is not nearly as tame as a Nancy Drew mystery (don't get me wrong, I still love Nancy Drew books). And she has filled in the personalities of characters like Benny, Pearl and Pop more, making this second novel feel even more realistic. Maybe Haines has even given Pop a new romantic interest.
|1939 German American Bund march on East 86th Street NYC|
The Girl is Trouble will be released in July 3, 2012 and if you like a good YA mystery, this is a book for you.
This book is recommended for readers age 12+
This book was obtained as an ARC
If you want to read an except of The Girl is Trouble, be sure to visit the website of Kathryn Miller Haines.
This is book 1 of my Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge hosted by Debbie's Book Bag!!
This book is book 5 of my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Historical Tapestry