Friday, April 03, 2020

YA Historical Thriller...Ah...Mystery

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines was one of my thriller/mystery reads. Reading it met an objective for one of my 2020 goals. 

The Girl is Murder, published in 2011, reads like the set-up to a series, and a second book about its main character, Iris Anderson, was published in 2012. Iris and her father have hit a bad patch financially. Mom killed herself, and we're not sure what that was about. Pop lost a leg at Pearl Harbor and while the war continues, he is trying to make a go of it as a private detective. Things are not going well with that, and he and Iris have had to board with a nice landlady in a lesser part of town. Iris has also had to leave her private school to attend a public one. She wants to help with the family business. Dad says no. When a hot classmate turns up missing, Iris starts a hunt, anyway.

I didn't find the mystery here that compelling or interesting, particularly since Iris, herself, didn't solve it. And it was kind of anti-climatic.

The historical setting was pretty amazing, though. Haines, who writes adult mysteries as well as the two Iris Anderson volumes for YAs, appears to specialize in the World War II era. Not having been there, myself, I can't say that she's got that period down pat, but she sure creates an impressive world, right down to voice.

I believe that as far as world-building is concerned, historical fiction rivals science fiction. The Girl is Murder proves my point.

When I've been writing here about mysteries and thrillers, I've been using the term interchangeably. Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense: Does the Label Matter? by Stacy Woodson at DIY MFA suggests I shouldn't.

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