A stylish, slang-filled teen noir that is as entertaining as it is absorbing. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

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THE GIRL IS MURDER

Take a powder, Nancy Drew. 1940s girl sleuth Iris Anderson is on the case.

Fifteen-year-old Iris knows she would make a great detective, if only her private-eye war vet father would give her a shot. But Pop refuses, especially after the suicide of Iris’ mother less than a year ago. Now they’ve moved to downtown Manhattan, where Iris, once a posh private-school girl, has to rub elbows with the rough characters of P.S. 110. When Pop takes a case that involves the disappearance of one of her new classmates, Iris sees her chance to collect clues on the sly. Drawn into a world of cigarette-smoke–filled Harlem dance halls and shabby tenement apartments, Iris tries to track down what happened to troubled, handsome Tom Barney by using her new friendships with sassy Suze and bookish Pearl to uncover more evidence. But soon she becomes tangled up in her own web of lies, and when Pop comes clean with some shocking information, Iris is forced to admit that detecting isn’t as easy as it looks. As with her popular adult mysteries starring actress-turned-gumshoe Rosie Winter, Haines’ pitch-perfect rendering of postwar New York City is “murder…you know—marvelous.”

A stylish, slang-filled teen noir that is as entertaining as it is absorbing. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 19, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59643-609-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching.

CODE NAME VERITY

Breaking away from Arthurian legends (The Winter Prince, 1993, etc.), Wein delivers a heartbreaking tale of friendship during World War II.

In a cell in Nazi-occupied France, a young woman writes. Like Scheherezade, to whom she is compared by the SS officer in charge of her case, she dribbles out information—“everything I can remember about the British War Effort”—in exchange for time and a reprieve from torture. But her story is more than a listing of wireless codes or aircraft types. Instead, she describes her friendship with Maddie, the pilot who flew them to France, as well as the real details of the British War Effort: the breaking down of class barriers, the opportunities, the fears and victories not only of war, but of daily life. She also describes, almost casually, her unbearable current situation and the SS officer who holds her life in his hands and his beleaguered female associate, who translates the narrative each day. Through the layers of story, characters (including the Nazis) spring to life. And as the epigraph makes clear, there is more to this tale than is immediately apparent. The twists will lead readers to finish the last page and turn back to the beginning to see how the pieces slot perfectly, unexpectedly into place.

A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-5219-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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