I wish I could credit the blogger who turned me onto this book, but unfortunately after I make note of the title I never think to also jot down the blog where I have seen a title I am interested in. The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines was a fabulous mystery, the first in a series set during World War II.
Iris Anderson is a private school girl forced to attend public school after taking a step down the social ladder. Her father was injured in Pearl Harbor, returning home after Iris' mother commits suicide. Father and daughter aren't particularly close because Iris and her mother were often by themselves while Father was gone in the military. Now the two rent rooms from an elderly lady who cooks and cleans for them, while Iris' father tries to make a go of his detective agency. Times are tough and Iris is worried about money after seeing her father struggle with his cases. She offers to help, which he turns down, but Iris doesn't give up that easily. And, when her new public school friends, her former best friend, Grace, and a missing person are all connected, it is more than Iris can bear to stand back and watch the action.
Haines' descriptions are so pitch perfect I could smell the boiled cabbage being cooked for Iris' supper and picture the outfits she wore to school. The slang she is introduced to by her new public school friends made me chuckle, and I truly felt as though I were a part of Iris' life in the 1940s.
Haines mystery is fabulous as a stand alone title, but I am even more encouraged that the second book was published earlier this month.