I devoured this book.  Kathryn Miller Haines’s newest release, The Girl Is Trouble, which will be released this Tuesday July 3, is a breezy read full of fascinating characters and plot twists that raised my eyebrow many a’times.  I’m pretty good at seeing things coming, and there was stuff in this story that totally shocked me.  In a great way.

What else is great about this book:?  The characters.  Absolutely the characters.  Heroine Iris Anderson is well-rounded, realistic, and someone you can easily cheer for.  She’s up against almost incomprehensible odds and yet she remains as sly and intelligent as always.  Her relationship to her father is especially touching.  After all, we’ve all been in her shoes, wanting to do our best to please our dads and be a part of their world.  Another relationship I thought was well-crafted was iris’s relationship to Italian bad boy Benny Rossi.  Their relationship is complex, to say the least.  There’s HISTORY with them, which Kathryn handles very well.  She never forgot their backstories, only added to it.  It makes for great chemistry between the two of them – especially one particularly layered scene in a bomb shelter.

Speaking of bomb shelters, the period of this book is during World War II.  Again, Kathryn never forgets the history.  There’s bomb shelters and saddle shoes and Humphrey Bogart.  She seamlessly integrates the era with this fast-paced mystery and it pays off.  I believe the term is: full immersion.

Finally, I can’t end this review without talking about the mystery itself.  There are actually several mysteries going on at the same time (some involving school mates, some involving family, some involving Nazis) and they weave in and out of each other until they meet head first.  It’s an explosion that really pays off.

All in all, The Girl is Trouble is a fine read and an excellent second chapter in the life of Iris Anderson.  (By the way, The Girl is Murder is the first book in this series but you don’t have to read it to enjoy The Girl is Trouble.  There’s some definite winks to the audience that has though.)  The ends are all tied up and I’m not sure if that allows room for another adventure, but I truly hope so. Kathryn Miller Haines is, as Iris would say, “Boy howdy! A true talent!”

Yep.  Both girls are definitely awesome.