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Haines, Kathryn Miller.

New York: Macmillan, 2011.


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Iris lived in New York City during World War II. She grew up in a posh Upper East Side neighborhood, went to private school and had a comfortable lifestyle. But when Iris was fifteen, her mother committed suicide, and with her death, Iris’s life of privilege and private school was gone too. She moved in with her father, a disabled veteran, who was a struggling private detective. They rented rooms in a house on the lower East Side and Iris enrolled in public school. She overhears her father and his client when she returns from her first day at the new school. They find her in the hall as the client leaves.


“What did you do today?”

“I started public school, remember?” It came out snottier that I’d intended. I tried to soften it with a smile.

“That’s right. And how was it?”

Awful, I wanted to say. I was robbed and ridiculed. I don’t belong there. Don’t come crying to me when I start wearing tight sweaters and smoking. But Pop looked so defeated by what had transpired with Mr. Wilson that I couldn’t bear to bring him down even further. My complaints could wait. “It was all right.”  . . .

“What did that guy want?”

“His money back. He wanted me to prove that his wife was cheating on him.”

. . .

“And you couldn’t prove it?” I asked.

He smiled, deepening the creases on his face. “I tried. But I’m starting to think I’m too slow for the detective business.” He thumped his thigh, just above where his leg ended and the wood began.

“He’s giving you a second chance, though, right?”

 Iris decides to secretly help her father solve the case. When she comes back with pictures, her father is furious that she put herself in such danger. So she backed off, until her father’s new clients are the parents of a boy from her school who had gone missing. Her detective work takes her back to the Upper East Side, and even into the dance halls of Harlem, as she tries to solve the mystery of the missing boy. 
(Booktalk by the Sequoya Youth Book Award committee, 2014)

SUBJECTS:     Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Fathers and daughters -- Fiction.
                        Private investigators -- Fiction.
                        Missing persons -- Fiction.
                        Social classes -- Fiction.
                        New York (N.Y.) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.
                        Mystery and detective stories.
                        Mystery fiction.

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