There's nothing better than a sassy teenage girl sleuth on the case. I love Henderson's other "tart noir" books and I can't wait to get my hands on this (last) installment of the series, featuring Scarlett Wakefield, the resident amateur detective of her posh English boarding school. Here, Scarlett is on a school trip to Edinburgh, when she runs into the twin of the boy who mysteriously died in her arms in book one, Kiss Me Kill Me.
The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines (Roaring Brook, 2011)
This YA novel from adult mystery writer Raines is described as a 1940s noir for fans of Veronica Mars. Need anyone say any more? I'm sold. Iris Anderson's father is a detective who comes back from the war with an injury, prompting Iris to help out with his latest case, involving a boy in her school. Like I said: sold.
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell (Scholastic, 2011)
An historic mystery set in the 1950s, Strings Attached is about a young showgirl on her own in New York City who finds herself mixed up with the mob. I love the premise of the book and the fact that it explores the constraints on women's lives in the mid-2oth century. Oh, and the fact that Blundell won the National Book Award doesn't hurt, either.
The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall (Knopf, 2011)
This story of a girl who's charged with proving her accused brother's innocence in the murder of the local baseball coach sounds like a fascinating psychological portrait of a family and its surrounding small town, with plenty of twists and turns.