Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mr. Death's Blue-Eyed Girls / Mary Downing Hahn

TITLE: Mr. Death's Blue-Eyed Girls
AUTHOR: Mary Downing Hahn
OWNED by CCLS? Not yet.

Two teen girls are shot and killed while on the way to school... it was the last day of school before summer break. Everyone in town is sure that the killer is the ex-boyfriend of one of the dead girls, but the police don't have enough evidence to hold him.

What if everyone thought you were guilty of such a horrible crime when you were innocent? And all the time the real killer was still out there...

M's Verdict:Eh. Mary Downing Hahn ghost stories tend to be really popular with local middle school students, so I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. I am going to assume that this book is a little different from her regular tales, because from reading just this one novel, I do not see what all the fuss is about. I'm thinking that since the author based this novel on a real-life murder that took place during her younger years and affected her personally, she got so caught up in the emotions surrounding the horrible tragedy that she was unable to separate and create an enjoyable fictional tale of murder, intrigue, and mystery. The result? An "eh" fiction novel that would have been better presented in a nonfiction format. Also, being based on a murder that happened in the 1950s, I feel that some of the details in regards to brand names, activities, and style/fashion would likely be lost on the intended teen reader. Overall, I'd say skip it and try one of her ghost stories like Deep and Dark and Dangerous, All the Lovely Bad Ones, Wait Til Helen Comes, or The Old Willis Place.

M's Extra Note... So I read this book and wrote this blog post awhile back. Now after having read a few books since, I must admit that MDBEG does have something special that not many books have. As a historical fiction novel, I would recommend it. As a true-life mystery or as realistic fiction, I can't say it would be my first choice. But this novel might be a great transition for readers who like Hahn's other works; ghost story to historical fiction.

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