Book Description

Gatsby-era glamour, a swoon-worthy love story, and an indomitable heroine dazzle in this romp that captures the extravagance of the Roaring Twenties and the dangers of vigilante justice.

A ravishing young mind reader stalks the streets at night in kitten heels, prowling for men to murder.

A soft-spoken genius toils away in the city morgue, desperate to unearth the science behind his gift for shapeshifting.

It’s a match made in 1928 Chicago, where gangsters run City Hall, jazz fills the air, and every good girl’s purse conceals a flask.

Until now, eighteen-year-old Ruby’s penchant for poison has been a secret. No one knows that she uses her mind-reading abilities to target men who prey on vulnerable women, men who escape the clutches of Chicago “justice.” When she meets a brilliant boy working at the morgue, his knack for forensic detail threatens to uncover her dark hobby. Even more unfortunately: sharp, independent Ruby has fallen in love with him.
Waltzing between a supernaturally enhanced romance, the battle to take down a gentleman’s club, and loyal friendships worth their weight in diamonds, Ruby brings defiant charm to every page of Murder for the Modern Girl—not to mention killer fashion. An irresistible caper perfect for fans of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, in an exquisite hardcover package with rose-gold foil.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

My Review

As soon as I started reading this book, I was immediately captivated by Ruby’s unique voice. Part Enola Holmes, part Flavia de Luce, and—to quote David S. Pumpkins—she’s her own thing… Ruby just bursts from the page.

To be clear, this novel contains a dual narrative, and there’s nothing wrong with Guy’s portions, but he spends so much time pretending to be someone he’s not that he’s lost sight of who he is…and so in that regard, the hesitancy really does come through on the page, which is just as admirable as having a bigger-than-life personality.

Ruby is essentially a Teen Dexter; she’s turned vengeance into an art form, and her ability to read minds is her most valuable asset. Guy, of course, has a secret of his own, and it’s only through collaboration that they achieve their goals.

This book was a neat blend of historical fiction, mystery, and paranormal… with a dash of romance, of course. The plot moves fairly quickly, and there’s always a new development or a realized connection etc. Ruby and Guy are both interesting and likeable characters, and they work well together.

I would absolutely recommend Murder for the Modern Girl. This is perfect for YA readers who enjoy historical fiction—1920s Chicago has never been more exciting. There’s certainly plenty of material, so it will be interesting to see if we get more of Ruby and Guy in the future.

I received a digital ARC of this book from Holiday House/NetGalley

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