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And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
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And When She Was Good (edition 2012)

by Laura Lippman

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4634622,413 (3.55)18
Member:juliepilgrim
Title:And When She Was Good
Authors:Laura Lippman
Info:William Morrow (2012), Edition: 1, Kindle Edition, 451 pages
Collections:Read in 2013, Your library, Kindle
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, Maryland, prostitution, mystery, family

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And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

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Originally posted on my blog




“She read books. She had always read books. But in this circumstance the books let her down. She needed more from them. She also needed less. More practical advice, less generic hysteria. What she required was a very particular volume, written just for her: What to Expect from Your Toddler When You Are Trying to Put Together Your Own Escort Service.”

Heloise Lewis is the envy of the other women in her neighbourhood. Or at least she tries to set herself apart from them. She runs the lobbying firm, she’s always stylishly dressed and put together, even at her son Scott’s soccer games.

But what the other moms and her neighbors don’t know is that the business is a front for her call girl service.

Heloise is a madam.

Her company, Women’s Full Employment Network, is

“a boutique lobbying firm whose mission statement identifies it as a nonprofit focused on income parity for all women. And when people hear that, they never want to know a single thing more about Heloise’s business, which is exactly as she planned it.”

And that pretty much is Heloise’s approach to her work. Very no nonsense, despite its rather tawdry nature. She is fully aware of the rules, especially those of the IRA, and tries to walk as straight a path as she is able, taking tips from companies such as Amazon.

Heloise is one tough cookie, stemming from her rather miserable childhood. With a father guilty about neglecting his other family (it’s complicated), she falls in with men who don’t treat her well, and ends up joining the world’s oldest profession.

Of course with Lippman’s prowess in detective fiction writing (at least from what I’ve heard about her Tess Monaghan series) there has to be a crime of some sort. And Lippman lets us know right from the start that there has been a murder – of another suburban madam. And that it might have something to do with her

The chapters flit between the strong well-defined woman Heloise of today and the more fragile, unsteady teenaged Heloise, then known as Helen. It takes some getting used to, this back and forth, but it allows the reader to marvel at how the Helen of yesterday has emerged from the tatters of her past to become Heloise today.

Laura Lippman has been on my to-be-read radar for a while now but when a writer has been so well established in a genre, I never quite know how to begin, where to begin, and too often end up drifting past those books on that shelf and going for something more obscure perhaps, or just avoiding this crime/mystery section all together.

So when I had the chance to read this book, thanks to TLC book tours and the publisher, I didn’t want to miss out.

And When She Was Good was a fascinating look into the details of the life of a madam, an absorbing character study of a rather different, quite unforgettable woman.
  olduvai | Jan 19, 2016 |
For more than a decade, Heloise believed she was safe. But her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead, an apparent suicide. As forty ooms and her son enters adolescence. Heloise is facing a mid-life crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know. With no formal education, no real family or friends, Heloise has to remake her life again. Disappearing will be the easy part. The trick is living long enough to start a new life. ( )
  jepeters333 | Sep 10, 2015 |
Fascinating story about a woman who decides to open her own business - as a "madam" providing services to D.C.'s elite after things go badly wrong with her pimp. When her cover story as a lobbyist for women's employment is threatened, she has a problem - particularly because she doesn't want her son to know what she really does. Lippman does a great job creating a character who is both vulnerable and tough as nails - as well as brilliant at business.
  bfister | Jul 14, 2015 |
Heloise is a single mom living in a nice suburban neighbourhood. Smart and good looking her neighbours have no problem believing that she is a lobbyist. How else could she afford the lifestyle she is living? The truth is Heloise had a rough start to her life and was introduced very early on to the world of drugs and prostitution. Instead of letting it drag her under, she made use of her talents and now is a madam in her own highly successful escort service. Her former boyfriend/pimp is behind bars and everyone else from her former life is either lost or dead. She felt safe. Until a chance run in with a former co-worker and a murder of another make Heloise just how safe she and her son really are.

I like this book very much. As grim as the heroine’s story is Heloise is a strong woman who has not only high standards but good morals as well. I know considering her profession that seems like an odd thing to say, but read the book and you’ll find its true. The action part of the book was good and played well into the plot, but I really enjoyed Heloise’s story.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
This was the first book I've read by the author. I enjoyed it. Liked the characters and their stories. I'll read another book by her but will be selective, I don't think all of her books would appeal to me. It was entertaining. ( )
  gail616 | Apr 29, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For every woman I know,
but in particular the three L's-
Lauren Milne Henderson
Linda Perlstein
Lizzie Skurnick
-who manage, despite vast distances, to keep me
well fed, well shod, and reasonably sane.
First words
SUBURBAN MADAM DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE
The headline catches Heloise's eye as she waits in the always-long line at the Starbucks closest to her son's middle school.
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Book description
Suburban prostitute Heloise decides to leave the profession and disappear with her child after another prostitute is found dead, and must stay a step ahead of a convicted murderer--and the father of her child--whose sentence is about to be overturned.
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Suburban madam Heloise, with no one left to trust, decides to get out of the game when another suburban madam is brutally murdered, forcing her to stay one step ahead of a killer--and the father of her child--who is just as lethal behind bars as he was on the outside.… (more)

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