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Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman
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Baltimore Blues (1997)

by Laura Lippman

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Tess Monaghan has been at loose ends since being let go from her job as a reporter when the paper she was working for folded. She does odd jobs for various relatives, including her Aunt Kitty, whose bookstore she works in and lives above. When a friend of hers, Rock, offers to pay her to follow his fiance, she jumps at the chance to do something a little more meaningful with her days, but soon unearths information that leads to a murder, with Rock the accused perpetrator! She then begins investigating the murder, hoping to clear her friend's name and find the real killer.
Tess is a flawed and genuine heroine. She has real skills and real foibles. Her family and friends are an engaging cast of characters, as is the city of Baltimore, itself. The mystery is revealed as Tess uncovers clues and does a fair share of chasing red herrings. The ending makes sense as well as being exciting and suspenseful. I look forward to reading more in this series. ( )
  EmScape | Feb 18, 2014 |
Enjoyed this one, working on developing a taste for mystery ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
I liked this first novel in Lippman's Tess Monaghan series. It's not perfect, the pace of the story is ackward, Lippman spends a big part of the novel establishing Tess' character, her inner circle of family. The plot has some holes and is wrapped up in haste in the last chapters. I like Tess, her inner struggle, her unusual family roots. Baltimore is also a huge character in the book and Lippman does make the reader feel like you are walking, driving, rowing with Tess in this American city at the end of the 1990's.

Overall, a good first effort. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Mar 29, 2013 |
Lippman writes so naturally and easy that it is a pleasure to listen to her story. While the pace is not "hold your breath what happens next", I certainly enjoy the mood and feel of her story as it unrolls. I also enjoyed getting to know the young, more raw version of Tess. Always a dependable read. ( )
  blockbuster1994 | Mar 26, 2013 |
Kind of a fluff read. Tess is a jobless journalist who takes an odd job as an amateur investigator (and decides to try that as a profession by the end of this book). She's a bit more serious and not as much of a failure as the likes of Stephanie Plum, but the book kind of read similar to those.

Hooked me enough that I picked up the second one (which is a bit more interesting as a mystery).

(x-posted on Goodreads) ( )
  tangential1 | Dec 6, 2012 |
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Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
(H. L. Mencken, "A Book of Burlesques")
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For my parents
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On the last night of August, Tess Monaghan went to the drugstore and bought a composition book - one with a black-and-white marble cover.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380788756, Mass Market Paperback)

"Courier New"

Until her paper, the BALTIMORE STAR, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately--from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent--including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl "Rock" Paxton.

In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer's notoriety--and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancee--make the case front page news...and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend's innocence couls prove costly to Tess--and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.

Until her paper, the BALTIMORE STAR, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately--from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent--including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl "Rock" Paxton.

In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer's notoriety--and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancee--make the case front page news...and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend's innocence couls prove costly to Tess--and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan accepts an assigment from a suspected killer who wold have her engage in unorthodox snooping in orde to clear his name.

» see all 9 descriptions

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