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The Sugar House by Laura Lippman
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The Sugar House (2001)

by Laura Lippman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tess Monaghan (5)

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5731324,533 (3.65)28

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
what i like about lippman's writing is how she deals with big social issues in each story, yet weaves it around a compelling mystery and flawed and evolving characters. this instalment considers political corruption and eating disorders, perhaps an unlikely pairing, but lippman makes it work. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jun 3, 2018 |
Sense of place is strong in this Baltimore-centric novel. complete with political undertones. Well-drawn characters and a multi-faceted plot were also pluses. This was the fifth entry in the Tess Monaghan series and I found it to be better written and more compelling than the first, Baltimore Blues (which I lost interest in and never finished). I'm glad I started with this one so as to encourage me to read some of the others. ( )
  librarygeek33 | Dec 28, 2017 |
Synopsis: Tess is hired y a woman to find our why her brother was murdered in prison. This leads Tess to investigate political movers and shakers, uncovering corruption and revealing some information about her father that she really didn't want to know.
Review: Good read if rather convoluted. ( )
  DrLed | Apr 29, 2017 |
Book # 5 in the Tess Monaghan series has the former reporter turned private investigator taking on a job as a favor to her Dad. Ruthie is a waitress whose younger brother Henry died in prison after confessing to killing a girl. The girl was never identified, but Ruthie thinks that perhaps her brother was killed because of something to do with that Jane Doe. So she asks Tess to find out who the girl was. But the more she digs, the more Tess is puzzled by the intricate web of connections that seem to go nowhere.

I like this series and I really like Tess Monaghan. She’s intelligent, strong willed, confident, resourceful and tenacious. She keeps herself in shape, does not take unnecessary chances, and doesn’t rely on some “strong, handsome type” to get her out of a jam. Lippman fills the books with local references giving the reader a definite feel for the location. This one relies heavily on politics and the kinds of “favors” one official might do for another official or friend of an official. Her father working as a liquor inspector for the city, this causes some problems for their relationship. And, since Tess was an English major, Lippman also fills the novel with references to books – from mysteries to classics.

All in all, this is a solid mystery read; I’ll definitely continue with this series.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
PI Tess Monaghan is trying to identify a Jane Doe murder victim at the behest of the murderer’s sister, who also happens to be an old friend of Tess’ father. Unfortunately for Tess, and her family, the girl’s identity leads to a much deeper web of conspiracies, favors, and politics in the Baltimore area, and people are willing to kill to keep Tess from uncovering it all.
Lippman packs twists and turns in with red herrings and macguffins in this story. The action only slows to build more of Tess’ character, which is welcome. Tess’ friends and family are also growing and changing and becoming more dynamic and interesting character. This series has got everything it needs to keep on going for a long time, and I, for one, am glad of that. ( )
  EmScape | Jan 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lippman, Lauraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burger, JimAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cairns, StewartCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peck, KellanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Henry looked at the tape recorder on the table in front of him.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380810220, Mass Market Paperback)

If you haven't encountered Tess Monaghan, the strong-willed former reporter turned PI who stars in Laura Lippman's increasingly popular series, it may be because this is her first appearance in hardcover. But this deftly plotted mystery may change all that and bring Lippman, herself a Baltimore journalist, and Tess, her curious and likable heroine, the attention they deserve. When Tess's dad asks her to do a favor for a friend, Tess gets involved in tracking down the identity of a nameless girl whose killer, the friend's brother, was murdered himself shortly after he went to prison for the crime. Her search leads Tess in and out of parts of the Atlantic coast that tourists, and many natives, never see: to a clinic for the rich, young and anorexic on Maryland's Eastern Shore; to the Philadelphia Main Line; and inside the corrupt and clandestine corners of the Maryland state capitol in Annapolis. The more Tess learns, the more questions she has, and the most important ones have to do with her father's involvement in the mystery of the anonymous victim and how she died.

The subtext of this well-written, richly rendered thriller is Tess's confrontation with her own values and her struggle to accept her father's compromises with his. There's also a sexy love story with Tess's boyfriend, who's nearly too good to be true, and a lively gal pal, the wealthy and loyal Whitney, whose own talents are equally impressive. The author is good at developing multidimensional characters, the minor ones as well as the majors. And once your appetite is whetted by The Sugar House, you'll want to track down Tess's earlier adventures in Lippman's (paper) backlist, beginning with Baltimore Blues. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Locals recognize the Sugar House as a stubborn and defiant legacy of the city's past that competes with Charm City's glitzy present. Tess thought she knew it, too - until she is forced to take on the most disturbing case of her accidental career." "First there's her client, former barmaid Ruthie Dembrow, who seems to know Tess's father well, a little too well as far as his daughter is concerned. Then there's the nature of the crime she's asked to investigate - and its cast of characters." "Fourteen moths ago, Ruthie's low-life brother, Henry, killed a runaway over a bottle of glue. His confession put him away, but no one ever learned the girl's name. A month into his prison term, Henry met the same grim fate as his victim. Now Ruthie wants Tess to find out why."."With just a few tantalizing and elusive clues, Tess sets off on a path that takes her from Baltimore's exclusive Inner Harbor to the city's seediest neighborhoods. But it's the shocking discovery of the runaway's true identity that turns Tess's hunt deadly. Suddenly, her supposedly solved murder case keeps turning up newer, fresher corpses and newer, scarier versions of the Sugar House - places that look so sweet and safe, but only from the outside. And every time Tess thinks she's done what she has to do to protect her family, this decidedly sour case ends up back on her doorstep, ready to claim another life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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