Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman

Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman
Harper Collins Publisher
October 2009
Format: e-book, 384 pages

First line: 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.

Synopsis from B&N:  In a city where someone is murdered almost every day, attorney Michael Abramowitz’s death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer’s notoriety—and his taste for illicit midday trysts—make the case front-page news in every local paper except the Star, which crashed and burned before Abramowitz did. A former Star reporter who knows every inch of this town—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill—now unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan also knows the guy the cops like for the killing: cuckolded fiancĂ© Darryl “Rock” Paxton. The time is ripe for a career move, so when rowing buddy Rock wants to hire her to do some unorthodox snooping to help clear his name, Tess agrees. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the Charm City shadows. And Tess’ own name could end up on that ever-expanding list of Baltimore dead.

My thoughts: This is the first book in Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, a series that I am once again getting a late start on. There are already 11 books out in this series and I enjoyed the first one enough that I am intrigued to see how the series progresses.

In Baltimore Blues, we meet Tess Monaghan and we find out how she ends up working as a private investigator. As a journalist who's been laid off, she takes up odd jobs. One of those jobs involves "spying" on her rowing buddy Rock's fiancee Ava. This one job leads to some unexpected consequences for all involved. Then her buddy is accused of murder and feeling partly responsible for the accusation, Tess tries to figure out what really happened. 

We meet a lot of characters in this book, some that I believe might be part of the series (Rock, Aunt Kitty, Crow, Whitney)  and some that we will probably never see again. Tess is a witty and sassy reporter-turned-detective that you either love or hate and I happened to find her interesting enough to want to read more about to see how well she really does working as a PI. There are many twists and turns throughout this book along with many comical scenes. It's a good balance of suspense and humor that moves the story along.

Have you ever started reading a series and stopped after a book or two because something was off for you?

(I purchased this e-book.)

Books in this series:
  1. Baltimore Blues                7.  The Last Place
  2. Charm City                          8.  By a Spider's Thread
  3. Butcher's Hill                      9.  No Good Deeds
  4. In Big Trouble                   10.  Another Thing to Fall
  5. The Sugar House              11.  The Girl in the Green Raincoat
  6. In a Strange City


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