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 could prove costly to Tess -- and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The first book in the Tess Monaghan series by bestselling novelist Laura Lippman is a sharp, suspenseful mystery. Our protagonist—a scrappy, bookish ex-newspaper reporter in dire need of some income—comes to the defense of her friend Darryl “Rock” Paxton, who’s been falsely accused of murder. As Tess hunts for the real killer, Lippman takes us on a tour of a Baltimore that’s as gritty and charming as Tess’ deadpan humor.
Downsized ex-reporter Tess Monaghan spends her days working part-time at the bookstore owned by sexy Aunt Kitty and trying not to fall into the disgustingly polluted Patapsco from her city-owned boat. When rowing buddy Rocky pays her what looks like a fortune to follow his fiance, the trail leads to murder with Rocky the prime suspect. "Uneven" is the word for this first novel-hometown and newspaper backgrounds are alive from page one, but characters are cartoons until chapter 15 (out of 30) when Tess investigates the victim. Suddenly the story perks up to a believable pageturner. If Lippman continues the promise of the second half of Baltimore Blues while adhering to advice attributed to Elmore Leonard to cut out the parts people won't read, mystery fans can anticipate an engrossing series.