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Baltimore Blues
Cover of Baltimore Blues
Baltimore Blues
Tess Monaghan Series, Book 1

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 fiancé Darryl "Rock" Paxton. The time is ripe for a career move—anything to pay the rent—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.

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 fiancé Darryl "Rock" Paxton. The time is ripe for a career move—anything to pay the rent—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.

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About the Author-
  • Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at the Baltimore Sun. She began writing novels while working full time and published seven books about "accidental PI" Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her most recent books have all been New York Times bestsellers, and her work has been awarded the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Shamus, Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe, and Barry Awards. She has also been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Baltimore Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman lives in Baltimore.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Lippman's sleuth, Tess Monaghan, has had several outings by now, but this is her first (1997). It was important to establish her character firmly and to involve her in a plot exciting enough to make readers come back for more. Deborah Hazlett backs Lippman's success vocally. She shows Tess as resourceful, emotionally steady, feisty, and clear thinking as the unemployed reporter investigates the murder of a controversial defense lawyer. Other characters, as well as the portrayal of the city of Baltimore, enrich the plot and, in most cases, the audio version. Hazlett's narration sounds a bit reportorial at times, a style that is perhaps a reflection of Tess's vocation and that of Lippman herself. J.B.G. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 2, 1997
    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.

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Baltimore Blues
Tess Monaghan Series, Book 1
Laura Lippman
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