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Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 1997


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Mass Market Paperback, 1997
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Avon Books (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380788756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380788750
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 150 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,904,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
Tess Monaghan is having job troubles. She’s a reporter but alas, Baltimore’s The Star folded. The only other prominent paper, Beacon Light, was not hiring. She has picked up odd jobs for two years while she waits for her perfect job to come along. Rowing is more than a hobby for Tess. Her close friend, Darryl (Rock) Paxton pushes her to exceed her limit. It’s basically all the man lives for; that and his fiancée Ava. Only Ava has been keeping secrets lately. He asks Tess to follow her. Tess doesn’t want to, but hey, with the money Rock is offering, she cannot turn it down. Ava works as a lawyer with O’Neal, O’Connor and O’Neill. Tess begins to place Ava with her boss, Michael Abramowitz, in situations where it seems to be other than work related. Tess faces Ava and insists she tell Rock about her affair. Next thing you know, Abramowitz turns up murdered. Did Rock kill him in a jealous rage? Now Tess needs to find out the truth and clear Rock’s name.

I found this to be a good beginning to the Tess Monaghan series, yet many details were given which had little to do with moving the story along. Tess’ character seems very down to earth, like someone you could relate to in real life. The author depicts Baltimore very well; I’ve been there and can ‘see’ it through the author’s eyes. Baltimore Blues was first published in 1997; the first four books of the series are being reissued with new covers and Notes from the Author. In addition, a new book in the series, Hush Hush, will be released February 24, 2015. You can find those details on Laura’s website: http://lauralippman.net/. I rated Baltimore Blues at 3.5 out of 5.
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By M.A. on Dec 22 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I finished Laura Lippman's Baltimore Blues last night, and I was pleased with the overall story and its characters. In brief, Tess Monaghan is a former reporter, struggling to find employment when her rowing friend asks her to check up on his fiancee. Tess reluctantly accepts because she needs the money and because she cares for her friend. Unfortunately, Tess suspects that the fiancee is having an affair with her boss, a disreputable lawyer with a reputation for defending the scum of humanity... at least, before he's murdered. The prime suspect is Tess's friend, and now she's out to uncover the real killer.
The story is pretty straightforward with a fairly likable cast of supporting players. What really makes this book successful, however, is not the story or the characters, but rather the setting -- Baltimore, which becomes a character in it of itself. Lippman, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and long-time resident of Charm City, clearly knows her territory, making full use of various known landmarks as well as unknown neighborhoods and traditions. It's a richly layered guide to Baltimore that only touches on the wealth that the city offers.
Ultimately, what really nagged me, though, was my own proximity to Baltimore. When I read other mysteries and the author takes great care bringing location into the story, I'm often impressed with the detail and character of those settings. As a writer, part of me often speculates -- are these real places or did the author make them up? Now, having read Baltimore Blues and dabbling in local color, I must confess that it's rather strange to read about places I've been to, or could get to within a half hour's drive. When Lippman actually mentions my own county, including a town not far from where I live, I had to pause and remind myself that Baltimore Blue was just fiction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel introduces Ms Lippman's Regular series heroine ,ex journalist Tess Monaghan,who since her former newspaper closed down has found herself scratching a precarious existence working for her Aunt Kitty,a bookstore owner,and doing some supernumery work on behalf of her Uncle Donald,work that unknown to her is not really required and is paid for by her uncle from his own pocket. She is close friends with The Rock,with whom she shares a passion for rowing,he being nationally ranked and she an enthusiastic amateur.They train together and enjoy a relaxed cameraderie.
He is engaged to a young lawyer,Ava,and is afraid that she is seeing another man.He asks Tess to follow her and report on her movements.She accepts reluctantly,being unable to refuse the money on offer.She finds that the poised and unlikeable Ava is a shoplifter and is seeing Michael Abromowitz,once a prominent public defender now a partner in the firm which employs her.
Abromowitz is murdered and suspicion falls upon The Rock .His lawyer ,another rowing fanatic,named Tyner, engages Tess to dig around in the case trying to uncover facts useful to his defence.She finds that Ava has spun a yarn to the Rock about being forced to sleep with Abramowitz and thus the Rock has motive enough
Aide by her socialite friend Whitney she delves into the case uncovering information about the personalities involved.She finds herself mired in the worlds of teenage sexual abuse and murder,and industrial compensation cases both involving Abramowitz .Others have valid motives for wishing him dead.
The case is unravelled smoothly and in addition to Tess there are likeable characters in plenty--Crow ,a bookstore clerk and wannabe musician,smitten by Tess,and Whitney,flambouyant and opinionated but with personality to spare.
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