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Butchers Hill [Paperback]

Laura Lippman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book by Lippman, Laura

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good third in a series Sept. 6 2001
Lippman's writing continues to improve. She does a wonderful job of letting her characters age and learn from life, and the actual "mystery" is better than the two previous books. I do tend to think Lippman throws in a bit too much at the end (facts that suddenly change the direction of the story), but this fact didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. If for no other reason, this book is worth reading to get to the next (In Big Trouble) - the best of the series, in my opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Award winning urban tale June 25 2001
Butchers Hill won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best paperbacks (as well as being nominated for the MacCavity, Edgar and Shamus paperback awards). It's a good book but I suspect some publisher marketing or a weak year for the competition. Butchers Hill is a solid read but hardly earth shattering.
First and foremost, this is a very urban tale and not about the pretty side of city life. The book revolves around Tess' first two clients at her new office. What start out as simple cases to locate missing persons quickly grow complicated and intertwined. Tess is thrown into the world of urban foster care issues. The plotting is strong and I found myself thinking about the book between chapters.
My jury is still out on this series. The Baltimore setting doesn't do much for me - it's pretty bleak through Tess' eyes. Tess doesn't stand out among her peers in the female P.I. land. Kinsey and V.I. have been doing similar stuff for a long time. Of the new generation, I'd rather read Evanovich's Stephanie Plum who seems genuinely orginal (and funny).
Bottom-line: Still not sure what the fuss is about concerning Lippman. A perfectly adequate read but nothing outstanding. Reading of previous books in the series (Baltimore Blues and Charm City) is helpful but not essential.
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1.0 out of 5 stars this book stinks June 9 2001
what else is there to say. i'd like to be kind, but give me a break. this is a stinking book and a waste of time. to think that this thing won an award. Geez! something else has to be going on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great series... April 30 2001
By A Customer
If you like your mysteries to be more than the cozy, sicky sweet variety, this series is for you. I don't understand about the previous reviewer's reference to bias. This book seemed to tell the insider's story of Baltimore, warts and all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-boiled Baltimore July 6 2000
My favorite character in the Tess series is Baltimore. Lippman carefully maps out a city every bit as complex as any of the human characters. If you like Peretsky's Chicago or Grafton's Santa Theresa, then you'll love the Tess Monaghan mysteries. While the ending is just a bit too pat, Tess and her city are very convincingly portrayed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Weakest in an otherwise good series June 14 2000
By A Customer
Is it my imagination, or are my favorite paperback authors writing faster while the books get weaker? Disappointing book in some ways, yet worth the read and I'll read another one by Laura Lippmann.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Let Down in Little Rock May 31 2000
By Harold
After reading over half of this book I was wondering why keep going. I thought this award winning book would get much better. It did not.
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1.0 out of 5 stars No Awards for Butchers Hill May 14 2000
By A Customer
Why did this book receive an Agatha Award? This is certainly not great writing. I can think of many writers whose least effort outclasses this work- Colin Dexter, Ross MacDonald, Agatha Chrtistie, Josephine Tey, Raymond Chandler, Len Deighton, John Le Carre, just to name a few. The characters are transparent and the plot is predictable once the author reveals her (all too obvious) political bias. I only bought this book because it won the award. What a disappointment! What a betrayal! Now I have to question the integrity of the Agatha Awards. Are the awards about good literature or is there another agenda being advanced?
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