Charm City Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1997
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"Both entertaining and unexpectedly touching. More Please." -- -- Baltimore Sun
From the Back Cover
Reporter-turned-p.i. Tess Monaghan loves every inch of her native Baltimore—a quirky city where baseball reigns, and homicide seems to be the second most popular sport. Business tycoon “Wink” Wynkowski wants to change all of that by bringing pro-basketball back to town—a laudable mission that’s greeted with widespread cheers . . . and a muckraking front page exposé of his past in the Baltimore Beacon-Light. The “Blight’s” surprised editors are sure they killed the piece. Instead, the piece kills Wynkowski, who’s discovered asphyxiated in his garage with his car’s engine running. Now the paper wants former newshound Tess to track down the rogue computer hacker whose prank took a human life. But there’s more than cyber-crime involved here—and Tess is about to discover firsthand that trying to stay alive in Charm City is murder these days.--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps this book, the second in the Tess Monaghan series, is not up to the level of Lippman's other offerings. For me, the mystery didn't work that well for several reasons. One was that Tess, the ex-reporter, and now an aspiring P.I, though without a license, seemed to be living rather well for one without, one assumes, much of an income. Her youthful boyfriend/lover Crow, a rock star, just didn't come across as much of a personality--though I admit that perhaps due to age I have my biases toward rock stars and their lifestyles.
Other points: the writing is sometimes ok, sometimes a graceful sentence; but mostly the prose seems jumpy and inconsistent. The plot holds some interest, though it takes most of the book to juice up interest. Mystery types also will be put out with the third-person narrator voice, and the lack of a logical ladder of evidence that would permit one to deduce the identity of the culprit.
Ms. Lippman does have Tess trip around many familar Baltimore spots, and her descriptions of what Tess eats indicates that the author enjoys food.
Perhaps another in the series might be a better read. But based on "Charm City," I think I'll look elsewhere.
Tess is a former reporter who is now working as a private investigator. She is hired by a newspaper to find out who hacked into their computers and filed a story that was not meant to be published. It involves the checkered past of Wink Wynkowski, a basketball promoter, who is trying to lure a professional team to move to Baltimore. Shortly after the article is printed, Wink is found dead of an apparent suicide. She does her best in trying to find answers to this death as well to other related ones that occur later on in the novel. She will be surprised to what she discovers.
Tess is also investigating an assault case on her uncle. He leaves her a greyhound that everybody is looking for. The Greyhound storyline was a bit disturbing. We learn about illegal dog racing as well as other activities that would shock just about anybody. I do not wish to spoil it for anyone but it was very troubling.
The author piques oneï¿½s interest in learning about the problem some of these greyhounds have after leaving the track and later being adopted by a loving family. Ms. Lippmanï¿½s love for dogs is evident in these pages.
I liked reading about Tess and plan to do so in the future, however, I plan on reading her first novel, BALTIMORE BLUES before going any further. Tess is a no nonsense kind of person who knows how to zing people. My favorite scene involved Tess and a cameraman arguing at a health club. If this is what to look forward to on the following books, well, sign me up.
This is the second book in Lippman's series. It's probably not necessary to read the first in the series to understand this book. The first book, Baltimore Blues, is both better and worse. This book has much stronger plotting between the saga of the planted stories about the basketball promoter and the tale of Esskay, the retired greyhound. At the same time, Lippman's use of Baltimore as a setting is almost invisible. Baltimore was such an interesting part of the first book.
I'll probably keep reading this series, but less out of affection for Tess than simply because all those critics and award committees must be seeing something worthwhile. Maybe with another episode, I'll see it too.
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed BALTIMORE BLUES, the first volume in this series. I think it's here, though, that Lippman's heroine Tess Monaghan really comes into her own. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004 by Simon Crowe
This is a very good sequel to Baltimore Blues. Although the mystery itself isn't the best I've read, the characters are very intriguing and the writing is excellent. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2001 by Kristin Brown
You do not need to like mysteries to love Laura Lippmann's wonderful books. The characters are well-drawn. Read morePublished on June 19 2001 by Wayne L. Winston
I enjoyed Baltimore Blues a little more, but this was still a great read. Looking forward to the rest of the series.Published on April 27 2001
Charm City tells a story that moves and engages your attention. There are good (and bad) characters, an intricate plot, and an only-in-Baltimore subplot. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2000 by Harriet and the Mystery Book Discussion Group
... but nothing special. It sort of reads like a first draft. There are plotholes and inconsistent things that should have been caught and fixed. Read morePublished on Dec 6 1998
Laura's done it again! With a mix of great writing, creative plotting and wonderful scene-setting, Laura has come up with a winner. Bravo!Published on Nov. 18 1998
Laura's done it again! With a mix of great writing, creative plotting and wonderful scene-setting, Laura has come up with a winner. Bravo!Published on Nov. 18 1998 by email@example.com