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Charm City Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (Oct. 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380788764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380788767
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,203,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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.

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By Philip A. True on July 15 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up Laura Lippman's "Charm City" because several of her mysteries had been nominated for awards and the locale was Baltimore--a city I have some knowledge about.
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.
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By Angel L. Soto on Jan. 31 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first Tess Monaghan novel and I feel left out. After having finished this novel I felt I might have enjoyed it more if I read BALTIMORE BLUES first and learn the main character as well as the supporting members.
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 one�s interest in learning about the problem some of these greyhounds have after leaving the track and later being adopted by a loving family. Ms. Lippman�s 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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's hard to express in words just what is missing in the Tess Monaghan series. I like Tess - I just don't love her. The writing is good - but not great enough to be noteworthy. The side characters are ok (they were more interesting in the first book) but certainly lack the pizazz of, say, the side characters in Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. There's some humor but somehow it only makes me chuckle, not laugh out loud.
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
From the beginning, I did not like Tess, the protagonist of this mystery. She is too hostile and lacks a real sense of humor. Also she is too knowledgable about newspapers and life in general for being only 29. What I liked least about this book was the writing style. I never really got to know Tess because the book is in 3rd person. The "narrator" knows a lot more than Tess does and for pages at a time we are not seeing the story unfold through Tess's eyes but rather through this narrative voice. The entire scene where Tess's "rival" Rosita is being fired is told this way and that's when I lost interest and stopped reading. I didn't care about the newspaper mystery, or about what happened to Uncle Spike. The book was overly long, filled with hours of driving around. The dog was poorly detailed. I love dogs and didn't care at all about this one. Most of the other characters were "stock" as well. For better mysteries involving older woman-young lover try early books by Judith Van Giesen.
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