Sugar House Mass Market Paperback – Jul 12 2001
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About the Author
Laura Lippman was a newspaper reporter at the Baltimore Sun for twelve years. Her Tess Monaghan novels -- The Last Place, The Sugar House, Baltimore Blues, Charm City, Butchers Hill, and In Big Trouble -- have won the Edgar, Agatha, Shamus, Anthony, and Nero Wolfe Awards, and In a Strange City was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel Every Secret Thing. Lippman lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
A feckless young Baltimore man, convicted of a Jane Doe murder, is himself killed in prison. His sister wants to know why. When Tess Monaghan, a tough but charming Baltimore P.I., takes the case, her investigation runs the gamut from the city's ruling classes to its lowlife and most of the notes in between. Compelling and satisfying, this is a tautly worked thriller with an awfully sweet ending (note the title.) Laurence Bouvard runs out of male voices; when she gets to the bottom of her barrel, some of the men sound more like cartoon mice or ducks than the thugs they are, but she does a great job otherwise. B.G. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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This is the fifth installment in the Tess Monaghan series set in Baltimore and Lippman is superb! In addition to solving murders she tackles issues such as eating disorders, shady treatment centers, liquor licensing and family relationships. Sugar House is a little slow starting but soon delivers a powerful punch and perplexing plotline. This is a must read for every mystery fan.
Tesser Monaghan is asked to take this case. Who murdered this young man and for what reason? The person asking Tess to take on this case is her father, Patrick Monaghan, who is active in Baltimore politic as are a couple of his brothers. The reason for this request is that Ruthie Dembrow's brother is the young man murdered in prison. Ruthie feels there was a much different reason for this young man to be killed. Plus Pat owes Ruthie, a Baltimore hon, a favor. He doesn't tell Tess why.
The season of this particular book is the Christmas season. Baltimore is filled with Christmas decorations. The city is cold,gray and darkness comes early. This is a good time for a murder mystery in the blue collar town of Baltimore.
Politics is much involved in this story. One of the men running is Senator Kenny Dahlgren, a family loving, honest man of the people or is he? Plus there are more so called honest politicians such as Arnold Vasso.
Tess is in love with Crow for the time being; Aunt Kitty's man of the month is Tyner Gray. Other characters are Tess's best friend, Whitney,who comes from a wealthy family, Esskay, Tess's dog, Sukey a gossipey teenager who Tess is always cautioning to stay away from trouble, she may be in danger. Along comes a new friend Jackie and toddler daughter,Laylah, who Tess adores.
Tess and Whitney,who is helping with a case, go to a hidden school for girls from wealthy families called Persephone's Place. The school is quite a way out in the country, hard to find and get to and very costly. This is a school for girls with eating problems plus tons of money.
Tess goes to Philadelphia to see a former student of this school Tess has questions to ask Devon. She feels Devon knows much about the case this PI is trying to solve.
This private eye, as usual, goes into dangerous places, meets evil people, people who love money and wouldn't mind killing innocents to get it. There are some who will do anything to gain power. She goes through the blue collar sections of Baltimore plus the wealthier sections.
Laure Lippman is a native of Baltimore who loves her city and takes her readers all through her hometown. A good escapist read.