As a mystery writer with my first book in its initial release, I genuinely admire Laura Lippman, an author who is clearly at the top of her game. SUGAR HOUSE is Lippman's first hardcover mystery, and it is a fabulous novel. Lippman's protagonist, Tess Monaghan, agrees to her father's request and attempts to identify a nameless dead girl whose murderer himself was murdered. To accomplish this task, Lippman takes us on a tour of the Atlantic coast. Tess journeys from her usual stomping grounds of Baltimore to Annapolis, Philadelphia, and Maryland's Eastern Shore. Lippman continues to develop her Tess character, as well as several supporting characters. SUGAR HOUSE's plot is first-rate, and Lippman's writing is smooth. It is difficult to believe that it has taken five paperback books for Tess to reach hardcover. SUGAR HOUSE is a great mystery, and I recommend it highly.