Skip to main content

Baltimore Blues and Charm City by Laura Lippman















Baltimore Blues
was an Ellen Emerson White recommendation I am extremely glad I followed up on. I got it for Christmas and saved it for the work trip to Florida I took last week. I ended up spending seven hours sitting in airports so it was a good thing I had such an engrossing read with me. Although the result was an instant and urgent need to find a bookstore in Orlando (a shockingly difficult task, more on that later) to get my hands on the sequels. Eventually I managed to do this and I've been on a Laura Lippman binge ever since. I'll be reviewing the whole series as I finish them, so I figured I'd combine a couple titles here and there.

Baltimore Blues introduces the reader to Tess Monaghan, former newspaper reporter turned odd-job girl. Tess is a native Baltimorean and the city itself is without a doubt a main character in these novels. Lippman's love for and knowledge of Baltimore saturates every line--a real treat for readers who love ambiance and a real insider look into a city or region. Unemployed Tess is a creature of habit, filling up her time rowing on the Patapsco, eating breakfast at Jimmy's, mooching off her Aunt Kitty, and avoiding dinner with her disapproving, disappointed parents. Danger disrupts Tess' routine when she agrees to unofficially investigate a good friend's fiancee. A simple bout of snooping leads to a full-blown murder case and Tess soon finds herself fighting to clear her friend's name and watch her own back at the same time.

Charm City picks up a few months after the events of Baltimore Blues. Tess is still living above her Aunt Kitty's bookshop, and the endearing musician/bookseller Crow seems to have worn down some of Tess' reservations about a possible relationship. She's even relented enough to accept a job as an apprentice investigator for the curmudgeonly lawyer/rowing instructor Tyner. But this unusually "normal" period doesn't last long, as the editors of the Beacon-Light hire Tess to investigate a case of a reporter undermining the system, publishing a controversial article that was never meant to run. In no time, the subject of the article turns up dead. An apparent suicide. Tess follows the trail through the ranks of the newspaper, convinced the suicide was, in fact, murder. Several secondary characters get some great fleshing out in this second volume, notably Tess' best friend (and crack reporter) Whitney and the always awesome Crow. I am now completely hooked on this series and thrilled to find there are, count them, seven more to go and a brand new installment coming out in March. Bring on the fun.

Comments

  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    You're reading nine of Lippman's books in a row? That's nine books that are guaranteed good.

    I hope you're also going to read the non-Tess standalones, which are also awesome. Some (okay, most) mystery authors, I don't bother with their non-series books, but Lippman is just so consistently good that I'll read anything she writes.

    Trisha

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep. I couldn't deny myself the rare pleasure of all of them in a row.

    I'd been wondering how her non-series books were. I'm like you, Trisha. So thanks to your recommendation, I'll definitely pick them up.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review | All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I thought today would be the perfect day to review this unicorn of a book. It is All Saints' Day—a fitting day to revisit all the crooked ones, no? It is also the first day of November and so, today, . . . well, you know the rest. What I'm saying is, today is kind of the perfect day to do all the Maggie Stiefvater-related things! Which is, of course, why I'll be attending her signing event later this evening at my local indie, key in hand. I know. I win today. I do. What I do not do is take it for granted. My good fortune or this book. This beautiful, beautiful book. But before we get into my reaction, I want to make a brief request. If you haven't yet had a chance to read Maggie's post on how this book came about and what it was originally going to be and what it actually became, I straight up implore you to do so. It is one of my favorite things I've read this year and it is something I needed to read this year. My favorite line? "I discovered that I wa…

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I am having difficulty believing it was almost a year ago that I read Going Too Far. It was a solid swallow-in-a-single-gulp read and, I have often thought of Meg's "I am full of fear" mantra and smiled. I'm happy it's received the welcome attention it has in the blogosphere and I knew her next romantic drama would meet with a host of eager readers. When I first read the synopsis for Jennifer Echols' Forget You, I admit I was completely sucked in by the amnesia angle and the whole waking up to find you have a different boyfriend from the boyfriend you thought you had bit. I mean, who's not up for that? So many great possibilities when the protagonist herself doesn't know exactly what's going on. Plus, I enjoyed Ms. Echols' writing quite a bit in Going Too Far. And nearing the end of July as we are, this book was fast starting to sound like the perfect summer read to me and I looked forward to it with a high degree of anticipation.

Zoey works a…

Angie's 2018 Must Be Mine List

It's time for a clean slate and a brand new list of titles I can't wait to get my hands on. Behold, my most anticipated titles of 2018:




 And no covers on these yet, but I can hardly wait, all the same:
The Comfort Zoneby Sally Thorne
A Court of Frost and Starlightby Sarah J. Maas
Making Upby Lucy Parker
There Will Be Other Summersby Benjamin Alire Saenz
Off the Airby L.H. Cosway
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradiseby Jandy Nelson

Which ones are on your list?