Skip to main content

Butchers Hill and In Big Trouble by Laura Lippman














Butchers Hill takes place several months after Charm City concludes. Tess has actually rented office space and hung out her shingle. Her first couple of clients are most interesting: a convicted murderer whose served his time and is interested in becoming an anonymous benefactor to some missing children, and a successful businesswoman intent on finding the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. Against the advice of her lawyer, the local homicide detective, and sometimes her own better judgment, Tess agrees to help these clients. The intertwined mysteries unfold as Tess once again plumbs the gritty, familiar neighborhoods of Baltimore searching for the lost children. What's wonderful about this growing series is Lippman's shrewd ability to keep the drama real and close to the vest as far as her heroine is concerned. This is Tess' story as much as it is the story of the disenfranchised lower classes of Baltimore and the two worlds collide and mesh in wholly unexpected ways. For Tess and the reader. Well done, Ms. Lippman. Another riveting read.

In Big Trouble picks up not long after the unsettling events of Butchers Hill. Just when this loyal reader was on the brink of breaking down and pleading for a sign of the missing Crow, there he is! Or rather, there his picture is. Sans dreadlocks and sporting an unfamiliar bitter look, Crow's picture is cut out of a newspaper clipping and mailed to Tess via her lawyer Tyner. The headline above the picture reads, "In Big Trouble." Unsure of who sent the hint, Tess struggles with herself for a week before driving down to Virginia to see if Crow's folks have heard from him. To Tess' surprise, his parents insist on hiring her to find their son and soon she's on the road to Texas, leaving her beloved Baltimore behind. It was so fun to see Tess transplanted into unfamiliar territory, forced to be the awkward outsider instead of the cool insider we know and love. Like Baltimore in the previous books, San Antonio is a character in its own right. There are beautiful descriptions of the food, culture, weather, and landscape that made me nostalgic for the years I lived there in my early teens. My favorite Tess book so far.

Comments

  1. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Hey, In Big Trouble is my favorite Tess (and Crow) book, too!

    Trisha

    ReplyDelete
  2. Get out. I loved it and thought the ending was perfect.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Review | The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

All it took was hearing the basic bones of the premise of Beth O'Leary's debut novel The Flatsharefor me to determine I would absolutely be reading it as soon as I possibly could. I was so delighted to be granted access to an advanced reading copy by Flatiron Books. Even better, it became apparent from the moment I read the first few lines that this reading experience would take place in one headlong rush. No significant breaks allowed, let alone required. The Flatshare was published first in the UK and then slightly later here in the U.S. I dithered over which cover to buy as both have much to recommend them, but I finally decided on the U.S. cover (pictured here). I just love the two of them standing on either side of the same door, the tiny heart between the title and author name.

Tiffy is in a massive, massive bind. Out on her ear after breaking up with her exceptionally controlling boyfriend, she needs an inexpensive place to live and she needs it yesterday. Despite her …

In the Beginning, or the First Ten Books I Reviewed on the Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl
It's been awhile, but this topic was too good to pass up. When I thought about it, I genuinely could not recall which were the first ten books I actually reviewed here on the blog. So then, of course, I had to know. The thing is, I originally started the whole thing simply posting a once a month list of my favorite reads and rereads of the month. That went on for some time until lo and behold I went ahead and wrote and posted my first review on November 9, 2007. In hindsight, I probably should have known exactly which book pushed me over the edge into full fledged reviews. So this was a rather delightful journey back in time. Do you remember the first book you ever reviewed (in any forum) or what made you take the plunge? Here are my first ten (and I have to say, looking at this snapshot from the past, these remain some of my absolute favorite authors and a pretty spot-on array of the genres I read and love tod…

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

It is a pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Hazel Prior's debut novel Ellie and the Harpmaker. I confess it was the title that drew me in when Berkley approached me about a possible review. It sounded a bit fey, a bit on the ethereal side. The comparisons to the exquisite Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Finedecidedly did not hurt. And so I readily accepted and opened my review copy to the first page. A thought:
Some things are easier to hide than others.

A fact:
Harps come under the "others" category. So do small boys. As you know by now, I am such a sucker for a good epigraph, and this one did the trick nicely. As did the novel's opening lines: A woman came to the barn today. Her hair was the color of walnut wood. Her eyes were the color of bracken in October. Her socks were the color of cherries, which was noticeable because all the rest of her clothes were sad colors. And so we are introduced to one Dan Hollis and the particular way that he sees the world and …