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The California dream weavers have invaded Charm City with their cameras, their stars, and their controversy. . . .

When private investigator Tess Monaghan literally runs into the crew of the fledgling TV series Mann of Steel while sculling, she expects sharp words and evil looks, not an assignment. But the company has been plagued by a series of disturbing incidents since its arrival on location in Baltimore: bad press, union threats, and small, costly on-set "accidents" that have wreaked havoc with its shooting schedule. As a result, Mann's creator, Flip Tumulty, the son of a Hollywood legend, is worried for the safety of his young female lead, Selene Waites, and asks Tess to serve as her bodyguard/babysitter. Tumulty's concern may be well founded. Not long ago a Baltimore man was discovered dead in his own home, surrounded by photos of the beautiful, difficult superstar-in-the-making.

In the past, Tess has had enough trouble guarding her own body. Keeping a spoiled movie princess under wraps may be more than she can handle—even with the help of Tess's icily unflappable friend Whitney—since Selene is not as naive as everyone seems to think, and far more devious than she initially appears to be. This is not Tess's world. And these are not her kind of people, with their vanities, their self-serving agendas and invented personas, and their remarkably skewed visions of reality—from the series' aging, shallow, former pretty-boy leading man to its resentful, always-on-the-make cowriter to the officious young assistant who may be too hungry for her own good.

But the fish-out-of-water P.I. is abruptly pulled back in by an occurrence she's all too familiar with—murder. Suddenly the wall of secrets around Mann of Steel is in danger of toppling, leaving shattered dreams, careers, and lives scattered among the ruins—a catastrophe that threatens the people Tess cares about . . . and the city she loves.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061807541
List price: $9.99
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With three critically-acclaimed standalones (To the Power of Three, Every Secret Thing, and What the Dead Know) now behind her, Laura Lippman returns to the Tess Monaghan series with Another Thing to Fall. Those of us who have been following Tess's adventures for years should be grateful, and I am, but I wish I could have liked this book more.In it, Tess is brought into the world of television production (with which Lippman is familiar because of her husband's involvement with The Wire). It's a world where no one is quite what s/he seems, and one where most people are so focused on their own concerns as to be fairly clueless outside them. Problems are dogging the set of a Baltimore-location TV series in production, and Tess is hired as a bodyguard for its lead ingenue. This is one of those books with multiple points of view, including perpetrator(s), victims, and not-so-innocent bystanders as well as that of the detective. These are useful in explaining motivations, but can be a little confusing.At the end of the book, it seemed to me, Tess hadn't done all that much detecting, rather she learned much of the truth by having it flung at her,and probably that's why I found the book a little disappointing.On the other hand, although we didn't get to see much of Crow, both his teenage protege Lloyd and Tess's awesome friend Whitney Talbot featured largely in the plot, and that was enjoyable. Even a so-so Laura Lippman book is much better than average, and I also liked her insights into the ambivalence of a troubled city being "invaded" by television and movie crews with their promises of money and fame.more
dull, stupid, all over the place. how do these things even get published.more
I love Laura Lippman but was less into this one, perhaps because the subject matter was the movie business--I like her earlier books better, when they covered more Baltimore history. But, it was still an interesting read.more
This is the tenth book in the Tess Monaghan detective series set in Baltimore. Tess, now thirty-four [I appreciate that she ages in the series] is hired as a security guard for Selene Waites, a young, unpredictable star of a movie, "Mann of Steel," that is being filmed in the city.There have been problems on the set; local protests, a suicide, a fire, and threats, and Tess finds herself drawn in to untangle all the threads. She brings her best friend Whitney with her for help, and also insists that her boyfriend’s teenage mentee, Lloyd Jupiter, be given a job on the set as well.The screen writers/producers for “Mann of Steel,” Flip Tumulty, Jr. and Ben Marcus, have been less than forthcoming with Tess, and there is more danger than she anticipated. Discussion: Ms. Lippman, who is married to David Simon, a producer for the HBO series “The Wire,” seems to have wanted to share what she has learned about what goes on behind the scenes in filmmaking. Thus she devotes most of her attention to this information, and the mystery aspect doesn’t hold up very well. Nevertheless, her books in this series area bit like friends and family: sometimes they’re fun, sometimes not so much, but they’re still your friends and family.Evaluation: Not the best of the series.more
Tess Monaghan becomes involved in the protection of a young star of a television series, Mann of Steel, being filmed in Baltimore. Selene Waite, barely twenty, rather self-centred and seemingly vacuous, has already been the prey of a twisted stalker who then committed suicide. But that's not the only cause for concern - small incidents are happening on the set, and it seems that it won't be long before something really serious occurs. Selene is far from co-operative with Tess and even spikes Tess's drink at a nightclub to get away from her.From the very start the reader knows, even if one stalker is already dead, there is another watching Selene, taking photos, planning havoc. And then there are the protesters, the steelworkers of Baltimore, who say the television series is not treating their industry with any accuracy, and is riding roughshod over the residents. And what about the ageing Johnny Tampa, playing opposite Selene, who definitely believes the script is being manipulated for her benefit?I found ANOTHER THING TO FALL very hard to get my head around. It seemed to me to lack focus. There were lots of characters and for a large part of the plot I really didn't know where it was going. This is #10 in the Tess Monaghan series, and lovers of the series will probably be aghast at my criticism. I felt that Lippman has not taken sufficiently into account that the reader may have picked the series up for the first time. I was looking for a bit of background about Tess and her background, and yes, I did get some, eventually. I felt much of the characterisation, particularly of Tess herself, assumed that I had met Tess in earlier books. There are some interesting characters - I loved Mrs Blossom for example - but for many the details are thin, and I actually felt there were too many characters for me to assimilate into one story.I was really disappointed that I didn't enjoy ANOTHER THING TO FALL more, because I have enjoyed other Lippman novels. For example I gave WHAT THE DEAD KNOW a rating of 4.7. Back in 2005 I gave BY A SPIDER'S THREAD a rating of 5.more
In this volume in the Tess Monaghan series, Tess is hired as a bodyguard to a young and wayward actress in a TV series being shot in Baltimore. Murder ensues, and the stakes get higher.Good novel, not the best in the series, but well worth the read.more
Private Investigator Tess Monaghan unknowingly ruins a shoot for the film crew of TV series Mann of Steel and instead of being chastised for it ends up with a new assignment: bodyguard to the show’s youngest actor, Selene Waites. The producer Flip Tumulty and his company have had a run of vandalism, leading to bad press, and Flip is concerned for Selene’s safety. With the aid of her friend Whitney, Tess reluctantly takes on the job, and quickly learns Selene is not as passive and uneducated as she appears. When Flip’s assistant is found beaten to death, Tess realizes Selene may actually be in danger and begins her own investigation into what happened to the assistant. As always, Lippman provides the reader with an interesting view of Baltimore and its people and culture. The plot seems to stagger along at first, with no real sense of the characters involved. The killer’s mindset is initially hard to grasp, as is his reason for creating such havoc for the producer and his series. One interesting and refreshing character is Mrs. Blossom, one of Tess’s students in her private investigation class, who this reviewer hopes will return in future books.more
Just could not get interested in this one. Reminded me too much of the Sara Peretsky books. Turned it off after the first cd.more
Laura Lippman is usually a sharp writer, and Tess Monaghan is usually a good character. This mystery, though, is a bit of a mess. Lippman does some dishonest writing here by having characters' thoughts provided to the reader when only later we find those out to be false. This is true of Johnny Tampa's supposedly first person response to Selene. In addition, Lippman seems to want to prove she knows movie and tv trivia. Who cares. Wikipedia gives everyone that trivia. The shenanigans on the set of a tv show border on the boringly been there, read that. In her acknowledgments, Lippman tells the reader she is married to the producer of The Wire, a tv show set in Baltimore. Aha. She thought her insider's knowledge of a tv show would make a good novel. In this case at least, she was wrong. If Lippman does not know, she should, that nearly every viewer of a movie knows it's all smoke and mirrors. We know the sets are fake, that the views outside windows are bogus, and that lighting is used to make things appear either earlier or later in the day. Has she ever seen a movie set in Paris? Doesn't she think it odd that every single apartment, house, office, government building has a view of The Eiffel Tower. This is a patronizing book and a crappy mystery.more
Tess Monaghan is out rowing on the river when she inadvertently collides with the set of a TV Show. Once they find out she is a private investigator she is hired to work as a body guard for their young star. Seems she has been the target of a stalker in the past and now strange things are happening on the set, small fires and other small but annoying sabotages. Tess soon realizes there is a lot more going on and when someone is murdered her behind-the-scenes investigation starts.This is the first Laura Lippman book that I have read. Usually I'm pretty particular about starting a series at the beginning so was a little wary about jumping into this tenth entry of the series. I had little to worry about as I was hooked from the prologue. There were a few references to the past here and there but this book was very easy for a newcomer to the series to get into. I also usually don't read private investigator type mysteries either so I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. The behind the scenes look at a television show was a lot of fun. The mystery was very good and kept me guessing until near the end. Rather than being a fast-paced plot focused mystery I found this to be a character driven story. The characters were very well developed and much time was spent just getting to know the supporting cast. If you are looking for a page-turner, this is not for you but if you are looking more for an Elizabeth George type mystery where you can get inside the head of the characters this book will surely please.more
The tenth entry in Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series finds the Baltimore-native reporter-turned-private-eye rowing her way into the production of the television mini-series Mann of Steel. Tess is hired to provide security for young starlet Selene Waites (think Paris Hilton only with acting ability) due to a series of disturbing incidents plaguing the fledgling series.At first Tess chalks Selene up to a ditzy Hollywood type, but events quickly show that Selene is cleverer than she lets on. When the series of incidents escalates into the death of one of the writing assistants, Tess' natural curiosity is piqued and she begins to investigate what's really happening with the Mann of Steel production.As the story unfolds, a number of likely suspects enter into the picture with Lippman laying out a foundation and motive for each person to be part of the plot to disrupt the production of the show. As always with Lippman's books, the pages turn easily and the narrative shifts between several characters while staying firmly grounded with Tess. The first half of the book lays out all the characters and their potential motivations and the second half puts the pieces into place, leading up to a satisfying denouncement to multiple mysteries taking place within the novel.Yet despite having several threads running, the novel never loses focus or the reader.Along with Elizabeth George, Lippman writes the most satisfying, character-driven mystery novels on the market today. As with George's Lynley and Havers series, part of the pleasure in Lippman's Monaghan novels is the chance to "catch up" with Tess. Of course, the mystery is compelling as well or else the novels wouldn't be worth the time or effort. But the balance of character and mystery is well navigated here. And Lippman does the near impossible task of allowing new readers into the Tess universe while satisfying long-time readers of Tess' adventures.more
Seemed to be in a very different vein from the other Tess Monaghan mysteries I’ve read. More like Tess light truth be told. It was enjoyable though and pretty well populated with suspects, but I think it lacked an emotional hook for us to catch hold of. I think it was because Tess herself was so detached from everything. If her emotional investment is minimal, it makes the reader not ante up either. But it was fun seeing the inside drudgery of making a TV show. The ins and outs of contracts and time tables and pandering to personalities and egos was exasperating and hilarious. How these people can stand each other is hard to get my mind around. No wonder they were ripe for blackmail or worse. I did like how Selene turned out to be a much better actress than we first surmised. Also that Crow wasn’t in this one much was a bonus.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

leave on the bookshelfmore
With three critically-acclaimed standalones (To the Power of Three, Every Secret Thing, and What the Dead Know) now behind her, Laura Lippman returns to the Tess Monaghan series with Another Thing to Fall. Those of us who have been following Tess's adventures for years should be grateful, and I am, but I wish I could have liked this book more.In it, Tess is brought into the world of television production (with which Lippman is familiar because of her husband's involvement with The Wire). It's a world where no one is quite what s/he seems, and one where most people are so focused on their own concerns as to be fairly clueless outside them. Problems are dogging the set of a Baltimore-location TV series in production, and Tess is hired as a bodyguard for its lead ingenue. This is one of those books with multiple points of view, including perpetrator(s), victims, and not-so-innocent bystanders as well as that of the detective. These are useful in explaining motivations, but can be a little confusing.At the end of the book, it seemed to me, Tess hadn't done all that much detecting, rather she learned much of the truth by having it flung at her,and probably that's why I found the book a little disappointing.On the other hand, although we didn't get to see much of Crow, both his teenage protege Lloyd and Tess's awesome friend Whitney Talbot featured largely in the plot, and that was enjoyable. Even a so-so Laura Lippman book is much better than average, and I also liked her insights into the ambivalence of a troubled city being "invaded" by television and movie crews with their promises of money and fame.more
dull, stupid, all over the place. how do these things even get published.more
I love Laura Lippman but was less into this one, perhaps because the subject matter was the movie business--I like her earlier books better, when they covered more Baltimore history. But, it was still an interesting read.more
This is the tenth book in the Tess Monaghan detective series set in Baltimore. Tess, now thirty-four [I appreciate that she ages in the series] is hired as a security guard for Selene Waites, a young, unpredictable star of a movie, "Mann of Steel," that is being filmed in the city.There have been problems on the set; local protests, a suicide, a fire, and threats, and Tess finds herself drawn in to untangle all the threads. She brings her best friend Whitney with her for help, and also insists that her boyfriend’s teenage mentee, Lloyd Jupiter, be given a job on the set as well.The screen writers/producers for “Mann of Steel,” Flip Tumulty, Jr. and Ben Marcus, have been less than forthcoming with Tess, and there is more danger than she anticipated. Discussion: Ms. Lippman, who is married to David Simon, a producer for the HBO series “The Wire,” seems to have wanted to share what she has learned about what goes on behind the scenes in filmmaking. Thus she devotes most of her attention to this information, and the mystery aspect doesn’t hold up very well. Nevertheless, her books in this series area bit like friends and family: sometimes they’re fun, sometimes not so much, but they’re still your friends and family.Evaluation: Not the best of the series.more
Tess Monaghan becomes involved in the protection of a young star of a television series, Mann of Steel, being filmed in Baltimore. Selene Waite, barely twenty, rather self-centred and seemingly vacuous, has already been the prey of a twisted stalker who then committed suicide. But that's not the only cause for concern - small incidents are happening on the set, and it seems that it won't be long before something really serious occurs. Selene is far from co-operative with Tess and even spikes Tess's drink at a nightclub to get away from her.From the very start the reader knows, even if one stalker is already dead, there is another watching Selene, taking photos, planning havoc. And then there are the protesters, the steelworkers of Baltimore, who say the television series is not treating their industry with any accuracy, and is riding roughshod over the residents. And what about the ageing Johnny Tampa, playing opposite Selene, who definitely believes the script is being manipulated for her benefit?I found ANOTHER THING TO FALL very hard to get my head around. It seemed to me to lack focus. There were lots of characters and for a large part of the plot I really didn't know where it was going. This is #10 in the Tess Monaghan series, and lovers of the series will probably be aghast at my criticism. I felt that Lippman has not taken sufficiently into account that the reader may have picked the series up for the first time. I was looking for a bit of background about Tess and her background, and yes, I did get some, eventually. I felt much of the characterisation, particularly of Tess herself, assumed that I had met Tess in earlier books. There are some interesting characters - I loved Mrs Blossom for example - but for many the details are thin, and I actually felt there were too many characters for me to assimilate into one story.I was really disappointed that I didn't enjoy ANOTHER THING TO FALL more, because I have enjoyed other Lippman novels. For example I gave WHAT THE DEAD KNOW a rating of 4.7. Back in 2005 I gave BY A SPIDER'S THREAD a rating of 5.more
In this volume in the Tess Monaghan series, Tess is hired as a bodyguard to a young and wayward actress in a TV series being shot in Baltimore. Murder ensues, and the stakes get higher.Good novel, not the best in the series, but well worth the read.more
Private Investigator Tess Monaghan unknowingly ruins a shoot for the film crew of TV series Mann of Steel and instead of being chastised for it ends up with a new assignment: bodyguard to the show’s youngest actor, Selene Waites. The producer Flip Tumulty and his company have had a run of vandalism, leading to bad press, and Flip is concerned for Selene’s safety. With the aid of her friend Whitney, Tess reluctantly takes on the job, and quickly learns Selene is not as passive and uneducated as she appears. When Flip’s assistant is found beaten to death, Tess realizes Selene may actually be in danger and begins her own investigation into what happened to the assistant. As always, Lippman provides the reader with an interesting view of Baltimore and its people and culture. The plot seems to stagger along at first, with no real sense of the characters involved. The killer’s mindset is initially hard to grasp, as is his reason for creating such havoc for the producer and his series. One interesting and refreshing character is Mrs. Blossom, one of Tess’s students in her private investigation class, who this reviewer hopes will return in future books.more
Just could not get interested in this one. Reminded me too much of the Sara Peretsky books. Turned it off after the first cd.more
Laura Lippman is usually a sharp writer, and Tess Monaghan is usually a good character. This mystery, though, is a bit of a mess. Lippman does some dishonest writing here by having characters' thoughts provided to the reader when only later we find those out to be false. This is true of Johnny Tampa's supposedly first person response to Selene. In addition, Lippman seems to want to prove she knows movie and tv trivia. Who cares. Wikipedia gives everyone that trivia. The shenanigans on the set of a tv show border on the boringly been there, read that. In her acknowledgments, Lippman tells the reader she is married to the producer of The Wire, a tv show set in Baltimore. Aha. She thought her insider's knowledge of a tv show would make a good novel. In this case at least, she was wrong. If Lippman does not know, she should, that nearly every viewer of a movie knows it's all smoke and mirrors. We know the sets are fake, that the views outside windows are bogus, and that lighting is used to make things appear either earlier or later in the day. Has she ever seen a movie set in Paris? Doesn't she think it odd that every single apartment, house, office, government building has a view of The Eiffel Tower. This is a patronizing book and a crappy mystery.more
Tess Monaghan is out rowing on the river when she inadvertently collides with the set of a TV Show. Once they find out she is a private investigator she is hired to work as a body guard for their young star. Seems she has been the target of a stalker in the past and now strange things are happening on the set, small fires and other small but annoying sabotages. Tess soon realizes there is a lot more going on and when someone is murdered her behind-the-scenes investigation starts.This is the first Laura Lippman book that I have read. Usually I'm pretty particular about starting a series at the beginning so was a little wary about jumping into this tenth entry of the series. I had little to worry about as I was hooked from the prologue. There were a few references to the past here and there but this book was very easy for a newcomer to the series to get into. I also usually don't read private investigator type mysteries either so I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this. The behind the scenes look at a television show was a lot of fun. The mystery was very good and kept me guessing until near the end. Rather than being a fast-paced plot focused mystery I found this to be a character driven story. The characters were very well developed and much time was spent just getting to know the supporting cast. If you are looking for a page-turner, this is not for you but if you are looking more for an Elizabeth George type mystery where you can get inside the head of the characters this book will surely please.more
The tenth entry in Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series finds the Baltimore-native reporter-turned-private-eye rowing her way into the production of the television mini-series Mann of Steel. Tess is hired to provide security for young starlet Selene Waites (think Paris Hilton only with acting ability) due to a series of disturbing incidents plaguing the fledgling series.At first Tess chalks Selene up to a ditzy Hollywood type, but events quickly show that Selene is cleverer than she lets on. When the series of incidents escalates into the death of one of the writing assistants, Tess' natural curiosity is piqued and she begins to investigate what's really happening with the Mann of Steel production.As the story unfolds, a number of likely suspects enter into the picture with Lippman laying out a foundation and motive for each person to be part of the plot to disrupt the production of the show. As always with Lippman's books, the pages turn easily and the narrative shifts between several characters while staying firmly grounded with Tess. The first half of the book lays out all the characters and their potential motivations and the second half puts the pieces into place, leading up to a satisfying denouncement to multiple mysteries taking place within the novel.Yet despite having several threads running, the novel never loses focus or the reader.Along with Elizabeth George, Lippman writes the most satisfying, character-driven mystery novels on the market today. As with George's Lynley and Havers series, part of the pleasure in Lippman's Monaghan novels is the chance to "catch up" with Tess. Of course, the mystery is compelling as well or else the novels wouldn't be worth the time or effort. But the balance of character and mystery is well navigated here. And Lippman does the near impossible task of allowing new readers into the Tess universe while satisfying long-time readers of Tess' adventures.more
Seemed to be in a very different vein from the other Tess Monaghan mysteries I’ve read. More like Tess light truth be told. It was enjoyable though and pretty well populated with suspects, but I think it lacked an emotional hook for us to catch hold of. I think it was because Tess herself was so detached from everything. If her emotional investment is minimal, it makes the reader not ante up either. But it was fun seeing the inside drudgery of making a TV show. The ins and outs of contracts and time tables and pandering to personalities and egos was exasperating and hilarious. How these people can stand each other is hard to get my mind around. No wonder they were ripe for blackmail or worse. I did like how Selene turned out to be a much better actress than we first surmised. Also that Crow wasn’t in this one much was a bonus.more
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