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Until her paper, the Baltimore Star, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately -- from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent -- including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl "Rock" Paxton.

In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer's notoriety -- and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancee -- make the case front page news...and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend's innocence could prove costly to Tess -- and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.

Topics: Women Detectives, Baltimore, Maryland, Series, First in a Series, Unemployment, Friendship, Rowing, Murder, Crime, Suspenseful, Cozy, Sports, and Journalists

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061806612
List price: $4.99
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Hired to follow her friend's fiancee, unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan discovers that the woman is a kleptomaniac and may be having an affair, and when a murder takes place, her friend is implicated.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I feel like I have just met a new friend. She loves books, in fact works part-time in her aunts’ bookstore, and has even been heard to say that she would get married in a library if she could. Her career as a journalist didn’t go far, but she seems to be having better luck with trying her hand as a private investigator.Yes, I am talking about Tess Monaghan, the irresistible heroine of Baltimore Blues, the first in Laura Lippmans’ series featuring Tess and the city of Baltimore.A good solid detective novel that I enjoyed. Her supporting characters are intriguing and interesting, the plot moved along at a steady pace - all in all, a great start to this series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Twenty-nine-year-old Tess Monaghan is a laid-off newspaper reporter who hasn’t figured out what she wants to do next. She rows every morning on the Baltimore’s Patapsco River and works part-time in her Aunt Kitty’s bookstore. When her rowing friend Rock hires Tess to see why his fiancé Ava is acting strange, Tess jumps at the chance for the extra income.Unfortunately, it looks to Tess like Ava is seeing someone else on the side. Tess confronts Ava and goads her into confessing to Rock. When that same man is found dead later that night, Rock is the prime suspect. Tess hires on with another rower who is a lawyer, Tyner Gray, to help solve the case.Need we say? Tess proves to be a little too good at her research, and soon her life is in danger as well.Evaluation: I like the characters a lot in this book. Tess’s creative and sexy Aunt Kitty is a lot of fun, and one of the bookstore co-workers, a 23-year-old named “Crow” is a perfect sideman for Kitty and Tess. Tess herself is a little too much of a naïve risk-taker, and suffers from low self-esteem, but the first quality seems to be a sine qua non for female detectives, and the second humanizes Tess and draws us to her side. And being from Maryland, I love the Baltimore setting. I definitely plan to continue with this series!read more
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Reviews

Hired to follow her friend's fiancee, unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan discovers that the woman is a kleptomaniac and may be having an affair, and when a murder takes place, her friend is implicated.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I feel like I have just met a new friend. She loves books, in fact works part-time in her aunts’ bookstore, and has even been heard to say that she would get married in a library if she could. Her career as a journalist didn’t go far, but she seems to be having better luck with trying her hand as a private investigator.Yes, I am talking about Tess Monaghan, the irresistible heroine of Baltimore Blues, the first in Laura Lippmans’ series featuring Tess and the city of Baltimore.A good solid detective novel that I enjoyed. Her supporting characters are intriguing and interesting, the plot moved along at a steady pace - all in all, a great start to this series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Twenty-nine-year-old Tess Monaghan is a laid-off newspaper reporter who hasn’t figured out what she wants to do next. She rows every morning on the Baltimore’s Patapsco River and works part-time in her Aunt Kitty’s bookstore. When her rowing friend Rock hires Tess to see why his fiancé Ava is acting strange, Tess jumps at the chance for the extra income.Unfortunately, it looks to Tess like Ava is seeing someone else on the side. Tess confronts Ava and goads her into confessing to Rock. When that same man is found dead later that night, Rock is the prime suspect. Tess hires on with another rower who is a lawyer, Tyner Gray, to help solve the case.Need we say? Tess proves to be a little too good at her research, and soon her life is in danger as well.Evaluation: I like the characters a lot in this book. Tess’s creative and sexy Aunt Kitty is a lot of fun, and one of the bookstore co-workers, a 23-year-old named “Crow” is a perfect sideman for Kitty and Tess. Tess herself is a little too much of a naïve risk-taker, and suffers from low self-esteem, but the first quality seems to be a sine qua non for female detectives, and the second humanizes Tess and draws us to her side. And being from Maryland, I love the Baltimore setting. I definitely plan to continue with this series!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Baltimore Blues is the first Tess Monaghan novel filled with lots of twists in an interesting plot. At some parts of the story, it appeared as if too much was happening but they were all beautifully blended into a single case. The location-based out of Baltimore added so much more realism to the story.Tess is a great character. For someone who is doing her first stint as a private investigator, she is awesome. Mostly feisty, sharp and confidant; she transitions seamlessly to a doubting, insecure and emotional friend as situations demands. There were quite a few characters and everyone had a personality that added a lot of value to the plot and the storyline.Baltimore Blues is a very good first novel for the Tess Monaghan series. I liked it and I will probably be reading a lot more or Laura Lippman. Rated a 4 on 5 and I am making a mental note to complete reading the next book at a much faster pace than this one.
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I liked the characters; the plot was decent, but not great; but the writing felt very choppy in places. I'm from Baltimore, so I knew the places she was describing, but it still felt like there were some unwritten assumptions being made for us to fill in.
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This is the first book in the Tess Monaghan series, and its a series that I've wanted to read for awhile. I liked it, but it has some flaws. I know this is a first book in a series, so I'm sure that the series will get better and stronger with additional books. I really like Tess. She's a 29 year old failed newspaper reporter who finds herself at loose ends career-wise when her rowing buddy gets involved in a murder. Tess wants to help him by finding the real killer so she sets out on a one-woman investigation that gets downright dangerous. I like some of the lesser characters in the book and think that the series holds a lot of promise. I found the book was really slow to start, but about half way through the action and the plot picked up. By the end of the book, I fully believed in Tess and in what she was trying to do and also believed in what she stood for. I look forward to reading my way through the series.
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