Series: Tess Monaghan #11
Publisher: HarperCollins (Avon A imprint)
Source: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley
Pub date: 18th Jan 2011
Previously serialised in the New York Times magazine, this short novel is now being published in book form. This easy, breezy wonderful read combines detective work with the protagonist’s doubts about marriage/relationships and parenthood.
Private investigator Tess Monaghan has been put on bed rest for the last two months of her pregnancy. Impatient, but having no choice but to sit tight and rest, Tess notices everything that is happening outside her window. She notices a girl in a green raincoat taking her dog for a walk everyday. One day, she sees the dog running by itself and the girl nowhere in sight. Convinced that some harm has befallen the girl, she initiates an investigation from her bed overcoming the obstacles she faces due to her immobility.
Her boyfriend Crow is more concerned with keeping Tess and their baby healthy. Her best friend Whitney is Tess’ connection with the outside world.
This eleventh novel in the series in my first introduction to Tess Monaghan. By the time I finished reading the first page, I already loved the main character. Laura Lippman writes her with such wit and sense of humour that she wins you over instantly. Even while discussing murder most foul, Tess sense of humour remains intact.
While getting her friends and colleagues to do the leg work needed to get to the bottom of the mystery of the girl in the green raincoat, Tess has a lot of time to think not only about the case, but also about her life. She wonders about what kind of a mother she will be and the changes she will have to make once the baby comes along. She also deals with niggling doubts about her relationship with Crow.
Crow, Whitney and even the crazy dog Dempsey are lovable, memorable characters.
So enough about the characters, what did I think about the mystery? I liked it. Don Epstein is a middle aged man who has made a habit of marrying pretty young women who end up dead. Obviously, there is more to it than bad luck. Or is there? Is he the unfeeling villain who has been killing his wives? What is his motive and what does Tess have to uncover to nail him? I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so that’s all I’ll say for now.
Laura Lippman’s writing is wonderful, and great fun to read.
Highly recommended. I’m definitely going to go back and read the series from the beginning. Will also be adding other Laura Lippman’s novels to my TBR pile.
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