The Last Place
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The Last Place (Tess Monaghan #7)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,482 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Over the course of six novels featuring Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan, author Laura Lippman has won a mantel full of awards (including the Edgar), consistently resounding critical acclaim ("The best mystery writing around" -- Village Voice), and a well-deserved reputation among readers as one of the very brightest lights in contemporary crime fiction -- a re...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by William Morrow (first published 2002)
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Feb 25, 2011 stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone.
Recommended to stephanie by: A.
Shelves: 2008, mystery, 2011
re-read february, 2011:

I LOVE CARL. oh man, he broke my heart a million times over. and so did lousia o'neal, and oh, just so many. it was really sad. oh, CARL.

and i totally get why tess just wanted to screw crow sometimes. the fact that nothing is random. the poor women. the doctor. dottie.

mostly, though, carl.


first read: june 17, 2008

i feel kind of wrong classifying lippman with the other trashy thrillers - she's not particularly trashy, though she does write thrillers.

this book, this bo...more
I absolutely loved the What the Dead Know, which is the only reason that I became interested in Laura Lippman to begin with. I found this book to be really disappointing. I really didn't care for the main character, Tess, either. The only mystery in this book is if the reader is going to make it to the end or ditch it altogether. Since this is part of a series, I'll just make sure that I never read one of her books in the "Tess series" again. Had I read this book before What the Dead Know, I wou...more
**edited 01/24/14

There's nothing more satisfying than a clichéd plot that is done well enough to be elevated to something more significant.

In the detective noir genre, there's nothing more chlichéd than a serial killer, and The Last Place is Lippman's obligatory serial killer book. It starts out with a scene that, with another author, might be treated as a joke. Lippman's private investigator protagonist, Tess Monaghan, at her friend Whitney's instigation, tricks a wannabe pedophile into taking...more
Tess gets a job working for a team of nonprofits who want to show that domestic violence cases are not getting the attention they deserve. Tess accepts the position somewhat reluctantly, as it involves interviewing detectives and victim families of five unsolved murders chosen from different agencies in the state of Maryland.

But wait. First, Tess and best friend Whitney Talbot decide to interfere with the activities of an apparent sex offender - a man who meets teen girls online and draws them i...more
Really nicely done by Lippman here - the introspective turn and more serious tone work wonders in showing Tess as a fully realized character. Seeing her growth and change over the course of the series of one of the delights of Lippman's writing - she truly makes you feel as though Tess could walk off the page and into the world.
These Baltimore mystery/detective novels are great beach or late night can't sleep reads--Tess Monaghan as the lead detective can be annoying, but probably only because she's a realistic person--with annoying traits and redemptive moments.
Like coffee or pie, reading a Tess Monaghan mystery is always comforting...never too violent or gory, based in Baltimore, and with a heroine you would happily claim as friend or daughter. This was no different...a perfect holiday read.
Laura Lippman really kept me on the edge of my seat right to the end of this book -- which was a little dangerous because I was listening to an audiobook on my commute. She is a master at creating a storyline that is at once complex yet also very believable. Listening to the audiobook also reinforces her strong skill at writing dialog that is important to the story, but also natural and engaging.

I've read most of the other Tess Monaghan stories and I'm not sure how I missed this one, but it was...more
While I didn't like this book as well as a prior 4 rating, I thought the writing and characterization were well done though and this book seemed to have more tension in the plot development, hence the rating. Perhaps that was due to the structure which, I thought, created a sense of foreboding. I enjoyed the characters and the storylines, with the therapist and with Carl. The other characters (like Crow and Whitney) were way in the background on this one, almost too far back as far as character...more
Wow. Simply wow. Laura Lippman is an amazing writer whose work just keeps getting better. If the next book in this series follows in this pattern it must be mythic, because it's hard to believe this book could be improved upon. Lippman experiments a bit with her style in this book by including passages from the killer's perspective. It makes the killer both more human and infinitely more scary!

Now some generalities about the plot (with minimal spoilers I promise.) This book ties up just about a...more
Lelia Taylor
The Last Place
Laura Lippman
William Morrow, October 2002
ISBN 0380978199

Tess Monaghan, Baltimore private investigator, is in trouble with the law, all because she and her friend, Whitney, tracked down a guy who uses the internet to prey on young girls and then proceeded to humiliate him in a rather unique way. Now, Tess is sentenced to 6 months of weekly anger management therapy. Tess, of course, does not think she needs this at all.

Feeling bad for getting her friend into this, Whitney ge...more
#7 Tess Monaghan mystery set in Baltimore. Whitney, Tess's good friend, sends some work her way from a consortium of non-profits that she is on the board of. They're researching police techniques in the rural areas around the city in hopes of finding some fuel for their fire: more funding for domestic violence prevention. If they can prove that the rural police messed up and need more education, they hope to lobby the legislature for the funding.

They hand Tess five unrelated, unsolved homicides...more
Another day, another Tess Monaghan mystery. This one was darker, more intense that the others. I mean, there's always danger in these books, always death (or at least the risk of death), but here, everything was personal. The villain was a serial murderer, not a thief who felt forced into murder--he was a killer just because he was, and Tess wasn't just someone who got in his way. She was his target.

It was a good mystery, with good twists and a couple of new characters that I appreciated. I mis...more
(3.5) This might be a sacrilege but I'm gonna say it...I think this novel benefitted greatly by the fact that large parts of it happened outside Baltimore city. Sometimes Laura Lippman becomes too obsessed with the city's scenery, which is why I read her books but it doesn't make her a better writer. I was more into the mystery here than I usually am with her works and though it lost steam down the stretch, it was still an enjoyable mystery read.
Disappointing for Lippman - Tess Monaghan book. Monaghan has regressed and acts irrationally angry in a self destructive way. The rich sidekick is shallow and stereotyped. I couldn't figure out the bad guys serial killer's motivation or methods. The book reflects back onto the first in the series, although this says it's number 7. Ends with a Perils of Pauline escape that's a not credible.

Publication date indicates it's old.
This is the seventh book in the Tess Monaghan detective series.

Tess, 31, is a private detective in Baltimore with a younger boyfriend named Crow, a best friend named Whitney, and two dogs, Esskay and Miata. Whitney asks Tess to do some investigative work for a consortium her family’s foundation has joined. The task they are tackling is the reduction of domestic violence. One of the consortium members believes police are not adequately handling domestic cases, and wants five open murder cases ree...more
To recap: I'm reading through Lippman's oeuvre in chronological order, trying to figure out what allows certain crime authors to escape the genre and achieve some literary acclaim.

I believe this is the last Tess Monaghan before she started doing standalone novels.

The main aspect of this book that annoyed me was the interludes told from the point of view of the (of course) nameless male serial killer antagonist. Lippman's not the only one to do this, but it bugs me every single time. If you can't...more
This is the first Tess Monaghan mystery I have read, and I really enjoyed it. Fast-paced, plenty of thrills and spills along the way, although it wasn't the sort of thing that the reader can enjoy solving alongside the slueth - the clues were a bit too internal for that.

The story starts with Tess being sentenced to mandatory anger management counselling after a trick paid on a peodophile goes wrong. She is also asked to investigate five murders that may have been overlooked by the local police....more
The 7th in Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series and the best one yet since the first. Tess is such a terrific protagonist. Tough, flawed but totally likable. In this story she is asked to investigate a series of five seemingly unrelated homicides over the last 6 years only to find, with time and lots of wrong turns the common link. She hooks up with a retired Toll Cop, Carl, who is obsessed and flawed himself but an absolutely perfect partner for Tess in this story. The book is amazingly written...more
A thoroughly believable and terrifyingly real scenario with well portrayed cast of characters in extended community settings that could have come out of newspaper clippings as well as analyses of human behaviors and the criminally insane... This story makes full circle to the beginnings of our heroine's private eye career beginnings.
Deveney Stormes
I liked this one because it was somewhat different from the others, because All of the normal characters were barely in it, except to support Tess. The book also brought more insight into Tess through her sessions with her psychologist. Carl was a great addition to the cast, because he was obsessive as Tess, and was out to prove himself like Tess always is.
Debbie Maskus
This is another Tess Monaghan novel set in Baltimore about a private investigator. Tess is asked to research how the police handled five homicides, and during this investigation she uncovers the work of a serial killer. The story interweaves past encounters that Tess had with Luisa O'Neal and ex-boyfriend Jonathan. One of my favorite lines are : You couldn't bargain or barge your way into immortality, like some desperate fleeing the Titanic, holding a child in his arms. You had to believe in som...more
Jessica Severson
Ratings are so subjective. This gets 4 stars not because it's as good as some of my other 4-star books, but because it's definitely 4-star fluff.

I used to plow through fluff at a crazy rate and find myself regularly unsatisfied. Lately I've read very little fluff, which is probably best because it's still generally unsatisfying.

It's been a long time since I read a Tess Monaghan novel, and maybe it's because I've taken such a long break from fluff that I realized just how nicely plotted this on...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Last Place, by Laura Lippman, b-plus. Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from

This is the seventh in the Tess Monaghan series. The book begins with a prank, or revenge, that Tess and her friend take against a guy who has been going on line and stalking young girls. Then Tess’ friend asks her to be involved in working for her foundation. They are investigating whether the police have taken seriously domestic violence in five different cases. They...more
A "can't-put-it-down" book. I found an older release after reading her other top-knotch novels and found this to be one of her best.

I simply adore author Laura Lippman. It might be because sets her mysteries in Baltimore and Maryland and her descriptions are so familiar to me since I grew up in Baltimore County and points north.

The heroine seeks hilarious revenge on a man who plays at date rape (and any woman out there will applaud her tactics!) but gets herself in hot water with the law for he...more
Linda Edquist
I listened to the audio version read by Barbara Rosenblat - one of my favorites. Story staged in the Chesapeake Bay/ Baltimore area so if you like reading about the watermen - or Baltimore area you will enjoy this mystery
Marilyn Groves
Tess Monaghan, a PI in Baltimore, discovers a connection between five seemingly unreleated cases, teams up with a former cop, and tracks down the bad guy. Entertaining suspense without a lot of gore or romance garbage.
Good LORD I'm tired of suspense novels involving the stalking of the protagonist as she investigates one or more cases that turn out to be related TO HER. Sorry, people who got killed but your deaths are actually about the person investigating them, not you. It's a weird sort of ego, I think--the character's so important that she can't just solve the crime, she has to be the center of it.

Now that that's off my chest, a decent read with Lippman's usually engaging characters, terrific sense of pl...more
The story and the mystery were a bit far fetched for me, but I did enjoy all other aspects of the story, including the building of relationships and the research on the case.
Kimberly Paulson
A solid outing by Laura L. My only complaint is the plot having Tess as the target. I've enjoyed all the books but I prefer the others where she unravels the story revolving around someone else.
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Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for othe...more
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