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"...more
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the girl I was seeing at the time told me I would like Laura Lippman. Since she was always pushing books on me, I ignored her. Maybe she was right in that one particul ...more
I listened to this audiobook while attending a conference in Baltimore, and it was fun to learn details abo ...more
"Baltimore Blues" has T ...more
Like the author, Tess is a former journali ...more
I can't say that this book excelled beyond my wildest imagination or any of that sort of hyperbole. What it does, it does well. It's the story of how Tess, underemployed and working free lance since she was laid off as a reporter, start ...more
The main character, Tess, is particularly well-handled: she's neither an unlikeable mess nor a Mary Sue waiting to be discovered or to start believing in her own awesomeness. She's not cookies yet: life on hold after the end of her newspaper job, she's ...more
In the opening of the series, Tess is still adjusting to losing her job as a reporter and trying to find herself a new job/career. A rowing friend (I like that Tess is a large, somewhat ungainly woman and not a classical beauty) of Tess asks her to investigate his girlfriend to see if she's being faith ...more
I just found the story revolved around Tess just going from person to person and getting them to spill their story. I didn't find it that interesting and the ending wasn't a huge shocker.
I won't be continuing the series.
Meanwhile, she does odd jobs and works in her Aunt Kitty's bookstore, while living upstairs in a tiny apartment. She has regular routines, however, like daily exercise, including running and the occasional rowing with her friend Rock (Darryl Paxton).
One day, he asks her for a ...more
1. Maybe this is my fault for reading books out of order but of course the only other Tess Monaghan book I have read is the one that calls back to the story that unfolds in this book. So it turns out I already know the ending from reading a later book in the series.
2. I'm surprised this book started such an apparently "hit" series since it's poorly written. Like the author assumes you just know things without telling you. We don't kno ...more
The book started out pretty good. Then a new character was introduced somewhere around the fourth chapter. He had a two paragraph introduction. 100 pages later the author has him in a wheelchair. ?? I went back to the place of his introduction and reread to make sure I hadn't missed something. The author stated he had been involved in an accident with a drunk driver and that he was muscular, but his legs were not. No mention of wheelchair. Anywhere. I kept wondering ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and was not in any hurry to get to the action. After the introduction to Tess, perhaps the second in the series (which I'll be reading) picks up speed, but I'm happy reading about the character and build ...more
Personally I thought it was rather enjoyable from a backdrop point of view. First there was Baltimore. I know south Maryland, but not Baltimore so there were many landmarks to discover via google images, as I often do while reading – and secondly, amateur rowing clubs do not often feature in books either. So those elements made the book rather original. The characterization was pass ...more
Tess reminds me of a better educated and connected Kinsey Milhouse (? - from Sue Grafton), which takes us into some wonderful Baltimore neighborhoods. There's a great sense of place throughout the book through Tess ...more
Is it the best mystery I've read? No. But it does make me want to read others in the series.
Tess, the central character, is human. At times stupid, insecure, smart, she is well drawn. The mystery is compelling, and the characters real. At times, there are beautif ...more