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By a Spider's Thread

(Tess Monaghan #8)

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,564 ratings  ·  308 reviews

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—must track down a missing wife and unravel the secrets in her marriage that led her to flee.

Mark Rubin's family is missing—and the police won't get involved because all the evidence indicates that his wife left willingly. So the successful Balti

...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published January 2019 by William Morrow (first published 2004)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,564 ratings  ·  308 reviews


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Obsidian
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I honestly don't have much to say here except that I really enjoyed this updated look at Tess's life. She is still suffering some aftershocks after the events in the last book. Having to kill someone or she would be killed left a hole in her. She and her boyfriend are living apart since she feels like he is trying to "fix" her and keep her safe. She is back to rowing and doing investigations again. Her uncle brings her a new client who is trying to track down his wife and three children. He does ...more
Jen
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I was reading this at the same time as I was re-reading the first book in the Tess Monaghan series (Baltimore Blues), and I was struck by how convincingly Tess has grown up and matured in this series. (I have not read all of the books - I've just been in a mystery mood this week.)

In this installment, Tess is hired by an acquaintance of her uncle to track down his missing wife and children. They haven't argued, separated or divorced. The kids and wife were just gone one day, without further cont
...more
Jo Anne B
This was not my favorite Laura Lippman book. It had a good plot that kept it supspenseful to the very end but I didn't like any of the characters including Tess.

While reading this book, it seemed like I was enrolled in a class about Orthodox Judaism. Most of the characters were Jewish so there didn't need to be so much discussions between one another about their Judaism.

Natalie was the beautiful wife who disappeared with her children leaving her husband Mark wondering where they all were. She w
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Reading is my Escape
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle/Owned

They were in one of the "I" states when Zeke told Isaac he had to ride in the trunk for a little while.
- first sentence

I purchased this book in February and I don't remember why. Maybe I saw a review I liked or maybe it was on sale and sounded good to me. Anyway, the Snakes and Ladders square called for a book I acquired in February and I didn't have many options. So, even though this is not the first book in the Tess Monaghan series and I don't think I read an
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Yaritza
A thriller with a wild goose chase. This story was filled with lies, revenge, love and reality. Mark thought he had the perfect wife but she was far from it. Natalie tricked her way into becoming the perfect wife for a religious Jewish man but with a hidden secret. Natalie disappears with her three children leaving Mark devastated. He hires Tess who is a private investigator. Tess unravels this mystery through each web she encounters one more thread of lies and secrets she unravels. Being on the ...more
Margaret Yelton
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Laura Lippman, and I received it in a giveaway from Scene of the Crime and the Publisher. I found the book to be very well written, and I enjoyed it. I would certainly read more books from this author.
SS
This was an enticing read. Once I started, I didn't want to put the book down. The story starts out simply, Mark (Moshe) Rubin's wife, Natalie, has run away with his children. Rubin, an Orthodox Jew, doesn't know why, but he does know that he must find his family. He hires Tess Monaghan, PI. Tess then begins to slowly peel back the layers of deceit that eventually help find the Rubins. She's helped along by Mark's nine year old son, Isaac. I think Isaac forms the conscience of this story; he's t ...more
James Fitzgerald
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Rubin,Orthodox Jewish business man discovers his wife and three children have left him. He goes to the police who tell him there is no crime in walking away from unhappy marriage. he hires Teas Monaghan a private investigator to find his wife and children. The book touches on Jewish culture which adds to the storyline.
I enjoyed the book it had good plot development interesting characters and I was immediately pulled into the story and was surprised at the twist at the end it was unexpected
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Beth Lechman
I received this book from The Publisher Harper Collins and William Morrow for my honest opinion. Although this is the first book by this author and the characters are believable I found it hard to connect. this is the 8th book in a series and I feel I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read the previous books in the series. It would have given me a bit more insight into the main character.
Gloria Feit
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the publisher: When successful Baltimore furrier Mark Rubin’s beautiful wife, Natalie, disappears with their three children, the police turn him away, noting that all evidence indicates she left willingly. And there’s no crime in walking out on an unhappy marriage. Private detective Tess Monaghan is his only hope, but Tess isn’t quite sure what she can do for Mark. She also doesn’t know what to make of her new client’s claim that he and Natalie were the model for wedded bliss. Tess’s instin ...more
Elena L.
[3,5/5 stars]

This was my first read by Laura Lippman and it won't be the last! Her writing is easy-to-read, this novel is fast paced and I enjoyed the twist and turns in the plot.

[I received a complimentary copy from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review]
Brenda Boykin
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read!
Muriel
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one.
Tom Swift
This is a good series about a female P I. from Laura Lippman. I am a fan of Lippman's, this is an easy weekend read.
Natalie
I am relatively new to the Tess Monaghan series, having "discovered" Laura Lippman after reading "I'd Know You Anywhere" - and I've devoured most of the series in the past week (thank you, local library e-book collection!)

What I like about Tess: she is fantastically, unapologetically flawed.
What I can't stand about Tess: she doesn't seem to make a great deal of progress in the 10+ years her series has been written. It's difficult to root for someone who doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

I haven
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Laura
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, and this installment doesn't disappoint. The writing is amazing, the plot line believable, and the characters relatable, but not infallible. In short, classic Lippman. I particularly enjoyed the focus on Baltimore's Jewish community in this book. When a book is written well, I find it hard to select a single reason why it is good, it simply is. Therefore, don't let the following minor criticisms prevent you from reading it. Crow is not featured in thi ...more
Kim
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
I felt relieved that I loved this book. By a Spider's Thread grabbed me and held me captivated, whereas the last two in the series (In a Strange City and The Last Place) were just "meh." The plot was interesting and believable to me. Why would the seemingly content wife of a wealthy Jewish Orthodox man just up and leave him without warning? And why take their three kids, too?

I loved the way the book cut back and forth between the two story lines (of the runaway family and Tess and her client try
...more
Linda
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, mystery-crime
PI Tess Monaghan has recently recovered from a traumatizing brush with death, and her bank account needs some replenishing. She accepts a request from Baltimore furrier to locate his wife, who has vanished, taking their children with her. He's broken hearted, and is willing to think only the best of his young wife, even though he knows all about her family's lurid history. Within a few days, Tess uncovers facts that explain the truth of Natalie's disappearance.

By a Spider's Thread is a fairly r
...more
Noreen
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laura Lippman is a mystery writer with good plotting skills and some unexpected twists and turns that make good reading. However, the one thing that turns me off w/Lippman is the political editorializing she interjects. If the author wants to proselytize for political stands, she should present her opinions honestly in an appropriate literary form such as on an editorial page, an essay, a blog or if she has a lot to say, which I suspect Lippman does, a non-fiction booklength title. Political iss ...more
Helen
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
A beautiful and previously dutiful wife and mother takes off with her three children, leaving her distraught husband behind. Since by all appearances, she left voluntarily, the police aren't interested. The controlling and self-righteous husband hires Baltimore private detective Tess Monaghan to find his family. This is a rather dark story, but I enjoyed the way Laura Lippman told it, peeling back layer after layer of the husband's lies and omissions along side the family's road trip. She create ...more
Donna
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still reading this book, but went ahead and rated because I'm nearly finished and I am enjoying it thoroughly. This is the first Tess Monaghan book I've read of Lippman's, just having discovered her recently. I like her writing style overall and the unique story lines she develops. I also feel like I'm learning something in reading this book, which is always a plus for me.

The book centers around an Orthodox Jewish man who wakes up to find his wife has left with his three children. His pursui
...more
Debbie Maskus
This is another in the Tess Monaghan series set in Baltimore. In this installation, Crow is at his parent's house as his mother ungoes cancer treatment. Tess had rejected Crow's suggestion of marriage, but Tess's Aunt Kitty marries. Tess's customer is a devout Jewish businessman whose wife and 3 children have disappeared. The wife has run away with her husband's step brother, and the step brother plans to kill the husband. I liked the way that Lippman interweaves Jewish customes into the story. ...more
Magill
This book moved along well and the alternating (more-or-less) POVs worked fairly well, although a few other minor povs cropped up here and there. The story kept my attention and the cast of recurring characters was pared down, which worked well with the story and allowed it to focus on the relevant characters. Which also makes it stand well on its own and also on its own merits. Not a bad read, probably a 3.5 for me.
Judy
Aug 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wife of a successful businessman suddenly vanishes with her children and Tess Monaghan is hired by the husband to find them. This is not my favorite book in this series probably because I really didn't find myself invested with any of the characters.
Lena
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning was a bit slow, but after that the book was difficult to put down. I really enjoyed the books I have read by this author so far.
Marca
Dec 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty Good
Jake
Not one of her best but it does what it needs to do.
Daniel Stern
From the publisher: When successful Baltimore furrier Mark Rubin’s beautiful wife, Natalie, disappears with their three children, the police turn him away, noting that all evidence indicates she left willingly. And there’s no crime in walking out on an unhappy marriage. Private detective Tess Monaghan is his only hope, but Tess isn’t quite sure what she can do for Mark. She also doesn’t know what to make of her new client’s claim that he and Natalie were the model for wedded bliss. Tess’s instin ...more
Jannelies
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
De draad van de spin begint op intrigerende wijze met de gedachten van een kleine jongen, die niet begrijpt waarom hij met zijn moeder, zusje en broertje bij een vreemde man in de auto zit. De man is niet aardig. Zijn moeder vindt hem wél aardig, maar Isaak wil alleen maar terug naar huis. Hij wil niet opgesloten worden in de kofferbak. Wat is hier aan de hand? Een tipje van de sluier wordt opgelicht als in het volgende hoofdstuk Tess Monaghan bezoek krijgt van Mark Rubin, bonthandelaar. Hij is ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
Interesting in some of it's insights into Jewish culture, as related by the fifty-fifty detective Tess Monaghan. The plot seemed a little implausible, but then sometimes life is like that. There is little to discuss about the plot that would not be a spoiler, but Natalie the object of a missing persons search undergoes a major shift in both her character and this readers sympathy mid-book. The resolution just goes to show you that the past will out, but I did not care much for genetic criminalit ...more
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3,316 followers
Laura Lippman is a New York Times bestselling novelist who has won more than twenty awards for her fiction, including the Edgar Award—and been nominated for thirty more. Since her debut in 1997, she has published twenty-one novels, a novella, a children’s book, and a collection of short stories. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. LitHub named her one of the “essential” fema ...more

Other books in the series

Tess Monaghan (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan #1)
  • Charm City (Tess Monaghan #2)
  • Butchers Hill (Tess Monaghan #3)
  • In Big Trouble (Tess Monaghan #4)
  • The Sugar House (Tess Monaghan #5)
  • In a Strange City (Tess Monaghan, #6)
  • The Last Place (Tess Monaghan #7)
  • No Good Deeds (Tess Monaghan #9)
  • Another Thing to Fall (Tess Monaghan #10)
  • The Girl in the Green Raincoat (Tess Monaghan, #11)
“She might not be as strong as everyone she met, or as fast, or even as smart. But she could bullshit with the best of them. Combine that with a license to carry, and a girl could more than get by in this life.” 52 likes
“Tess’s Uncle Donald winced when he entered the Kibbitz Room at Attman’s Delicatessen. The pained expression” 1 likes
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