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In Big Trouble (Tess Monaghan #4)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,988 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
“[Laura Lippman] is quite simply one of the best crime novelists writing today.”

—Tess Gerritsen


New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman burst onto the crime fiction scene with her critically acclaimed suspense series featuring Baltimore p.i. Tess Monaghan. In Big Trouble is classic Tess, a case that draws the intrepid investigator from CharmCity to Texas to help an
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Avon (first published 1999)
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Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a daughter of Texas, I must say I appreciated this segment of the series usually set in Baltimore. Tess Monaghan heads to Texas looking for her ex-boyfriend, Crow after she gets a card saying he is in trouble. Well, he is, but there is even more trouble as Tess runs into trouble when she finds a dead body. It's a good mystery, and I do like this series; so will continue with it.
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listenedto
Pretty good. I definitely didn't predict who did what in this book, there were so many twists and turns! The narrator - Deborah Hazlett - did a really good job especially w/ the differnet dialects. I'm bummed I started w/ the 4th book instead of the 1st but, my fault!
Daniel Sevitt
Another weak entry. Plot was OK, if preposterous, but some of the nuts and bolts writing is just weak which is depressing. Also I'm never really convinced by Tess's romantic notions and how they play out. It's all a bit sub-par and I've already ordered the next two in the series.
Book Concierge
Audio book performed by Deborah Hazlett

Tess Monaghan – former reporter, current private detective – leaves the comforts of her Baltimore home to track down an old flame whose parents’ last letter was returned “moved – no forwarding address.” Tess agrees to go to Texas to find Crow, her only clues his last known address and a cryptic note she received that included a clipping with the headline “In Big Trouble.” She tracks him to Austin’s music scene and then to San Antonio, but she also discovers
Gwen P
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I consider myself a bit of a Laura Lippman fan, but this was one of the weaker entries in the Tess Monaghan series so far. It lacked many of the familiar elements that made the previous three books enjoyable - the loving descriptions of Baltimore scenery and Tess's relationships with her family and friends in particular, but also the slow and steady build of a typical investigation. Tess spends almost the entire book in Texas, away from everything that usually centers the books, which resulted i ...more
Susan Ozment
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have only recently discovered Laura Lippman and I find that she provides a reliable light read in the
mystery category. Her PI is based in Baltimore and I enjoy the picture of that city that her books provide.
In this novel however, X travels to Texas hoping to track down her former lover, Crow, who seems to have disappeared.
Along the way, X discovers a corpse or two and becomes involved in solving the mystery surrounding the young
woman who has been having a relationship with Crow..both profess
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan's mysteries! I wish I had started the books in order, but, oh well! In Big Trouble had a little bit of everything. Tess travels to Texas to find Crow after receiving a postcard from him that sounds like a call for help. She arrives in Texas just in time to find a dead body before she locates Crow.
Some twists, some turns. I almost had it right! There were just enough twists to keep me hooked. I definitely cannot wait for more.
Nov 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-books
In October, I had to go to Baltimore for business. I thought it might be fun to pick up with the Tess Monaghan series after I got back. The thing is? This book is set in San Antonio - where I have to go for business next February.

Lippman is right on with Tess. She's a great character who gets more and more developed with every book. It was fun to see a different city and see how Tess dealt with it.
Jul 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should probably be spacing these paperback thrillers showcasing newcomer private detective Tess Monaghan a little more apart, but I can't help but be drawn into a quick and fun read when I am traveling. This mystery revolves around an open homicide in Texas, and while the writing continues to improve, it is still just your basic murder mystery.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I read this book because a friend put it in my hands. Despite being disappointed by Baltimore Blues, I like Laura Lippman. This book is set in Austin and San Antonio where Crow comes back into Tess' life. There are lots of references to Texas food and music, which made it fun. A nice escape read when you don't want anything too serious.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an exciting mystery involving one of my favorite characters, Tess Monaghan. I missed "being in Baltimore" with some of the other characters, but this held several curve balls I did not expect. Great book!
Margaret Schwind
Departure from previous books in the Tess Monaghan series, in that it takes place almost entirely in San Antonio rather than in Baltimore, but it was a good story, with the requisite twists and turns.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, now I am loving this series!

Tess heads to Texas to find Crow, & gets entangled in big trouble (because everything's bigger in Texas, right?).

I might have to splurge & get the rest of the series RIGHT NOW.
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly my favorite Tess Monaghan mystery so far, in part because it takes place in the Texas hill country.
Tess's cases are getting more complicated and I kept getting mixed up, couldn't follow it all. Not my favorite. And she never feeds her poor dog real dog food, always gets people food.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to give this 2.5 stars ... I was quite surprised that this takes place in San Antonio and had I not been there, I would not have appreciated the setting at all. I read Lippman because I love Baltimore! and in that light, she didn't let me down as Tess also is missing all the great things that the city offers. I did find the ending a little too set in its ways but if you're hooked on Tess Monaghan, you're hooked!
Continues to be a good mystery series to listen to as an audiobook . . . Deborah Hazlett excellent narrator. This one set in Austin & San Antonio but Baltimore, Tess's hometown, still gets mentioned a lot. Lippman one of the best American mystery writers for a sense of place.
Story okay -- had a couple of twists I didn't see but the clues were there.
Ryan Dane
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one was a bit different and I was not sure I would like it at first. Being that most of it took place outside the regular city of Baltimore. But it was a good change and a nice read to learn about a different part of the country.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4th in the series and it holds up well. This story takes place in Texas, not Maryland. Tess is hired by Crow's parents to find him after she received a letter with Crow's photo and In Big Trouble cut out in newspaper clippings.
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just didn't find the ending believable. Emmy's craziness and the reason behind the triple murder were not convincing. I don't even feel like I finished the book because it was just so eh at the end.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2017-fiction
A more mature Crow...worth finding out what happened. The elements are a bit jumbled for me though it all came together at the end. As usual, could be me. Lippman is such a treasure I keep wondering, "how the hell have I not been a Lippman fan before now?".
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tess' ex-boyfriend drops off the planet until a Mysterious clipping arrives...
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable addition to this series. This one takes Tess out of Baltimore to Texas for a nice change of pace.
Tina Grile
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good plot and characters.
Kathy Davie
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Fourth in the Tess Monaghan mystery series normally set in Baltimore but taking place in San Antonio, Texas this time.

My Take
This one is complex as there are layers within layers within layers all boiling down to a very simple plot. Crow has become involved in something but it's deep within those layers. Right now the most critical question is why has Crow stopped calling his parents.

It's so frustrating when you think how much less trouble there would have been from the start if people would sim
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth installment in the Tess Monaghan series, and it finds Tess traveling to Texas. Tess receives a picture in the mail of her ex-boyfriend Crow. Over the picture it reads "In Big Trouble." At first Tess discards the picture and doesn't think much of it. Crow is a big boy, and he can take care of himself. But when she contacts his parents and learns he has cut himself off from them and they haven't heard from him in several weeks, she begins to grow suspicious. And when his parents ...more
Ginny Lurcock
I made a retroactive resolution to review every book I read this year, so this review is going to be a bit fuzzy as I read it two weeks ago.

Tess gets a picture in the mail of Crow, and above it there is the headline "In Big Trouble". After letting this sit in her datebook for awhile, she calls Crow's parents. They're a wreck and want to hire her to track him down. She travels to see them to turn them down in person. When she's staying there, Crow's father takes her into Crow's studio to show her
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a pretty decent little mystery. I liked the way that parts of this book function almost as travel writing, and I liked the geography Lippman chooses to write about here; I feel warmly toward Austin and San Antonio, and liked what she wrote about.

I was kind of into, and kind of bored by, some of the relationship stuff-- this might be because the best of the Crow-Tess stuff was set up elsewhere, but I kind of doubt it? The other stuff, her early interactions with her women frien
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-uns, mystery
In Big Trouble picks up not long after the unsettling events of Butchers Hill. Just when this loyal reader was on the brink of breaking down and pleading for a sign of the missing Crow, there he is! Or rather, there his picture is. Sans dreadlocks and sporting an unfamiliar bitter look, Crow's picture is cut out of a newspaper clipping and mailed to Tess via her lawyer Tyner. The headline above the picture reads, "In Big Trouble." Unsure of who sent the hint, Tess struggles with herself for a we ...more
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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
More about Laura Lippman...

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)
  • The Sugar House (Tess Monaghan #5)
  • In a Strange City (Tess Monaghan, #6)
  • The Last Place (Tess Monaghan #7)
  • By a Spider's Thread (Tess Monaghan #8)
  • No Good Deeds (Tess Monaghan #9)
  • Another Thing to Fall (Tess Monaghan #10)
  • The Girl in the Green Raincoat (Tess Monaghan, #11)

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“I hate to think how many minutes of my life I've spent on goddamn hold. I want those minutes back. When death comes for me, I want back every minute I was on hold in traffic jams, and behind people with eleven items in the ten items or less line.” 8 likes
“Coitus interruptus by SWAT team. At last a form of birth control that was one hundred percent reliable.” 1 likes
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