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Butchers Hill (Tess Monaghan #3)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,077 Ratings  ·  298 Reviews
Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess's greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there's a roof. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published 1998)
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Megan Baxter
This was a pretty good mystery, marred by a hasty ending. But after reading that dreadful Patricia Cornwell book a week or so ago, this was just the palate cleanser I needed for that genre.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now I understand.

I have enjoyed Lippman's standalone novels but was underwhelmed with the first two books in the author's Tess Monaghan series.

The evolution of a good writer into a great writer begins with book three, Butchers Hill. The plot(s) are complex and entertaining so the reader is kept guessing. Lippman continues to include Monaghan's eccentric Jewish/Irish family to lighten the mood but the slapstick humour is toned down from the previous novels. As we get to know the various family
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to stephanie by: everyone.
actually, this was one of my favorite tess books so far. but what i love most about lippman is not just her characters, or her plots, or the setting.

it's little things like this:

"You made his day," the doorman said.
"By taking his soda and scaring him with my dog?"
"By letting him do something for someone else. Nobody wants to be on the end of the receiving line all the time, you know. Howard smuggles bread out of here every day, just so he can feed birds, just so somebody will need him."
Sure en
May 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Private investigator Tess Monaghan’s first official client is Luther Beale, known as the Butcher of Butchers Hill. Five years earlier, Luther was imprisoned for shooting a young boy vandalizing his car, and Luther wants Tess to find the children who witnessed the shooting so he can make amends to them. Almost immediately, two of those children are found murdered and the police target Beale as the killer. Tess’s second case, which becomes a parallel investigation, involves a sophisticated fundrai ...more
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I enjoyed the first Tess Monaghan novel that I read, but I loved this one. It was not only an entertaining story with great characters, but it provided me with a reader's special bonus--it left me something to think about.

As a private detective struggling to establish a new business, Tess calls on various members of her extended (and quirky) family to assist with two different invigations which both involve teenagers who have been touched by the child welfare system. Her bickering but supportive
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the installment of this series I was waiting for. After a disappointing second entry, I was afraid I'd have to walk away from Tess Monaghan - there are just too many good books to read to waste time with ones I don't like - even plenty of other better books by Laura Lippman. But she transforms a character who was barely likable by the end of the second book into one with depth, direction, & daring, with a complicated family history & an interesting future ahead of her. Now I'm l ...more
Annika De
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was really, really good. Thanks for the book Rene!
Donie Nelson
Oct 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
so far, this is proving to be a very consistent series. i am enjoying the characters, and how they are developing. i am glad, in this instalment, that lippman has finally addressed the racial inequality of baltimore, and the race divide in the city. i like that this seems to be something that will continue in the series.
Joe Gambill
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I began again with an established author series about mid stream. The #3 in this case of Mrs Lippmans investigator extraordinaire Tess Monaghan. Its well laid out and yet another good commuter train read, if the reviews ive read this is Mrs Lippman hitting her stride and i will not argue that! I loved this one and will return for more of Tess!
Daniel Sevitt
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: part-of-a-series
A definite step up from the last one. Two clients for PI Tess with full back stories, some real detecting and surprisingly affecting family stuff in the little-bit-too-neat wrap up. I enjoyed that.
Kathy Davie
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Third in the Tess Monaghan mystery series based in Baltimore and revolving around a private detective just starting out.

My Take
It was slow to get started but I was soon deep in the two cases Tess pursued. One on a baby put up for adoption by a young but ambitious woman who turns out to have very unexpected connections to the Weinstein side of Tess' family. The other reopens the case of the Butcher of Butchers Hill unveiling a cauldron of corruption.

It's some nasty stuff that has torn up peopl
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery with many social messages. Two plots and families intertwine, and many Baltimore references. My first book by Laura Lippmann!
Kathleen Hagen
Butcher’s Hill, by Laura Lippman, B-plus. A tess Monihan mystery.
Produced by BBC audio books America, narrated by Deborah Hazlett, and downloaded from Audible.
In this book, Tess has taken the big step and started her own private eye firm. In this book we deal with her first two clients. Her office is in Butcher’s Hill, a not-so-good neighborhood in Baltimore. A man named Luther Beal shows up at her door. He was accused of vigilanteism and of shooting one of the boys who kept vandalizing his prop
Jun 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Accidental PI, that about covers it. Tess has made the move, opened her own PI office, shingle and all, in Butchers Hill. Joined by Esskay, her not so discriminating greyhound, she's hopeful that she can make the rent, hopeful that is. Then she scores her first client, Luther Beale, the Butcher of Butchers Hill, seems prophetic and a little dicey. He is just out of prison for the murder of a boy, he says he wants to make amends and help the other children, the ones who testified against him. Hmm ...more
Very enjoyable private detective story, where Tess Monaghan is hired to locate several foster children for reparations of a long ago crime, and also to locate a woman's child she put up for adoption years ago. Solutions are discovered, which change many lives in the present, including Tess'.

Explosive secrets come to life, which once unburied, wakes up a long-hidden killer. Third book in the series.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh....The story had good potential, but I really did not care for the character of Tess, who seemed pretty incompetent as a detective, and not terribly good with people to boot. Her research methods were not very believable. Too much about her family, who were tedious rather than interesting. Also, the African-American characters seemed kind of stereotypical--though I may have been affected by the reader, who gave them all the same voice. But I did listen to the whole thing.
Lynette Barfield
Laura Lippmann Tess Monahan series which is what I classify as light mystery or suspense. I enjoyed the characters and storyline, interesting reading that didn't require a lot of attention. Just right for a change of pace.
Darla Lomax
Just discoverd Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series a month or so ago. This is the third - working my way through them. Based in Baltimore, Tess lost her job as a newspaper reporter when the paper sold and in this third book she has just opened her own detective agency.
Nov 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It helps when reading a new protagonist that you read books close together. I enjoyTess Monaghan, and was glad to see Eskay is still with her. I'll continue reading Lippman's books.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Although Tess is not terribly sentimental, she has a heart and so do her clients. This one brought tears to my eyes and touched me like no other book of it's kind!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Butchers Hill
by Laura Lippman
4 of 5 stars

And she does it again. Laura Lippman is so good at this!

I have grown to love Tess Monaghan. No matter what I thought the first couple times around, now I get it. I get her. I think she is an amazing character ... she is basically color blind while living in a tough city that has been shaped by race. She is tough, says what she means, totally walks the walk. Yet, she is somehow quite insecure also, I think. She cares what people think (some of them, mostl
Attila Cthulhuson
I don't like the Tess books as much as the standalones, but I gave this a chance.

The main case advertised on the flap/in the description doesn't reach the point described until at least a third into the book. It's pretty much a spoiler. The other client -- Jackie, a super-smart self-make woman looking for the kid she gave up for adoption -- isn't mentioned in the description and takes equal time in the book. I guess that's a harder sell? I admit that alone wouldn't have intrigued me, but at leas
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, library-book
This is the third in the series and I've liked it the best so far. Tess Monaghan has opened her own office as a private investigator. She has a couple of clients almost right away.

One is an elderly man from the neighborhood who wants her to find some kids who testified against him in the killing of a young boy 5 years earlier. He gives, as the reason, that he feels badly about what happened, and wants to provide for the kids if they're still around.

The other is a woman who wants her to find her
In this installment of the Tess Monaghan series, Tess works for a man who has recently finished serving prison time for murdering a young kid when he and his foster siblings were vandalizing his car. Years later, this accused killer says he wants to make retributions towards the other young children who witnessed their friend being killed, but when these now-adults start being slowly killed off, Tess isn't sure if she's helping the man make retribution or settle the score.

Meanwhile, Tess has al
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading a lot of mysteries again. Tess Monaghan was started as part of the "Free reads" on Audible. In addition, Ms. Lippman was supposed to visit my local library. I also found that I had been buying her books all along and never reading them.

I'm on book 3 and I'm still in love with Tess and the story of her life. In book three she has opened her private detective office and it covers her first two cases. These stories feel like a good friend telling you a story about their day. You
Josephine Waite
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it is a law now; books that are only in the library system as Large Print will have the word 'nigger' in them somewhere. This one has it used descriptively by an annoying character, who we are invited to dislike for their venality rather than casually, to describe a dessert or dog in, say, an Agatha Christie. I admit I got a bit distracted waiting for the word to appear, but there is nothing wrong with this novel otherwise that would have it relegated to those with a visual impairment.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm impressed. The writing is bright, clear, moves the story and the characters are real with the occasional stereotype to bounce off of. This one handled race in a very uncomplicated, non-fussy and non-politically correct way that was refreshing. It was there because it always is but it wasn't the center of everything. Best of all, I didn't see the ending coming.
Barbara Schultz
3.3 I recently read Sunburn and although I like Laura Lippman I was only Ok with “Sunburn”.
Since I like this author, I thought I would try one of her novels in the Tess Monahan series.
The family drama was great and it kept me reading. I was very curious about the “Butcher of Butcher Hill” but I am not a fan of nasty language but I hung in there and did like this novel.

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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

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