Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Butchers Hill” as Want to Read:
Butchers Hill
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Butchers Hill

(Tess Monaghan #3)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,303 ratings  ·  319 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Butchers Hill, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Butchers Hill

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,303 ratings  ·  319 reviews

Sort order
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Going to applaud Laura Lippman here for tackling race. I was wondering if she was going to do it, and it's slightly imperfect, but I did love her showing how Tess was steeped in privilege and didn't even get how much until she met Jackie (one of her clients with a surprising connection to her) and Luther Beale. I loved how Lippman showcases two different Baltimore's (one for white people and one for black people). I also love the shoutout to HBO's "The Wire."

"Butchers Hill" has Tess single and d
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Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement.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
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
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 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!
Sally taylor
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more of this series I read the more I love 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.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
Quite good. The sweep of the many pieces of city, county, the official and the unofficial rules, this is all sketched well. Appealing characters. Good dialogue. It never quite whips itself to a full gallop, maybe, but I’ll definitely read another one from this series. (Maybe a bit later in the series.)
Jack Heath
Synopsis: Luther Beale, a vigilante just out of prison, wants Tess to find the kids who witnessed his crime. Then the witnesses start dying.
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
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
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.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novel by author Laura Lippman. I’ve never read anything of hers before, but she’s now on my list of authors to follow.

We must remind ourselves “… the universe of possibilities is large.”

A sales woman made her feel odd for wanting to buy only one chair so she ended up taking home four chairs. Come on, Laura. Do we really need another author portraying women as fiscal idiots?

“The night is the devils playground.

Early on and always know who your child’s friends are.
And remembe
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Coyote (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery, #3)
  • Troublemaker (Dave Brandstetter, #3)
  • Leave a Message for Willie
  • The HarperCollins Study Bible: Fully Revised & Updated
  • Temporary Sanity (Marty Nickerson, #2)
  • Desert Wives (A Lena Jones Mystery #2)
  • Hurt Machine (Moe Prager, #7)
  • Silencing Sam (Riley Spartz, #3)
  • Stolen Lives (Jade de Jong, #2)
  • Winter And Night (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #8)
  • Dirty Laundry (Sofie Metropolis, #2)
  • Ice Blues (Donald Strachey, #3)
  • Queen's Ransom (Ursula Blanchard, #3)
  • Hard Row (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #13)
  • Liar (Irene Kelly, #6)
  • Backstabber (Hitchcock Sewell Mysteries, #5)
  • Flowers for His Funeral (Mitchell and Markby Village, #7)
  • The Memory Collector (Jo Beckett #2)
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)
  • 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)
  • 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)