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Another Thing to Fall (Tess Monaghan Series #10)
     

Another Thing to Fall (Tess Monaghan Series #10)

4.2 25
by Laura Lippman
 

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New York Times Bestseller

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—must protect an up-and-coming Hollywood actress, but when murder strikes on a TV set, the unflappable PI discovers everyone’s got a secret.

“[A]

Overview

New York Times Bestseller

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—must protect an up-and-coming Hollywood actress, but when murder strikes on a TV set, the unflappable PI discovers everyone’s got a secret.

“[A] welcome addition to Tess Monaghan’s adventures and an insightful look at the desperation that drives those grasping for a shot at fame and those who will do anything to keep it.”—San Francisco Chronicle

When private investigator Tess Monaghan literally runs into the crew of the fledgling TV series Mann of Steel while sculling, she expects sharp words and evil looks, not an assignment. But the company has been plagued by a series of disturbing incidents since its arrival on location in Baltimore: bad press, union threats, and small, costly on-set "accidents" that have wreaked havoc with its shooting schedule. As a result, Mann's creator, Flip Tumulty, the son of a Hollywood legend, is worried for the safety of his young female lead, Selene Waites, and asks Tess to serve as her bodyguard. Tumulty's concern may be well founded. Recently, a Baltimore man was discovered dead in his home, surrounded by photos of the beautiful—if difficult—aspiring star.

In the past, Tess has had enough trouble guarding her own body. Keeping a spoiled movie princess under wraps may be more than she can handle since Selene is not as naive as everyone seems to think, and instead is quite devious. Once Tess gets a taste of this world of make-believe—with their vanities, their self-serving agendas, and their remarkably skewed visions of reality—she’s just about ready to throw in the towel.

But she’s pulled back in when a grisly on-set murder occurs, threatening to topple the wall of secrets surrounding Mann of Steel as lives, dreams, and careers are scattered among the ruins.

Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun
“Lippman is incapable of writing an un-compelling mystery,”
Seattle Times
“Tess—funny, smart, empathetic as hell, and a colorful, irreverent storyteller makes a wonderful companion for this tale, in which disturbing vandalism and a stalker are just the harbingers of much worse problems,”
San Francisco Chronicle
[a] welcome addition to Tess Monaghan’s adventures and an insightful look at the desperation that drives those grasping for a shot at fame and those who will do anything to keep it.
Entertainment Weekly
“A juicy whodunit.”
Toronto Globe and Mail
You get everything in this book. There’s a really good mystery which is almost secondary to the interaction of the characters - Hollywood’s penchant for confusing illusion and reality is beautifully done - and the witty dialogue, full of smart film references, is totally believable.
People Magazine
"After last year’s acclaimed What the Dead Know, Lippman is back on home turf with the 10th installment of her popular series about Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan."
People
“After last year’s acclaimed What the Dead Know, Lippman is back on home turf with the 10th installment of her popular series about Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan.”
Tess Monaghan's latest assignment is the only upside of a motorboat collision that capsized her little scull. On the surface, it seems like a just recompense for the impolite dunking: The new gig drops her into a filming scene replete with stars present, past, and future. All of these self-absorbed, coddled thespians seem to have major character defects, ranging from father hatred to raging hormones. And when murder rears its ugly head, Tess can't help noticing that every actor and actress in the house is playing a part.
Publishers Weekly

Hollywood comes to Baltimore in bestseller Lippman's assured 10th PI Tess Monaghan caper (after 2006's No Good Deeds). When Tess literally stumbles onto the set of Mann of Steel, a big-budget TV miniseries shooting in her neighborhood, she finds herself hired as a bodyguard for Selene Waites, the show's 20-year-old hard-partying star. Flip Tumulty-the show's writer and son of a Baltimore-born Hollywood mogul-tells Tess the set has been plagued by vandalism and he fears for Selene's safety. Tess soon uncovers unsettling photos of Selene and learns they were taken by Wilbur Grace, a stalker who later hanged himself. When one of the crew members is murdered, Tess suspects someone may be trying to shut down more than the TV production. While the excitement level may not match that of other recent entries in the series, fans will appreciate the author's usual authentic local color and intricate plotting. 15-city author tour. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Baltimore is the temporary home of a big- budget television series, which doesn't please the locals as much as one would think. Tess Monaghan (No Good Deeds) manages to ruin a day's shooting while out rowing and in the process finds herself the sought-after security detail for Selene, the show's 20-year-old star. Strange things are happening on set, and Tess agrees to babysit providing the producers give boyfriend Crow's latest project, Lloyd, a job. The details are worked out, but when Tess is outsmarted by Selene, she is forced to bring in extra help. Then a production staffer is murdered, and it seems as if everyone on set is suspect, from the producers to the actors to the writers and the staff. The production of a TV series is complicated business, and Lippman includes lots of Hollywood detail in this Charm City murder mystery. It's an interesting story with a lot of characters, but, unfortunately, Tess is the only one that is fully fleshed out. Not Lippman's best effort, but fans of the series will want to read it anyway. Recommended for larger fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ11/15/07.]
—Stacy Alesi

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
An early morning rowing accident lands Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan (No Good Deeds, 2006, etc.) what may be the worst job of her life. When a film crew's motorboat upends her scull into the Patapsco, Tess Monaghan gets more than a good dunking. She also gets the untempting offer of a job as bodyguard to Selene Waites, bratty young star of the TV show Mann of Steel, the saga of a steelworker who time-travels in order to woo 18th-century Baltimore belle Betsy Patterson. Anorexic Selene doesn't have much body to guard, and the stalker who took creepy pictures of her killed himself. The only reason Tess even considers head writer Flip Tumulty's proposition is the hope of snagging some work on the show for Floyd Jupiter, a former street kid who, absent gainful employment, is fast reverting to his evil ways. Even when Floyd is stuck with the job of unpaid intern and a womanizing writer calls Tess an asshole, the work still seems worth her while-at least until whoever's pulling a series of annoying pranks, like putting hair remover in the male lead's face cream, takes it a step too far, and a production assistant ends up dead. Like lunch at Atwater's, Tess's latest leaves you fully satisfied but looking forward to next time. Agent: Vicky Bijur/Vicky Bijur Literary Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062070937
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/29/2012
Series:
Tess Monaghan Series , #10
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
627,523
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Another Thing to Fall

Chapter One

The headphones were a mistake. She realized this only in hindsight, but then—what other vision is available to a person heading backward into the world?

True, they were good old-fashioned headphones, which didn't seal tightly to the ear, not earbuds, which she loathed on principle, the principle being that she was thirty-four going on seventy. Furthermore, she had dialed down the volume on her Sony Walkman—yes, a Sony Walkman, sturdy and battered and taxicab yellow, not a sleek little iPod in a more modern or electric shade. Still, for all her precautions, she could hear very little. And even Tess Monaghan would admit that it's important to be attuned to the world when one is charging into it backward, gliding along the middle branch of the Patapsco in a scull and passing through channels that are seldom without traffic, even in the predawn hours.

But Tess had painstakingly rationalized her way into trouble, which, she decided later, is pretty much how everyone gets into trouble, one small rationalization at a time. She wanted to row, yet she felt obligated to listen to her boyfriend on a local radio show, promoting the Oktoberfest lineup at her father's bar. Besides, he planned to play some songs by Brave Combo, a nuclear polka band that Tess quite liked. She would row a path that was familiar to her, and trust the coxswains for the fours and eights to watch her back, a courtesy offered to all scullers.

It did not occur to Tess to row a little later, or skip the workout altogether. The rowing season traditionally ended after Thanksgiving, a mere month away. She had to take advantageof every waning day, especially now that Baltimore was in its full autumnal glory. If aliens had landed in Baltimore on this particular October morning, they would have concluded that it was the most perfect city on the globe they were about to conquer, truly the Charm City it claimed to be. The trees were tinged with gold and scarlet, the breeze was light, the sky was slowly deepening into the kind of brilliant blue that reminded Tess that she once knew the word cerulean, if only because it had been on the vocabulary lists for the SATs.

She set out for Fort McHenry, at the distant tip of Locust Point, rationalizing every stroke of the way: She knew the route so well, it was so early, the sun not even up. She had beaten the other rowers to the water, arriving in darkness and pushing off from the dock at first light. She wouldn't wear the headphones on the way back. She just needed to hear Crow on WTMD, listen to him play a few snippets of Brave Combo, then she would turn off the Walkman and—

That's when the police boat, bullhorn blaring, crossed into her line of vision and came charging toward her. By the time she registered everything that was happening—the approaching boat, the screams and shouts coming from all directions, the fact that someone was very keen that she stop or change course—the motorboat had stopped, setting up an enormous, choppy wake that was going to hit her sideways. Tess, trying frantically to slow and steady her scull, had a bona fide moment of prescience. Granted, her vision extended only two or three seconds into the future, but it was uncannily exact: She was going to go ass over teakettle into the Patapsco, a body of water that even conquering aliens from a water-deprived planet would find less than desirable. She closed her eyes and shut her mouth as tightly as possible, grateful she had no cuts or scratches into which microbes could swim.

At least the water held some leftover summer warmth. She broke the surface quickly, orienting herself by locating the star-shaped fort just to the north, then the wide channel into the bay to the east of the fort, toward which her vessel was now drifting. "Get my shell," she spluttered to the police boat, whose occupants stared back at her, blank faced. "My shell! My scull! MY goddamn boat." Comprehension dawning, the cops reached out and steadied her orphaned scull alongside the starboard side of their boat. Tess began to swim toward them, but a second motorboat cut her off.

A man sat in the stern of this one, his face obscured by a baseball cap, his arms crossed over a fleece vest emblazoned with a curious logo, Mann of Steel. He continued to hug his arms close to his chest, a modern-day Washington crossing the Delaware, even as two young people put down their clipboards and reached out to Tess, boosting her into the boat.

"Congratulations," said the male of the pair. "You just ruined a shot that we've been trying to get for three days."

Tess glanced around, taking in everything her back had failed to see. This usually quiet strip around Fort McHenry was ringed with boats. There was an outer periphery of police launches, set up to protect an inner circle, which included this boat and another nearby, with what appeared to be a mounted camera and another fleece-jacketed man. There were people onshore, too, and some part of Tess's mind registered that this was odd, given that Fort McHenry didn't open its gates to the public until 9 A.M. Farther up the fort's grassy slopes, she could see large white trailers and vans, some of them with blue writing that she could just make out: Haddad's Rentals. She squeezed her ponytail and tried to wring some water from her T-shirt, but the standing man frowned, as if it were bad form to introduce water into a boat.

"The sun's up now," said the young woman who had helped Tess into the boat, her tone dire, as if this daily fact of life, the sun rising, was the most horrible thing imaginable. "We lost all the rose tones you wanted."

Another Thing to Fall. Copyright © by Laura Lippman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Since Laura Lippman’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Baltimore, Maryland
Date of Birth:
January 31, 1959
Place of Birth:
Atlanta, Georgia
Education:
B.S., Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1981

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Another Thing to Fall 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
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christytilleryfrench More than 1 year ago
Private Investigator Tess Monaghan unknowingly ruins a shoot for the film crew of TV series Mann of Steel and instead of being chastised for it ends up with a new assignment: bodyguard to the show's youngest actor, Selene Waites. The producer Flip Tumulty and his company have had a run of vandalism, leading to bad press, and Flip is concerned for Selene's safety. With the aid of her friend Whitney, Tess reluctantly takes on the job, and quickly learns Selene is not as passive and uneducated as she appears. When Flip's assistant is found beaten to death, Tess realizes Selene may actually be in danger and begins her own investigation into what happened to the assistant. As always, Lippman provides the reader with an interesting view of Baltimore and its people and culture. The plot seems to stagger along at first, with no real sense of the characters involved. The killer's mindset is initially hard to grasp, as is his reason for creating such havoc for the producer and his series. One interesting and refreshing character is Mrs. Blossom, one of Tess's students in her private investigation class, who this reviewer hopes will return in future books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series. That said, this latest installment was just not in the same class as previous Tess books. In fact, there was not enough Tess in this book 'way too much time spent on what other, less interesting characters were thinking or doing', and when she was present, she didn't seem to be the Tess of old. She seemed hardly engaged in the mystery at hand. Hope this is just an off book and we can look forward to the 'return of Tess' rather than it being the 'beginning of the end' of this series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Laura Lippman assembles an intriguing and often hilarious cast of characters in her latest Tess Monaghan mystery. Selena Waites stars as the rising Hollywood creation, an actress (or actor as women are now called in the movie culture) with an insatiable appetite who never seems to actually eat. Oblivious to everything and everyone around her, Selena represents the perfect example of a culture and generation oblivious to all else but the present and fulfilling every whim and want. Next to Selena stars Johnny Tampa, the aging and overweight actor looking for a comeback. When Selena's role suddenly grows, overshadowing his role in the series, is he jealous or hungry enough to take matters into his own hands? Did one of the entourage of men surrounding Selena, men captivated by her beauty and celebrity, have a hand in the mysterious happenings? Flip Tumulty, anxious to make a name for himself rather be compared to his father's legendary fame will do anything to insure the success of his new series. How far will he go to protect or publicize himself? Greer took over her position next to Flip in a well-orchestrated coup of greed and manipulation. Did she go one step too far? Whose chain did she rattle just enough to make them resort to murder? ANOTHER THING TO FALL is a masterpiece of characterization. The reader sees Tess's character mostly as a contrast to the movie culture that has invaded her town. Through Tess, sarcasm, humor and a broader reality provide a stark contrast to the insulated world of Hollywood. Readers will laugh aloud at some of the riotous portraits. This reader has not read such a fun and funny mystery in years! Humor gives way to a finely detailed structure of motivations and personalities as these characters chafe and battle for supremacy in a series which can make or break them. As Tess reminds herself and the reader, she does not have to like the characters she investigates ---the job is to discover the culprit and keep Selena safe. Even the secondary characters are well written and integrated into the plot with just the right timing. Mrs. Blossom, a student from Tess's class adds humor and a mystery twist to ANOTHER THING TO FALL. As Tess unearths more and more clues, ANOTHER THING TO FALL examines all the motives and seething undercurrents behind the television shoot. First impressions give way to something much richer. Just as Tess's sarcasm reaches its height, the reader suddenly notices that this horrible, humorous cast of insipid actors and support crew have captured one's heart. In a subtly orchestrated change of tone, the reader moves from laughing at the expense of these Hollywood creations to caring for the personalities beneath. Laura Lippman gives readers a welcome dose of reality with her critique of the movie/television industry, providing a humorous antidote to a culture obsessed with celebrity and Hollywood. At the same time, ANOTHER THING TO FALL goes beyond humor and mystery to provide the reader with a compassionate view of the people behind the façade. ANOTHER THING TO FALL is an intriguing look into character in a mystery with clever plot twists ---- a mystery and so much more. Absolutely brilliant!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Laura Lippman assembles an intriguing and often hilarious cast of characters in her latest Tess Monaghan mystery. Selena Waites stars as the rising Hollywood creation, an actress 'or actor as women are now called in the movie culture' with an insatiable appetite who never seems to actually eat. Oblivious to everything and everyone around her, Selena represents the perfect example of a culture and generation oblivious to all else but the present and fulfilling every whim and want. Next to Selena stars Johnny Tampa, the aging and overweight actor looking for a comeback. When Selena¿s role suddenly grows, overshadowing his role in the series, is he jealous or hungry enough to take matters into his own hands? Did one of the entourage of men surrounding Selena, men captivated by her beauty and celebrity, have a hand in the mysterious happenings? Flip Tumulty, anxious to make a name for himself rather be compared to his father¿s legendary fame will do anything to insure the success of his new series. How far will he go to protect or publicize himself? Greer took over her position next to Flip in a well-orchestrated coup of greed and manipulation. Did she go one step too far? Whose chain did she rattle just enough to make them resort to murder? ANOTHER THING TO FALL is a masterpiece of characterization. The reader sees Tess¿s character mostly as a contrast to the movie vulture that has invaded her town. Through Tess, sarcasm, humor and a broader reality provide a stark contrast to the insulated world of Hollywood. Readers will laugh aloud at some of the riotous portraits. This reader has not read such a fun and funny mystery in years! Humor gives way to a finely detailed structure of motivations and personalities as these characters chafe and battle for supremacy in a series which can make or break them. As Tess reminds herself and the reader, she does not have to like the characters she investigates ---the job is to discover the culprit and keep Selena safe. Even the secondary characters are well written and integrated into the plot with just the right timing. Mrs. Blossom, a student from Tess¿s class adds humor and a mystery twist to ANOTHER THING TO FALL . As Tess unearths more and more clues, ANOTHER THING TO FALL examines all the motives and seething undercurrents behind the television shoot. First impressions give way to something much richer. Just as Tess¿s sarcasm reaches its height, the reader suddenly notices that these horrible, humorous cast of insipid actors and support crew have captured one¿s heart. In a subtlety orchestrated change of tone, the reader moves from laughing at the expense of these Hollywood creations to caring for the personalities beneath. Laura Lippman gives readers a welcome dose of reality with her critique of the movie/television industry, providing a humorous antidote to a culture obsessed with celebrity and Hollywood. At the same time, ANOTHER THING TO FALL goes beyond humor and mystery to provide the reader with a compassionate view of the people behind the façade. ANOTHER THING TO FALL is an intriguing look into character in a mystery with clever plot twists ---- a mystery and so much more. Absolutely brilliant!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I certainly enjoy the Tess Monagham series and this one was right up there with the best. But I got the impression the author was in a hurry or late for her deadline because some questions were never answered. Otherwise, it was a great beach read and very interesting plot line.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good, it was a real page turner I couldn't put it down. Tess is a really great character. Two Thumbs Up!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Appealing as she often is, and with a sound plot, the mystery keeps you turning pages - and yet? It isn't quite as good as I expected - I thought there were loose ends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes!! Laura Lipman has done it again in this great series of interesting plotting, fantastic writing of suspense and perfect contrast of characters. I enjoyed the book and recommend it highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though I live in Baltimore, see the author in our neighborhood coffee shop, it's only of late that I've become a reader of her books. And oy, what I've missed. And 'Another Thing to Fall' is another fabulous story with a great plot line that will leave you guessing right up to the end. And isn't that what a great mystery is all about?
harstan More than 1 year ago
The TV miniseries Mann of Steel is being filmed on location in Baltimore. The Mt. Vernon neighborhood residents have mixed feelings as they are excited with Hollywood on the streets, but there is also traffic snarls, roads blocked, and driving delays too. Private Investigator Tess Monahan is listening to her boyfriend on the radio when she puts her scull in the water to row only to disrupt the filming on the river. --- When the crew learns Tess¿ job, they hire to serve as the offset bodyguard of star twentyish Selene Waites, who has not found a party she did not crash. The scriptwriter Flip Tumulty informs Tess that the filming has been disrupted by vandals and Selene¿s behavior puts her at risk. Tess finds photos of Selene apparently shot by Wilbur Grace, who just killed himself. Soon after Tess comes on board, a member of the film crew is killed. Tess believes that someone obviously wants to shut down the filming, but also believes the agenda is much more than just that. --- No one, not even John Waters, provides a stronger taste of Baltimore than Laura Lippman consistently does in her Monahan investigative tales. The latest entry is fast-paced as Tess protects the ultimate party girl (wearing out thirtyish Tess) while also trying to uncover who wants to stop the filming and why. Fans of the series will enjoy Tess goes Hollywood in her Baltimore neighborhood. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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