Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Series #1) by Laura Lippman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Series #1)

Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Series #1)

3.4 524
by Laura Lippman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"Courier New"

Until her paper, the BALTIMORE STAR, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent—including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her

Overview

"Courier New"

Until her paper, the BALTIMORE STAR, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent—including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl "Rock" Paxton.

In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer's notoriety—and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancee—make the case front page news...and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend's innocence couls prove costly to Tess—and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.Until her paper, the BALTIMORE STAR, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she's willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent—including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl "Rock" Paxton.

In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz's death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer's notoriety—and his noontime trysts with Rock's fiancee—make the case front page news...and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend's innocence couls prove costly to Tess—and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.

Author Biography: Laura Lippman has been a newspaper reporter at theBaltimore Sun for the past 12 years. Her previous novels — The Sugar House, Baltimore Blues, Charm City, Butcher's Hill, and In Big Trouble — have won the Edgar, Agatha, Shamus, and Anthony Awards. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Editorial Reviews

Julie Smith
Laura Lippman deserves to be a big star.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Downsized ex-reporter Tess Monaghan spends her days working part-time at the bookstore owned by sexy Aunt Kitty and trying not to fall into the disgustingly polluted Patapsco from her city-owned boat. When rowing buddy Rocky pays her what looks like a fortune to follow his fianc, the trail leads to murder with Rocky the prime suspect. "Uneven" is the word for this first novel-hometown and newspaper backgrounds are alive from page one, but characters are cartoons until chapter 15 (out of 30) when Tess investigates the victim. Suddenly the story perks up to a believable pageturner. If Lippman continues the promise of the second half of Baltimore Blues while adhering to advice attributed to Elmore Leonard to cut out the parts people won't read, mystery fans can anticipate an engrossing series. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380788750
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Series:
Tess Monaghan Series, #1
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.76(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

On the last night of August, Tess Monaghan went to the drugstore and bought a composition book-one with a black and-white marble cover. She had done this every fall since she was six and saw no reason to change, despite the differences wrought by twenty-three years. Never mind that she had a computer with a memory capable of keeping anything she might want to record. Never mind that she had to go to Rite Aid because Weinstein's Drugs had long ago been run into the ground by her grandfather. Never mind that she was no longer a student, no longer had a job, and summer's end held little relevance for her. Tess believed in routines and rituals. So she bought a composition book for $1.69, took it home, and opened it to the first page, where she wrote:

Goals for Autumn:

1. Bench press 120 pounds.

2. Run a 7-minute mile.

3. Read Don Quixote.

4. Find a job, etc.

She sat at her desk and looked at what she had written. The first two items were within teach, although it would take work: She could do up to ten reps at a hundred pounds and run four miles in thirty minutes. Don Quixote had defeated her before, but she felt ready for it this fall.

Number 4 was more problematic. For one thing it would require figuring out what kind of job she wanted, a dilemma that had been perplexing her for two years, ever since Baltimore's penultimate newspaper, the Star, had folded, and its ultimate paper, the Beacon-Light, had not hired her.

Tess slapped the notebook closed, filed it on a shelf with twenty-two others-all blank except for the first page-set her alarm, and was asleep in five minutes. It was the eve ofthe first day of school, time for the city to throw off its August doldrums and move briskly toward fall. Maybe it could carry Tess with it.

The alarm went off seven hours later, at 5:15 A.M. She dressed quickly and ran to her car, sniffing the breeze to see if fall might be early this year. The air was depressingly thick and syrupy, indifferent to Tess's expectations. Her eleven year-old Toyota, the most dependable thing in her life, turned over instantly. "Thank you, precious," she said, patting the dashboard, then heading off through downtown's deserted streets.

On the other side of the harbor, the boat house was dark. It often was at 5:30, for the attendant did not find minimum wage incentive enough to leave his bed and arrive in Cherry Hill before first light. The neighborhood, a grim place at any time of day, had long ago been stripped of its fruit trees. And though its gentle slopes offered a sweeping view of Baltimore's harbor and skyline, no one came to Cherry Hill for the views.

Fortunately Tess had her own boat house key, as did most of the diehard rowers. She let herself in, stashed her key ring in locker in the ladies' dressing room, then ran downstairs and grabbed her oars, anxious to be on the water before the college students arrived. She didn't like being lumped in with what she thought of as the J. Crew crews, callow youths with hoarse chatter of tests they had aced and kegs they had tapped. But she also felt out of place among the Baltimore Rowing Club's efficient grown-ups, professionals who rushed from morning practice to jobs, real ones, at hospitals and research labs, law firms and brokerage houses.

"Watch my line, girlie," a crabber called out, his voice thick in the humid morning air.

"I see it," she said, balancing an Alden Ocean Shell above her head as she threaded her way down the dock and the crabbers' gauntlet of string, chicken necks, and bushel baskets. The crabbers, Cherry Hill residents supplementing their government checks with the Patapsco's bounty, were having a good morning, even if much of their catch was illegal- pregnant females, crabs less than five inches across. Tess wouldn't tell. She didn't care. She didn't eat anything from the local waters.

At least the city-owned Alden was easy to launch. The sun was still lurking just beyond the Francis Scott Key Bridge when Tess pushed off in the choppy water and started for Fort McHenry. Almost reflexively, she hummed "The Star Spangled Banner." Oh say can you see? She would catch herself, stop, then unconsciously start again; after all, she was rowing toward the anthem's birthplace. And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air. . .

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. 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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >