The Girl in the Green Raincoat (Tess Monaghan Series #11)

( 65 )

Overview

In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile. Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes . . . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day. Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen. Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone,...

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The Girl in the Green Raincoat (Tess Monaghan Series #11)

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Overview

In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile. Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes . . . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day. Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen. Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker's abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom. But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora's box of past crimes and troubling deaths . . . and she's not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child's.

Previously serialized in the New York Times, and now published in book form for the very first time, The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a masterful Hitchcockian thriller from one of the very best in the business: multiple award-winner Laura Lippman.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, Lippman's Tess Monaghan novella turns the intrepid Baltimore PI's at-risk late-pregnancy bed rest into a compellingly edgy riff on Hitchcock's Rear Window. Lovingly tucked up on her winterized sun porch, Tess marshals her forces--doting artist boyfriend Crow, best friend Whitney Talbot, middle-aged assistant gumshoe Mrs. Blossom, and researcher Dorie Starnes--to probe the disappearance of a chic blonde green-raincoated dog walker she'd been watching from her comfy prison. Tess also takes in the missing woman's abandoned green-slickered Italian greyhound from hell, a miniature canine terrorist whose anti-housebreaking vendetta offers comic relief from Tess's threatened pre-eclampsia, her obsessive unraveling of a complex scam, and her last-trimester spats with Crow about their future. Though postpartum Tess turns alternately weepy and shrill, that condition won't last, and this entertaining romp leaves plenty of hints of detective-mother exploits to come. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Confined to bed rest for the last 12 weeks of her pregnancy, an immobilized Tess Monaghan (In Big Trouble) watches the world around her through binoculars, à la Hitchcock's classic Rear Window, admiring the girl in the green raincoat who walks her greyhound daily on a color-coordinated leash. But when she sees the dog scampering loose, Tess's investigative genes kick in, and she's intent on finding out what happened to the dog's walker, who turns out to be Carole Epstein, third wife of Don Epstein, a man with two dead wives and a dead girlfriend behind him. Despite Epstein's claims that Carole emptied their joint accounts and took off, Tess is suspicious enough to ask best friend Whitney Talbot to pose as a lure for the man, with unexpected results all around.Verdict In this novella that first appeared in serial form in the NewYork Times Magazine, Lippman provides welcome background for many of her cast members as she advances Tess and her boyfriend Crow to a new stage in their lives. Lippman's trademark crisp prose, smart plotting, and appealing protagonist—whose physical limitations here make her no less feisty and resourceful when faced with danger—make this an essential addition to a winning series.—Michele Leber, Arlington VA
Kirkus Reviews

Big changes come in small packages for a Baltimore private eye sidelined by an unplanned pregnancy.

Tess Monaghan (I'd Know You Anywhere, 2010, etc.) never anticipated being pregnant, much less being confined to bed rest by pre-eclampsia. But as she sits on her sun porch wondering whether her maternal instincts will ever kick in, her appetite for sleuthing continues full blast. She sees a young woman and a dog clad in matching fashion-forward green slickers walking in Stony Run. After several days, the woman disappears, and her abandoned Italian greyhound is leaving messes in Tess's living room. Tess traces the dog's owner, Don Epstein, who first says his wife is away on business, but later confesses that Carole just up and left him. Not that Epstein's track record with women is anything to write home about: His first wife Mary was shot in an attempted carjacking, and his second wife Annette died of a hospital-contracted staph infection. In between Mary and Annette, Epstein's girlfriend, Danielle Messinger, broke her neck falling down a flight of stairs—an accident Carole Epstein knows about full well, since Danielle was Carole's sister. With a nod to Hitchcock's Rear Window, Tess uses her confinement as an excuse to exercise her ingenuity in trying to prove that a self-proclaimed abandoned husband is really a cold-blooded killer.

Lippman's slender tale, serialized previously in theNew York Times Magazine, brings back her feisty star detective at her most belligerent, most vulnerable and perhaps most appealing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061938368
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/18/2011
  • Series: Tess Monaghan Series , #11
  • Pages: 158
  • Sales rank: 467,921
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman grew up in Baltimore and returned to her hometown in 1989 to work as a journalist. After writing seven books while still a full-time reporter, she left the Baltimore Sun to focus on fiction. She is the author of ten Tess Monaghan novels, including Baltimore Blues, The Sugar House, and Another Thing to Fall; five stand-alone novels, including Every Secret Thing, To the Power of Three, What the Dead Know, and Life Sentences; and one short story collection, Hardly Knew Her. She is also the editor of another story collection, Baltimore Noir. Lippman has won numerous awards for her work, including the Edgar, Quill, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity.

Biography

Laura Lippman was a reporter for 20 years, including 12 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 other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.

Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.

Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since.

Biography from author's website.

Good To Know

In our interview, Lippman shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself:

"I can do an imitation of Ethel Merman singing ‘Satisfaction.'"

"I'm not a Baltimore native -- I arrived here about six years too late for that. But I love the fact that I've convinced the world that I am."

"Like my character, Tess Monaghan, I used to row. Unlike her, I was very, very bad at it."

"I've written eight books in my series -- one not yet published -- and a stand-alone crime novel, but my subject is always, on some level, Baltimore.

It's a problem-place, neither northern nor southern, somewhat addicted to nostalgia, yet amnesiac about the more dicey parts of its past. I used an epigraph from H. L. Mencken in one of my books: ‘A Baltimorean is not merely John Doe, an isolated individual of Homo sapiens, like every other John Doe. He is a John Doe of a certain place -- of Baltimore, of a definite home in Baltimore.' I am a person of a certain place, and that place happens to be Baltimore."

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 65 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    the latest Tess Monaghan mystery is a wonderful sort of family affair

    Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan requires plenty of bed rest due to her high risk pregnancy as she has signs of preeclampsia which can lead to life threatening seizures. Sleuthing is out of the question, but resting proves more difficult than a tedious surveillance for someone as hyper as Tess is. She needs something to occupy her mind, but finds nothing of interest.

    That is until she watches from her window a female stranger in a green raincoat walking an Italian greyhound wearing green also. Playing a mental game about the woman helps pass time. However when Tess notices the woman's dog running loose, she fears something happened to the owner who has been very careful with walking her canine on a leash. Tess persuades her support crew - her boyfriend Crow, best friend Whitney Talbot, middle-aged assistant Mrs. Blossom, and researcher Dorie Starnes to seek clues as to what happened to The Girl in the Green Raincoat that they are to bring back to her to analyze.

    With nods to the films Rear Window and the teen remake Disturbia, the latest Tess Monaghan mystery is a wonderful sort of family affair as she directs her team with assignments; some being comical. Tess is wonderful working the convoluted case through her agents who doubt there is any wrong doing but humors her as she struggles with prenatal trimester mental and physical issues; pity Crow with the postpartum blues. This is a great novella that has Tess at her best even at rest in this life changing novella.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    A Wonderful Mystery!!!

    Do not let the size of this book fool you. Yes, it's a short novel. But, even though it's small in size, it's HUGE in AWESOMENESS! I totally can not believe that I have not read a Tess Monaghan book before. Laura Lippman is fantastically fabulous with her writing skills and had me hooked from the hilariously funny first page!

    Dubbed to have a "Hitchcockian" thrill to it, I would say it is an accurate description, though quite funnier! Yep, that's right. Funnier. Through out this novel, Laura Lippman had me laughing as I got to know Tess Monaghan, her boyfriend Crow and her best friend Whitney, as they tried to solve the mystery of the disappearing girl in a green raincoat. Added to the funniness is the missing girls dog, also in a green raincoat! But, the interesting twist on this story is that Tess is a PI whose stuck on bed rest due to a complicated pregnancy. Can she find out what happened to the girl in that green coat and why was her dog unattended??? I loved laughing out loud and playing the PI detective right along side Tess.

    I highly, highly (did I mention highly???) recommend this short, simple, yet laughable novel with a high 5 star praise and two thumbs up! Laura Lippman is a fabulous author who should be on everyone's To Read list. I know for a fact that I will look anxiously forward to another Tess Monaghan and am also going to make it a goal to read the previous ones by this awesome author!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Last of the series

    Good story but it is short. Would have preferred if it was longer and more detailed. In fact this is a novelette. Sorry this is the last of the series hope Laura Lippman writes some more stories about Tess and her family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    Great Short Story!

    This was a wonderful short story!

    "Rear Window" but with a very pregnant Tess put on bed rest.

    I thought this was a fun mystery!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Rear Windowesque

    Tess Monaghan is a private investigator in Baltimore, but unfortunately as she enters the third trimester of her pregnancy she is put on complete bed rest. This is especially hard for a woman who uses her keen observations to solve crimes. Now all she gets to observe is what she can see out her window. Pretty boring stuff, the same people walk by every day, some walking dogs or kids. A young woman wearing a green raincoat walking a dog goes by every day without fail. Tess is intrigued by her and tries to figure out her story just by what she can see from her bed.

    Then one day the dog goes flying by Tess's window and the girl in the green raincoat is nowhere in sight. Certain that something is really wrong. Tess decides she must solve the mystery. What happened to the girl in the green raincoat? Little does she know she is putting herself and her baby in danger as she delves into her quest to find the answers she needs.

    Dollycas's Thoughts
    The book reads quite easy as a stand alone. I have not read any of the books in this series and totally enjoyed it. The whole Rear Windowesque theme was thoroughly entertaining.

    Some of Tess's superstitions added quite a bit of humor along with the zany actions of Dempsey. It is easy to feel for the character of Tess as she not only deals with being bedridden but deals with questions about her future, the normal pregnancy hormones and the fears of a high risk pregnancy. Her boyfriend is a gem, her best friend Whitney is a stitch and her dad is the typical dad, there when you need him.

    This story is short, well paced and gives us a peek into the world of Tess Monaghan. This may be the first story I have read in this series but it won't be the last. I also want to check out some of Laura Lippman's stand alone novels.


    This book came from my own person collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

    Another good read!!!

    Another good installment of Tess Monaghan series. Would recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    recommend

    cute story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    Laura Write Faster!! More! More! More!

    Another great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Very Disappointed!!

    I absoloutley love this author and her stories and have read each book in the series and was totally dissappointed in this last book! The story was good, don't get me wrong. I paid on average 7.99 for each book in the series until this one which was 9.99.

    I find it somewhat ironic that the most exspensive book was only 124 pages long with the last 10 not even part of the story!!!! This book is NOT advertised as a NOVELLA but should be!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    Very good but a confused reader

    I am a true fan of Laura Lippman and Tess Monaghan. I liked this Novella alot, however, was disappointed that it wasn't a longer story. Also, what book did I miss? Wasn't she just in Texas finding and saving Crow, now they are back in Baltimore and she is in her third trimester... hmmmm

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    All over the place

    I had high hopes for this one but it was as if the author couldn't decide if she wanted to write about the main character's pregnancy and the relationship with her boyfriend or the murder mystery. Wasn't worth the effort despite the good premise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Pleasantly surprised!!

    Haven't read Lippman before, and this was a pleasant surprise. She develops her characters very well, and enjoyed the little twists. Good Read for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Fabulous, as always

    Tess Monaghan is about to embark on her greatest mystery - motherhood. But as always, there are complications. Confined to bed rest, she begins to idly watch the dog park across the street. She becomes fascinated by a beautiful woman and her Italian greyhound. One day, she sees the IG running through the park, alone. Out of boredom, she sets her helpers on the case, and gets far more than she bargained for. The usual cast of characters is here, plus a couple of new ones. Lippman is a funny, smart writer whose love for her protagonist is contagious. I recommend her to dog and mystery lovers. You will be sucked into her Tess series as quickly as a greyhound covers a mile.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    More Tess please!

    I'm a big fan of Laura Lippman. I've enjoyed her last two books which were stand alones, but I was thrilled to see that The Girl in the Green Raincoat featured her recurring character - PI Tess Monaghan.

    The Girl in the Green Raincoat finds Tess exactly where she doesn't want to be - sitting still. And for a very good reason. She's in the last trimester of a difficult pregnancy. Camped out in the sun room of her home, she whiles away the time watching out the window at the local dog park. She becomes fascinated by a woman who arrives at the same time every day in a green raincoat with her greyhound. Until the day when it's just the dog - trailing his leash...

    Unable to get up and out herself, Tess sends her partner Crow to corral the dog. What seemed like a simple search and rescue to return a lost dog turns into
    something more. Attempts to find the girl in the green raincoat leads to a trail of crimes that Tess slowly pieces together from her bedroom. Think Rear Window.

    This novella originally appeared serialized in the New York Times two years go. Once I discovered this, it explained why each chapter seemed to have a little story within the story. We get extra glimpses into the character's lives. Tess's doubts about her relationship and impending motherhood make the character even more realistic. I have always enjoyed the character of Whitney, Tess's best friend - we get to see some of her emotional make up this time around. I can't wait to see more about Mrs. Blossom, who is running the agency while Tess is laid up - she is a character just waiting to be fleshed out. Lippman's characters are engaging, the plots believable and the dialogue witty - I love the way Tess's mind works.

    For fans of Tess this is a must. I can't wait to see where Lippman takes the storyline next. For those new to this series, you may want to start with an earlier book to get a sense of the characters and the background. Now that's not to say you wouldn't enjoy this easy, one sitting read - you definitely will - but I know you'll be hunting down the rest of the series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    Nice Mystery

    The Girl in the Green Raincoat was a fun book. I don't think I have read any other mysteries featuring Tess but she did seem familiar so maybe I have. Hmmmmmmmm


    I felt for Tess who was on "bed rest" because of a high risk pregnancy. I went through that myself when I was pregnant with my boys and it's not fun. It was easy to see how she watched people out of her window and made up stories to go with them. Especially being a PI, she can easily insert trouble with the way her mind works.


    The story moved along at a nice pace. It is filled with quirky, fun characters. I especially liked Whitney. She is the kind of friend that we all need to have. The superstitions that Tess had about not doing anything for the baby like buying furniture, having a baby shower, baby clothes, etc until the baby was born because it is bad luck gave me a laugh. We Italians have some strange superstitions as well so that was easy to relate to.


    This is a nice book for a weekend read when you want a mystery but not something heavy and gory. It keeps you guessing and I was quite surprised by the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    My favorite Tess story yet!

    I've read the entire series and the quirky nature of this story was a delight. I can't wait to see how Tess handles motherhood. And the name she and Crow gave their daughter? Perfection!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not one of her better books

    The story was hard to believe and predictable

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    Posted May 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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