Cover image for Baltimore blues
Title:
Baltimore blues
Author:
Lippman, Laura.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [1997]

©1997
Physical Description:
290 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780380788750
Format :
Book

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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

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 Notes

Laura Lippman grew up in Baltimore and returned to her home town 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.

Laura is the author of What the Dead Know, 2016 New York Times Bestseller, Another Thing to Fall, After I'm Gone, and Wilde Lake. She also writes the Tess Monaghan series. She has won numerous awards for her work including the Edgar, Quill, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

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 fiancé, 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Baltimore Blues 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 of the 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. . . Baltimore Blues . Copyright © by Laura Lippman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.