Monday, January 24, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

If you've never read Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan mysteries, you can still pick up the series with The Girl in the Green Raincoat, the eleventh in the series.  This novel, originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, brings together so many of the characters in Tess' life in a clever tribute to Rear Window and Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time.  At the same time, this is uniquely Lippman, marking a milestone in Tess' life.  Read it as a lover of Tess Monaghan's stories, or as someone discovering them, but you won't regret it.

Tess is 35, with a high-risk pregnancy, put on bed rest with at least two months to go.  As an active private investigator, she's anxious and antsy already on her first day of confinement.  Once Crow brought her binoculars, she could lay on the sun porch and watch people, particularly the people walking their dogs in the dog park across the street.  She immediately focused on a miniature version of her own greyhound, walked by a woman in a green raincoat every day.  But, on the sixth day, when the greyhound ran through the park without its owner, Tess' perspective changed.  What happened to the woman that her dog was running without her?

Tess might be bedridden, but she's still as curious as ever, determined to solve the mystery.  Despite Crow's admonitions that she needed to keep her blood pressure low, she set an investigation in motion, recruiting her employee, Mrs. Blossom, and her best friend, Whitney Talbot.  But, when the investigation snowballs, Tess makes a mistake that could be tragic.

The Girl in the Green Raincoat succeeds on so many levels.  The author's notes pays homage to Lippman's inspirations.  She also said the serialized format gave her the opportunity to allow other characters to tell their stories, Mrs. Blossom, Tess' father, Whitney.  So, don't hesitate to pick it up, even if you've never read a previous Tess Monaghan book.  And, if you've read everything, welcome to a new stage in Tess' life.

Laura Lippman's website is http://www.lauralippman.com/

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman.  HarperCollins, ©2011. ISBN 9780061938368 (paperback), 158p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.




12 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm a huge "Rear Window" fan (actually a huge Hitchcock fan) and this homage really appeals to me! I'll be reading this one.

Lesa said...

It's a short one, Elizabeth, so even with your busy life, you should be able to get through it quickly. I don't know how you manage to do everything you do!

caryn said...

I'm second on the library wait list. I love the Tess books but Lippman's nonseries books have been a mixed bag for me, so I'm happy to have Tess back!

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa - I read this over the weekend and loved it. I had already read it in its serialized version, but this was just much more satisfying.

Sharon said...

I've never read anything by this author. From the sound of this, I will soon!

bermudaonion said...

Another blogger passed her copy of this on to me and I can't wait to read it.

Lesa said...

Caryn,

I agree. I've loved of the standalones, and the others weren't satisfying. I think you'll enjoy this Tess mystery.

Lesa said...

I knew you had read it in the serialized version, Kaye. I'm glad this was even better!

Lesa said...

Sharon,

I hope you have the chance to try one of Laura Lippman's mysteries. She's one of the great ones.

Lesa said...

Can't wait to hear what you think, Kathy! I enjoyed this, particularly with all of the parts by the other characters.

Kris said...

The funny thing is that what draws me to this book is the cover. I have no idea why. I think at first glance I like the color, so I look a bit longer and then I like the coat. ha..go figure. The book sounds good though!

Lesa said...

That is funny, Kris. See, maybe you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we do!