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.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
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