#bookreview – Baltimore Blues – by Laura Lippman

Fun read, particularly for those who know the city. Awarded 3 stars on Goodreads.

BaltimoreI picked up this book after listening to a Slate’s Working podcast about the author, Laura Lippmann, who, like me, is a Baltimore native. This book is the first of a series of mysteries Lippman has written, featuring journalist-turned-investigator Tess Monaghan. This is apparently the one that tells how Tess goes from reporter to private investigator. It’s a basic murder mystery, that draws heavily on its Baltimore based location.

When prominent attorney Michael Abramowitz is found murdered in his ritzy office, Tess’s fellow rowing buddy, “Rock” Paxton, becomes the chief suspect. Of course, you know he’s innocent, right? There are a number of surprising twists and turns. I suspect no reader will guess who the real murderer is. Most of the characters are two-dimensional, though, and not all that distinctive. A wealthy attorney at a powerful law firm with secrets to hide. A self-absorbed go-getter of a journalist trying to uncover a big story that bring him fame. An attractive up-and-coming woman attorney who can’t quite manage to pass the bar.

This is not great literature but it will keep you turning pages. Not being a big mystery enthusiast, I probably won’t pick up another Tess Monaghan book. But as a Baltimore native, it was fun to see all the references to a city I know fairly well.

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