Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

Title: The Girl in the Green Raincoat
Author: Laura Lippman
ISBN: 9780061938368
Publisher: William Morrow, 2011
Paperback, 176 pages
Genre: Private Investigator, #11 Tess Monaghan mystery
Rating: A
Source: Publicist

First Line: "I am being held hostage," Tess Monaghan whispered into her iPhone.

In this eleventh outing for Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan, she is in the third trimester of her pregnancy and forced to endure bed rest. During the day she is ensconced on a chaise longue on her sun porch, and in homage to one of my favorite books (The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey) and one of my favorite movies (Hitchcock's Rear Window), Tess finds herself paying more attention to the people in the park across the street than she does the books, magazines and DVDs she has at hand.

In particular she pays attention to one pretty woman and her dog, both of whom are dressed alike in green raincoats. One day the woman and her dog arrive for their walk and only the dog comes back. The woman has disappeared. Tess knows something's wrong, but since she can't investigate she must enlist the aide of friends and employees like Dorie and Mrs. Blossom. It's a good thing Tess is lying down because she's just opened a big can of worms.

I only made Tess's acquaintance in December, reading the first book in the series, Baltimore Blues. Even though I'm usually a stickler for reading series books in order, I couldn't resist this one. Was I confused by the nine unread books in between? Not really, because Lippman is a pro at giving the reader enough information not to feel lost. It's obvious to me that plenty has happened in Tess's life in those nine books, and reading The Girl in the Green Raincoat has whetted my appetite to go back and fill in the blanks.

This is short and fast and thoroughly enjoyable. I loved the conversations Tess would have with her unborn child (whom she usually referred to as "Fifi"):

Don't ever settle, Fifi. Don't get married just because it's still marketed as the ultimate achievement for women.

On the other hand, learn to value men for something other than their paychecks.

Very wise words, Fifi. You'd do well to listen to them. If you're a fan of Tess's-- or even if you're not-- The Girl in the Green Raincoat is one fine mystery.


  1. I wasn´t a fan - I had never read her until I received a review copy of this one - but I was bowled over immediately. Wonderful story and protagonist!

  2. Nice review Cathy. I like Lippman and hope to get this one at some point.

  3. I've read only one Lippman but I wasn't keen (Sugarhouse). I've heard lots of people say her writing is very good. Maybe I should give her another chance...

  4. I'm considering a new strategy with series -- I'm going to start skipping a bit -- especially if I've read the first book or two in a series. There are so many great series and books out there and I'm just not going to get to them all if I restrict myself all the time.

    Mind you, I haven't put this new strategy into practice yet. I read the first two or three in this series and I like Tess.

  5. Another blogger shared her copy of this with me and I can't wait to read it.

  6. I recently read and reviewed Lippman's 9th in the series, No Good Deeds, in which she was living with a great guy but still single. It was a fun story to read and I finished it with the desire to read her other books.

  7. My review goes up in Early Feb. I really enjoyed this one too!

  8. I have one of her stand alone mysteries on my shelf to be read. I think a long time ago I had Baltimore Blues - I can't remember if I've read it, so I think I'm going to give this series a try. It sounds fun!

  9. I just finished this one this evening..having read it straight through...and I must agree. Totally enjoyable.

  10. Dorte-- I agree!

    Diane-- I hope you're able to.

    Judith-- You might like one of her standalones better than her series books?

    Beth-- I'm slowly becoming more adventurous in reading series books out of order, so put your new strategy in place, woman! LOL

    Kathy-- I think you'll enjoy it.

    Barbara-- You had the same reaction then! :)

    Staci-- I'm glad!

    Susan-- It is a fun series.

    Caite-- I'm glad you enjoyed it, too!


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