Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Review: Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman

I downloaded this one from the library after reading and loving Lippman's I'd Know You Anywhere.  It's the first book in her Tess Monaghan series, featuring unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan who stumbles into a job as a private detective when a friend is accused of the murder of a prominent Baltimore lawyer.

This is Lippman's first book and I think it shows.  It's not that it has any major problems, but I also wasn't really impressed with the writing.  Many of the characters felt flat and there were way too many subplots going on.  The subplots did set a good back story for Monaghan, and at some point I'll probably keep reading to see how that back story plays out.

Entertainment Value
Again, I could tell it was a debut.  It just didn't capture my attention the way I'd Know You Anywhere did.  The characters weren't as compelling and it lacked the same depth.  Also, and I hate to say it this way, but I was less intrigued by the crime.  I just didn't find it as exciting, which probably says a lot about how I'm desensitized to murder, but it just wasn't as interesting to me.  

I'll definitely keep going with the series as I have time, but it's not something I feel compelled to follow up on immediately.  It's a good, light read, but I feel like I'll spread the series out over the next few years, not something I'll NEED to finish, the way I do with many series.  I'd recommend it to fans of detective series.  It seems fairly typical fare for that genre.  I'd compare it to early James Patterson (when he still, presumably, wrote his own books). 


  1. This is the hard part of starting with an authors first in a series, they grow which is great but sometimes doesn't make you want to read on.

    And this is another reason why I love stand alones.

    I haven't read her but want to I have chose Girl in the Green Raincoat to start.

  2. I definitely could tell it was an earlier book when I read it too! I really enjoyed her Tess series and I read the whole thing last summer during marathon nursing sessions!