Baltimore Blues

Lippman, Laura. Baltimore Blues. Read by Deborah Hazlett. North Kingston, RI: BBC Audiobooks America, 1997.

Tess Monaghan is an out of work reporter trying to make ends meet with little odd jobs. The only stable consistencies in her life are rowing and her friendship with fellow rower, “the Rock.” She manages to stay out of trouble until Rock “hires” her to do some private investigating of his near perfect fiancee. She has been acting so weird as of late so Rock wants to know why. Tess’s tactics to tease out the truth are less than desirable, so when she uncovers an affair and the other man, who happens to be the fiancee’s boss, winds up dead,  all fingers are pointed at Rock. Of course they do. Now Tess has even more incentive to uncover the truth. Along the way Tess uncovers a whole slew of shady dealings involving a rape support group, unpaid settlements for victims of asbestos related ailments, and a sexual predator of children on death row. What makes Baltimore Blues a likeable story is a combination of things. Tess is far from perfect as a private investigator. Her antics are downright funny. The city of Baltimore is like another character in the book. Places around Baltimore play a significant role in the plot which is a treat for readers who really know the area.

My only irritant? Tess doesn’t know the difference between an attempt on her life and a hit and run. Even though her friend Jonathan is killed in the process, it is deemed an accident and dismissed. Tess isn’t the least bit suspicious until there is a second attempt to kill her.

Reason read: Baltimore, Maryland has a book festival in September. What better way to celebrate than a book called Baltimore Blues?

Author fact: Laura Lippman lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Big surprise, right?

Book Audio trivia: This is one of the few audio books I have listened to where the narrator is American and doesn’t have some sort of accent. Although her Baltimore accent is funny.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called simply “Baltimore” (p 35).



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