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Hon Reviews

"Laura Lippman's first book, in which a 29-year-old ex-reporter named Tess Monaghan turns amateur detective in order to save the neck of a buddy, is two first novels in one: a tough-minded murder mystery and a funny, rueful tale of love and longing. The whodunit part is fast-moving and nicely cynical, but it's the wry subplot (not to mention the dead-on touches of local color) that makes "Baltimore Blues" both entertaining and unexpectedly touching. More, please."
Terry Teachout   the Baltimore Sun

"Laura Lippman is one of the most polished and consistently interesting writers of detective fiction in American today."
Steve King   the Economist

"There's a hard-boiled contender stepping out of the shadows, a dame with the old-fashioned hubris of Philip Marlowe and a thoroughly modern, unruly mind...Tess Monaghan, PI, owns Baltimore the way Spenser owns Beantown. Not only does she evoke the cobblestones of Fells Point and the cracked asphalt of less fabled neighborhoods, she wears out her shoe leather upon them. At a time when fictional private eyes are spending a lot of time in the kitchen (and at the couples counselor), Monaghan is eating in diners, alone. Most exciting, she trumps her counterparts with an appetite for all things topical, meditating with equal concern on skirmishes at city hall and the icy winds that buffet Poe's grave site. She is Charm City personified, sharing a kinship with the toughs of Homicide, with the tender heroes of middle-period John Waters...there's a pulpy little thrill in finding the best mystery writing around within the gaudy, palm-sized pages of a mass-market release. Lippman is a master at baring both the soul and the body politic through the sneaky scrim of a page-turner. She's also created a gumshoe who can crack wise about blueberry pie with the best of 'em."
Elizabeth Pincus   the Village Voice Literary Supplement

"One of the hottest young crime writers in print."
CBS News Sunday Morning

"[A] wonderful piece of engaging and engaged writing: focused, attentive, smart. Though the mystery takes Monaghan to Pennsylvania and beyond, this is a Baltimore book, embedded in the streets, the class distinctions, the political appointments and the ethnic neighborhoods that link congressional hopefuls with kids cruising the street for johns, and make people strangers to others who live around the corner.

"In Lippman's hands, the very overused crew of friends and family who aid the detective --the well-heeled Whitney, the news reporters and cops, Monaghan's lover Crow and her father with his old-time political connections -- is one of the most convincing, least sentimentally assembled gangs of accomplices you'll find in the detective genre. And the story itself builds in a quiet way from the search for the dead girl's identity to a grandmother's destructive loyalty to her violent kin. It's a moving, sad feast of a book."
Paul Skenazy  the Washington Post
on "The Sugar House"

"Again, yes! to Tess."
James Bready   The Sun

"What makes "The Sugar House" so satisfying is the complexity of plot and character. This is the fifth entry in an already admirable mystery series, and Lippman and Tess make the deserved transition from paperback to hardcover with ease. Both just keep getting better."
Nancy Pate   Orlando Sentinel

"Laura Lippman tells a good story...this is her best book, funny, sad compassionate, and well-written...The Sugar House is compulsive yet thoughtful reading."
Robin Winks   Boston Globe

"In this series, Lippman has developed sturdy tales, wry humor, and snappy dialogue wrapped around an insider's view of Baltimore...[The Sugar House] works equally well as a traditional private-eye novel or as a hip, modern novel about contemporary issues."
Oline Cogdill   Sun-Sentinel

"[A] perfectly good mystery, but even more, it's an homage to the city of Baltimore. As seen through the eyes of PI Monaghan, the city is celebrated on almost every page, but the setting provides more than just ambience... Readers won't be able to resist Tess, who, like one of Baltimore's famous crabs, sports a tough shell that hides a sweet center."
Jenny McLarin   Booklist
on "In a Strange City"

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