Charm City by Laura Lippman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When someone at the Beacon-Light leaks an unfavorable story about the millionaire planning on bringing an NBA team to Baltimore, Tess Monaghan is hired to figure how who spilled the beans. At the same time, she's trying to figure out who put her uncle in the hospital and if it has anything to do with the greyhound in her possession.
Laura Lippman comes highly recommended but two books into her Tess Monaghan series, I'm just not feeling it.
First off, astute readers will notice my teaser differs from the official teaser on the back cover of the book. That's because the back cover gives away the first 30% of the book. Secondly, while the overall plot engaged me, the love triangle subplot annoyed me to no end. It seemed like a step back after the first book in the series where Tess showed no signs of thinking with her genitalia.
All that aside, I did like the book for the most part. Tess ran down leads like a champ and didn't do anything really stupid to advance the plot. The supporting cast was pretty well done and I didn't see the twist at the end coming. I liked Laura Lippman's depiction of Baltimore but it's not up to the level of George Pelecanos' DC or Lawrence Block's New York.
I'm trying to reveal less than the back cover on my edition so this is turning out to be a short review. I did find the revelations into Wink, the millionaire,'s background very interesting and much cleverer than I originally thought. Wink's wife and ex both seemed realistic despite their short time in the forefront.
While I liked Charm City overall, I didn't like it enough to rush out and get the next book in the series and I'm not sure Lippman and I will have a third outing. Three stars.
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