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By Laura Lippman
In this mystery story award-winning author Laura Lippman brings back one of her most popular characters, private detective Tess Monaghan. Tess is hired to provide protection for an infamous woman, Melisandre Harris Dawes, who years ago killed her infant daughter by deliberately leaving her in hot car. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and now she has returned to Baltimore to try and establish a relationship with her two older daughters, who are now teens. She believes someone is threatening and stalking her, so she hires Tess for protection.
Of course things get complicated, and there is an attempted poisoning and a murder, and Tess has to figure out what becomes a very complex case. Tess’s life is a backdrop to the whole story, since she has become a mother, and is struggling to understand how Melisandre could have killed her own daughter, and with the day to day complications of being a working mother.
This novel is unpredictable, and kept me guessing until the end who the murderer was. Motherhood is the huge theme of the novel, and I loved the ending of this book. Not so much how the murder mystery was resolved, although that was fine, but I liked what Tess learned from the case about her life, her family and the unpredictability of life. The whole mystery is really just a way to move Tess’s story forward.
This is a fun, light read, and well worth reading. Even if you haven’t read any of Lippman’s other book featuring Tess Monaghan it would still be enjoyable, and would probably inspire you to read some of the prior novels. The book will be released on February 24th, and you can pre-order your copy today at Amazon.com.