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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Recently read: "The Girl in the Green Raincoat" by Laura Lippman

"The Girl in the Green Raincoat" by Laura Lippman

Tess Monaghan is back!  We only get a novella length story here (originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine), but it is tons of fun.  Tess is in the late stages of an at-risk pregnancy, and is forced into bed rest.  Riffing on Hitchcock's "Rear Window", Tess is fascinated by a dog walking lady in a green raincoat, and then by the abandoned dog.

Marshalling her forces (assistant detective Mrs. Blossom, researcher Dorie Starnes, boyfriend Crow and best friend Whitney Talbot) Tess investigates the disappearance of the lady, who is the missing wife of a husband who already has two dead wives and a dead girlfriend.

Faced with pre-eclampsia, the complicated case, and another dog (the raincoat lady's greyhound from hell), Tess turns weepy at times, as she and Crow question their future.  The case comes together, and the greyhound helps save the day.  We even get a big dose of Whitney helping solve the case, who at the end of the tale proclaims herself "the comic relief".

Tess's supporting case is large enough, and interesting enough, that Lippman could continue giving us her exploits for a long time.  It will be interesting to see how motherhood changes the Baltimore PI.

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