From Publishers Weekly
Originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, Lippman's Tess Monaghan novella turns the intrepid Baltimore PI's at-risk late-pregnancy bed rest into a compellingly edgy riff on Hitchcock's Rear Window. Lovingly tucked up on her winterized sun porch, Tess marshals her forces--doting artist boyfriend Crow, best friend Whitney Talbot, middle-aged assistant gumshoe Mrs. Blossom, and researcher Dorie Starnes--to probe the disappearance of a chic blonde green-raincoated dog walker she'd been watching from her comfy prison. Tess also takes in the missing woman's abandoned green-slickered Italian greyhound from hell, a miniature canine terrorist whose anti-housebreaking vendetta offers comic relief from Tess's threatened pre-eclampsia, her obsessive unraveling of a complex scam, and her last-trimester spats with Crow about their future. Though postpartum Tess turns alternately weepy and shrill, that condition won't last, and this entertaining romp leaves plenty of hints of detective-mother exploits to come. (Jan.)
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In Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart played a photographer who spies on his neighbors while recuperating from a broken leg. In Lippman’s latest entry in her long-running series featuring Tess Monaghan, a hugely pregnant Tess, suffering from preeclampsia, is ordered to spend the last two months of her pregnancy on bed rest. And, shades of Rear Window, it doesn’t take long for the curious and incredibly bored investigator to procure a pair of binoculars and start spying on the dog walkers in the park across the street. She’s especially interested in the girl in the green raincoat and her prancing little greyhound. When, later in the week, she spots the dog running through the park alone, she determines to track down the pet’s missing mistress. And what she finds is a guilty-looking husband with two dead wives and a dead girlfriend in his past. In addition to the central mystery, Lippman provides witty writing and a running theme on the meaning of family, and there are also welcome appearances by Tess’ independent-minded best friend, Whitney; her long-suffering boyfriend, Crow; and her ace employee, Mrs. Blossom. Another winning entry in the series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: It’s always an event when Laura Lippman, who has won every major crime-fiction award going, delivers a new Tess Monaghan story. This novella first appeared in serial format in the New York Times Magazine. --Joanne Wilkinson
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