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The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel Paperback – January 18, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews
Book 11 of 12 in the Tess Monaghan Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Series: Tess Monaghan Novel (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006193836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061938368
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about "accidental PI" Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light. Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tess Monaghan is a private investigator who has had some success, apparently, from previous outings in earlier books (that I am unfamiliar with), that are listed in Laura Lippman's accomplished publication list and also with references within this great story (that, apparently, was pre-published in serial form in the "New York Times Magazine").

Tess Monaghan, in her last trimester of her unexpected pregnancy, has suddenly become bedridden until her child arrives, a little as yet unnamed girl that she and her boyfriend have taken to calling "Fifi La Pew". Bored with things being as they are, Tess begins to take notice of things outside her window, and the comings and goings of people from the park down the street. One of these people is a young blonde woman, dressed in a celery-green raincoat, leading her greyhound on its leash, also wearing a matching celery-green dog coat. The timing is like clockwork every day for days and days, both seemingly unattached to each other temperamentally, and the girl always talking on her cellphone, not paying attention to her dog as most pet owners do. Something just seems "not quite right" to Tess about this duo.

Then, the dog shows up, loose on its leash, tearing around frantically without its owner anywhere to be seen. Neither show up again outside, and Tess begins to run with her curiosity...

What follows is one of the best little books that I have read for a while, totally intriguing and thoroughly entertaining, that will also hold you until the very end as it did me. There is plenty of mystery, plot twist(s), shady characters, etc., and also plenty of sub-plot avenues that deal with "people's regular lives outside of this mystery" that give insight into the characters and their situations.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Girl in the Green Raincoat" is a story about Tess Monaghan, who runs her own Baltimore private detective agency. Currently, she is on forced bed rest due to complications in her pregnancy. Bored and scared about her upcoming motherhood, Tess starts watching people in a neighboring park and thinks a young woman she has been seeing walking her dog has been murdered.

This twist on "Rear Window" originally appeared in serial format in the "New York Times Magazine". I didn't realize this and was a little disappointed in the short length, but the story is very good. Since the story was published one part at a time, the author intended each chapter to be a mini-story of its own, all connected by the overall story and also the common theme of love. This is a clever technique and I think it was successful. It kept the story moving at a fast pace and each chapter offered unique observations and insights into the characters. As Tess investigates the disappearance of the girl in the park, she hears stories from friends, family, and acquaintances about their varied experiences about love including love at first sight as well as friends gradually falling in love.

I have read all of the prior books in Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, so I was already familiar with the main characters of Tess, her longtime boyfriend Crow, and her best friend Whitney. I enjoy the character of Whitney, both her humor and outspoken personality and she has a large role in the investigation of this book since Tess can't leave her home. Crow is as sweet and loyal as ever and even more patient and mature. At first Tess's mood and doubts over being a mother and her future with Crow was a bit wearisome. Luckily, her mood picked up and so did the book.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Author Laura Lippman goes from strength to strength in her books. Her stand-alone novels and short stories are increasingly satisfying but there's something extra-special about a new Tess Monaghan offering. The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel is that--sort of. For one thing it's a novella rather than a full-length novel; also, it was serialized in the New York Times in 2008 and can still be found online. Finally, we find Tess about to have a baby. Lippman writes on her website under the multi-layered heading "Serial killer:" "...I believed it would be the definitive end to the Tess Monaghan series, but I no longer feel that way." Thank goodness!

Tess is spending her third trimester on bedrest under doctors' orders. She's desperate to distract herself from her fears of motherhood. Her assistant, Mrs. Blossom, is keeping her cases alive--but the hours weigh heavily on Tess as she watches the world from the sunporch of her Baltimore bungalow. One of the regular dogwalkers is a young woman in a green raincoat with a little greyhound on the lead--until one day the woman doesn't come back from her walk and the dog pelts by with the leash trailing. What happened to the woman? This is a mystery Tess is determined to solve, and she'll have to do it from her place by the window--thus the inevitable references to Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film, "Rear Window." This proves to be a dangerous pastime for Tess, even if she doesn't leave her bed.

Author Laura Lippman's writing and P.I.Tess Monaghan's appeal as a character are never in question, having been demonstrated in ten previous full-length books.
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