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No Good Deeds (Tess Monaghan Novel) Mass Market Paperback – February 27, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
Book 9 of 12 in the Tess Monaghan Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Emond has played some amazing characters in the past; her brilliant performance in Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul won her an Obie Award. But she is mismatched for No Good Deeds. Lippman's new crime novel commences with a prologue by Crow, Tess Monaghan's boyfriend. The juxtaposition of male narrator and female voice is rather jarring, but mercifully brief. Emond's strongest suit is her performance of the narrative itself, filled as it is with Lippman's intimate knowledge of South Baltimore and its denizens. Unfortunately, the characters themselves are barely distinguishable: white, black, mature or young—they sound alike. Perhaps Emond was puzzled about how to handle the novel's bizarre plotting—for instance, Crow's insistence on taking home with him the youth who has slashed his tire. It's hard to pay attention to tracking the intricacies of a crime novel when you fear the sleuths need therapy. Perhaps the author is as much off here as the performer. Baltimore crime buffs might opt for a rerun of The Wire instead.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In Tess Monaghan's ninth outing, an impulse to do good leads to murder. When Crow Ransome, Tess' live-in boyfriend, catches 16-year-old Lloyd Jupiter running a tire scam on his car, he takes him home to ensure he has a place to sleep for the night. By accident, Tess discovers their reluctant guest has some intriguing information about the high-profile murder of a federal prosecutor. When Tess turns the information over to the papers, she's assured her source will be anonymous; not so Tess herself, however, and it isn't long before an aggressive assistant U.S. district attorney and two burly federal cops are knocking on her door. To protect the boy, Crow takes Lloyd away, leaving Tess to decide if increasing pressure from federal investigators is worth protecting a kid with a dubious sense of right and wrong. Lippman lets each character contribute a piece to the whole, which makes the story richer, and there's some nail-biting suspense as Tess faces off against what she thinks are the big guns of government. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tess Monaghan Novel (Book 9)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060570733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060570736
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Raymond M. Rose on July 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Laura Lippman is just not getting her due. When the bestseller shelves out there are plagued by hacks like Dan Brown and clones of his books, a great book like No Good Deeds is put on the New Hardback table for like a week then relegated to the shelf. Now, any self-respecting mystery fan doesn't even look at the bestseller wall or the New Hardback table. We go straight for the section and start browsing the shelf. Still, I would like to see Lippman reached by more than die-hard mystery fans.

She deserves to be read by everyone. And here's why:

1) Tess. As main characters go, she's a great heroine and a full-rounded character. This isn't some character (like Jack Ryan, for example) that's been in so many books that they've become rounded by no fault of the writer because they've had the guy do everything from analyst to Pope (joke there). Tess has been dynamic, exciting, puzzling, troubled, funny, and entertaining since the first book. It just happens that her characterization gets better with each book (we'll get to more of that later on).

2) Side characters. Like JK Rowling, Laura Lippman knows that readers love good side characters. Where would the Harry Potter books be without Ron and Hermione. Same can be said for Crow, Tyner, Kitty, Whitney (who I think I love a little), and other characters that I'm forgetting and I apologize. Laura gives us great, dynamic side characters to populate her world and they are a joy to come back to again and again. also, her addition of new characters in each book is great. Each character in No Good Deeds is spot on from the Feds to the eager-beaver district attorney to Lloyd.

3) Baltimore. Her city is the second main character.
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Format: Hardcover
As Laura Lippman notes on the second page of her latest mystery, "Tiny Town is, in fact, one of Baltimore's many nicknames -- along with Charm City and Mobtown -- and perhaps the most appropriate. Day in, day out, it's one degree of separation here in Smalltimore, an urban Mayberry where everyone knows everyone. Then you read the newspaper and rediscover that there are really two Baltimores. Rich and poor. White and black."

"No Good Deeds" shows what happens when these worlds intersect, as they do amazingly often. A teenager named Lloyd Jupiter knows more than he should about the murder of a U.S. attorney. News junkies will immediately recognize the real-life analog to the bizarre stabbing death of federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna, which Lippman acknowledges as her inspiration in an author's note.

Crow Ransome brings Lloyd home after catching him involved in a tire-slashing scam. His girlfriend, private investigator Tess Monaghan, finds the kid to be a bit shady, but turns his story over to the local paper. Publication of the information backfires, and those in charge of finding Luna's killers prove to have agendas of their own.

Lippman's latest mystery will delight not only her regular Tess Monaghan fans but perhaps a wider audience that really should include most fiction buyers in Baltimore and environs. (As further evidence of Lippman's observations about Smalltimore, a disclaimer: Laura and I worked for the same employer years ago.) Laura really captures not only the city but its leading newspaper (where only the biggest murders rate more than two paragraphs), as well as the city's police, and most of all Mobtown's underclass and their ingenuity in pursuing petty crime and grifting.
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Format: Hardcover
Laura Lippman's ninth Tess Monaghan novel, "No Good Deeds", is an assured polished work.

It is finely crafted suspense populated with realistic characters that are worth caring about.

PI Tess Monaghan lands a consulting job with her former employer, Baltimore's Beacon Light.

The murder of a Federal prosecutor grabs Tess's attention. It starts out as an abstract example for journalistic investigation...but grows into much more.

Chance steps in when Tess's boy friend brings a scam artist/street kid home...the initial good deed. It turns out the kid (Lloyd Jupiter) is a link in the murder chain.

Wise enough to know he needs to remain invisible, Lloyd disappears.

During Tess's odyssey of discovery, much seems amiss with the official investigation. Protecting her source (Lloyd), Tess gives the paper as much as she knows...another good deed. This places Tess, her boy friend and Lloyd in jeopardy.

In peril from who is the question.

Tess's life is turned upside down by rogue agents from the FBI and DEA abetted by an ambitious Assistant US Attorney...revealing a wholly amoral world.

The tension builds steadily as the plot strands start to entwine in this notable and provocative novel.

"No Good Deeds" is entertaining and disturbing. Laura Lippman captures the allure of Baltimore in convincing fashion.

It starts strong and holds your attention.

Laura Lippman is the real deal...she writes with poise and flair...must reading!!!
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