Another Thing To Fall
A Tess Monaghan Mystery by Laura Lippman
Review: Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is hired to look after the temperamental star of a television show being filmed locally in Another Thing To Fall, the tenth mystery in this series by Laura Lippman.
When Tess is initially offered the job of guarding Selene Waites, the young (and definitely under drinking age) star of Mann of Steel, she hesitates. It's not an assignment she's particularly interested in. But it pays well and gives her the opportunity to negotiate a position on the film crew for her boyfriend's sometime ward, Lloyd, something she probably wants more than her fee. Though there have been a series of incidents on the set, they seem more annoying than threatening to Tess. Until one of the production staff is murdered at which point Tess shifts into investigative mode. What motive could one have for wanting the production shut down, someone who would be willing to kill to get it done?
If just one word could be used to describe Laura Lippman's books in this series, it would be "entertaining". Another Thing To Fall is no exception. Tess is a terrific character and the author incorporates the city of Baltimore so well into these books that it becomes as central to story as any other character.
The weakness here is the plot itself though ironically it doesn't significantly detract from the enjoyment of the book. Much of the time, Tess seems to be along for the ride, having not much to do and even less to test her investigative skills. The other prinicipal characters are arguably more interesting to read about, but, then again, the professional and personal lives of people in the television and movie industry provide a nearly endless stream of ideas for novels. To her credit, Lippman capitalizes on this here with some success. And it's worth mentioning the delightful Mrs. Blossom who provides some of the seriously funny moments in the book. The denouement to the mystery, however, is not unexpected and somewhat anticlimatic.
Another Thing To Fall is certainly entertaining and well worth reading, but equally certainly not among the best of the series.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Another Thing To Fall for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Girl in the Green Raincoat
William Morrow (Trade Paperback), January 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061938368; ISBN-10: 006193836X
Location(s) referenced in Another Thing To Fall: Baltimore, Maryland.
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Another Thing To Fall by Laura Lippman — A Tess Monaghan Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $24.95