When a murder occurs during the annual visit of a cloaked individual to Edgar Allan Poe's grave, Tess is drawn into unearthing a killer.
©2001 Laura Lippman; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"Lippman's second Tess Monaghan novel is a perfectly good mystery, but even more, it's an homage to the city of Baltimore." (Booklist)
Not a thriller (which is good). The pace is a bit slow, but a rich and interesting mystery is laid out in a leisurely rate. The character development is outstanding. The narration is outstanding and greatly enhances each character, and the city itself.
The Booklist review referring to the "second in the Tess Monaghan series" is not for this book but for "Charm City." I downloaded this from audible hoping for the second book because of that review.
Nonetheless, it's good, hon.
There's something so cozy about Laura Lippman's prose. Her first-person narrator could be somebody you fall into conversation with while waiting for a bus or pausing on a walk in a park to admire each other's dogs. When it works, as in "And When She Was Good," the plot drives the pokey style along. When it doesn't, as in this effort, the narrator becomes tiresome and unbelievable.
A gang of thieves obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe is a fine idea, but Lippman is unable to illuminate why they are obsessive collectors and what it is about Poe that is so fascinating. For a story about obsessive collectors, try Bruce Chatwin's "Utz." It's obvious in the comparison that Lippman is a once-over-lightly sort of writer, and this particular tale needed some depth.
Plus, I'm tired of Barbara Rosenblat. She's obviously a pro, but there's something cozy about her voice. Listening to it, book after book, I'm beginning to feel as though a stranger is being overly familiar. It's like getting a full-body hug from an acquaintance.
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