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The Sugar House: A Tess Monaghan Mystery | [Laura Lippman]

The Sugar House: A Tess Monaghan Mystery

Laura Lippman won the Nero Wolfe Award for this powerful mystery. Former journalist turned P.I. Tess Monaghan thought she knew Baltimore like the back of her hand - but what she doesn't know just might kill her in this grim yet irresistible novel.
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Publisher's Summary

Laura Lippman won the Nero Wolfe Award for this powerful mystery.

Former journalist turned P.I. Tess Monaghan thought she knew Baltimore like the back of her hand - but what she doesn't know just might kill her in this grim yet irresistible novel.

Solve another case with Tess Monaghan.

©2000 Laura Lippman; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"A rare find: a puzzle so finely calibrated that each new disclosure brings revelation and deepening mystery at the same time." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (300 )
5 star
 (69)
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Overall
3.9 (144 )
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Story
3.8 (146 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 05-14-09
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 05-14-09 Member Since 2006

    I love mysteries and thrillers the most, sometimes non-fiction business books. Mom, wife, yada, yada, yada...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of Lippman's best"

    I adore this series and this might be my favorite. It is a perfectly woven mystery with layer upon layer. It unravels at a nice pace and kept me interested the entire time. Good ending too. Great character development all around.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Hyattsville, MD, USA 07-23-09
    Karen Hyattsville, MD, USA 07-23-09 Member Since 2011
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    "Sugar House is a winner!"

    I take chances listening to new authors only when read my favorite narrator. This story grabbed your ear phones and would not let you take them off until the last words were uttered. Lippman is now on my list of authors I listen to. I like stories about areas I am familiar with and Baltimore was a great place for this story to take place in. After hearing the book I actually road through several of the areas mentioned in the book. Maryland is truly a beautiful state and I enjoyed hearing about it in this fantastic book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 02-23-09
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 02-23-09 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tess Monahan's making trouble again"

    Good story & Barbara Rosenblatt does a great job of telling Tess's tale (although sometimes the Balmer accent gets a little too thick to be understood). It's got a good plot, but a details of Maryland towns it's late 20th century political scandals bog down the story rather than enhance it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MidwestGeek 09-17-11
    MidwestGeek 09-17-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    190
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    91
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    "Disappointing conclusion"

    The story is told from the point of view of the protagonist Tess Monaghan. There is substantial character development of her and of her father and friends. I liked the plot and sympathized with Tess as she experienced twists and turns, misdirection and progress, roadblocks and breakthroughs. The development of the plot is rather slow, but much of the work of a detective is painstaking, and I liked Tess's attention to detail,leaving no stone unturned. However, the unveiling of the villains and the discovery of the truth happens very quickly toward the end. Further, having followed Tess around living in her shoes day after day, I felt cheated in the end. The author chooses to omit a number of planning meetings with her closest compatriots in order to surprise the reader along with some of Tess's adversaries. No such omissions occurred earlier. To play such a trick on the reader is an insult to the style of the rest of the book. I must say that I did guess more or less how things would turn out, and I was not so surprised by the revelations, but I won't give anything away. I think Lippman's "In a Strange City" was a better story. I think Barbara Rosenblat gave a very good narration, almost a dramatization at times, giving different voices, accents, and flavor to the different characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mystery lover 04-23-10

    Mystery lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Book Great - Narration difficult to listen to"

    I love Tess Monaghan and jumped in right after I finished "In Big Trouble." When I started the book, I honestly could not tell if the narrator was male or female. I came back Audible and was shocked to see the narrator was Barbara Rosenblatt whom I have heard in numerous audio books and always enjoyed. Her voice is unusually gruff and abrasive. Also, her characterization of the major players seems a bit on the sarcastic side, plus, some of the voices sound like they're from the deep south rather than Baltimore. I am planning on going through the series in order, and almost dread listening to the ones by Rosenblatt. I may read them instead. I would say to listen to a sample. This makes me sad. She's always been one of my bankable narrators who is a pleasure to listen to.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn L Northern California 03-18-15
    Carolyn L Northern California 03-18-15 Member Since 2014

    knitter, weaver, spinner

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story, Don't Like the Narrator"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sugar House the most enjoyable?

    I love this series. I think Laura Lippman is brilliant. I enjoy the character development and the wonderful world building.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character development.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator is very talented, but does not suit this story, in my opinion. She sounds like a contralto woman who has smoked for a long time. She does a great job with the "world weary" characters in the story, but everyone else sounds goofy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I love the writing,


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Van de Water 02-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story, horrible narration!"
    Where does The Sugar House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Fairly low, but not because of the story. The narrator sounds like she had been a smoker since God was a child. She doesn't even have the range to voice different characters. I bought this one for my Kindle and will be re-reading it!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was solid throughout.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Barbara Rosenblat’s performances?

    Absolutely not!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure how to avoid spoilers here...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Beaufort, SC 02-10-15
    Becky Beaufort, SC 02-10-15 Member Since 2015

    mommy

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    "New narrator"

    Not a fan of the narrator, but the story was good. I will definitely listen to the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Giorgi Trenton, NJ 01-04-15
    M. Giorgi Trenton, NJ 01-04-15 Member Since 2013

    Tiger Rose

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now this is a good reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Really good. it's 2:30am. I couldn't stop listening. Done in one sitting, standing, walking, bathing. Just couldn't stop.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Barbara is an excellent reader. She becomes the characters in the story and can be true to the characters to the end. Brava!!!


    Which character – as performed by Barbara Rosenblat – was your favorite?

    Tess. The reader made her so much stronger than the first four. So good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Persistence makes it happen.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a shame that this reader wasn't chosen for the books that came before this one. She performs the book. The other reader just read the books. This is soooo much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa M Hall 11-03-14
    Lisa M Hall 11-03-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Listen to the sample before buying"
    Would you try another book from Laura Lippman and/or Barbara Rosenblat?

    I have been listening to this series through my local library, which only had a few of the books. I purchased this one from audible not realizing it was a different narrator than the previous. This woman's voice is so annoying, I'm having a difficult time listening to the book. She is over dramatic and sounds as though she smokes, and has smoked, three packs of cigarettes a day. Others may not be bothered by her voice - so take a listen first. I wouldn't have wasted a credit if I had.


    Has The Sugar House turned you off from other books in this genre?

    The Narrator has


    What didn’t you like about Barbara Rosenblat’s performance?

    Her voice is annoying and inappropriately dramatic


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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