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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

3.7 (261 )
5 star
 (51)
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3.8 (113 )
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (114 )
5 star
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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
    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 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Mystery lover Southeast 04-23-10
    Mystery lover Southeast 04-23-10 Member Since 2006

    Mystery lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    3
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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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer albany, GA, United States 07-03-14
    jennifer albany, GA, United States 07-03-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I don't even know if I like the book because"
    What would have made The Sugar House better?

    A different narrator


    Would you recommend The Sugar House to your friends? Why or why not?

    NO...not via audible. I will be reading the book myself to see if I enjoy it or not.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barbara Rosenblat?

    I like all the prior books narrated by Deborah Hazlett. I will skip the next book in the series as it is narrated by Rosenblat and then will give the new narrator a shot.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a difficult time focusing on the book or getting into it as I really disliked the smokey, old sound of the narrator...hard to believe her as a 30 year old....sounds like a chain smoking grandmother.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gadagirl 04-12-14
    Gadagirl 04-12-14 Member Since 2009
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    Story
    "Love series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Good story - I really like the development of all the characters. Good depth.


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

    Gave many characters a whiny quality that I didn't care for at all and didn't ring true to how I thought of them after listening to the other books in the series. Other characters just seemed way overdone - very distracting, particularly to start with before I got into the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - not really.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Burlington, KS, United States 11-26-13
    Linda Burlington, KS, United States 11-26-13 Member Since 2010

    RETIRED & LOVING IT.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "GREAT MYSTERY!"

    LAURA LIPPMAN, REALLY HAD ME HOOKED AS THE STORY UNFOLDED. IT IS A REAL AND TRUE CONDITION SHE ADROITLY SPINS A TALE AROUND. I HAVE NEVER READ ONE OF HER NOVELS, BUT SHE DEFINITELY IS A GREAT CONTENDER WITH THE VERY TOP TIER OF WOMEN WRITERS. IT WAS AN ENJOYABLE READ, WITH NO EXPLICIT, TAU DRY SEX SCENES, OR SPEECH. GREAT WRITERS DO NOT NEED TO EMPLOY THIS DEMEANING PRACTICE, WE ARE INTELLIGENT PEOPLE, AND JUST WANT A GOOD, WELL WRITTEN BOOK. BARBARA ROSENBLAT WAS EXCELLENT, AS USUAL, I LOVE HER AS A NARRATOR. SHE IS MY FAVORITE MY A LONG SHOT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline Denver, CO, USA 01-18-13
    Jacqueline Denver, CO, USA 01-18-13 Member Since 2004

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story- but what ever happened to Barbara R?"

    From the very beginning, I could hardly believe my ears. Had Barbara Rosenblat been abducted by evil aliens who just wanted to mess with her voice? I was completely surprised - the voice was almost her, but kind of like she had something extra in her mouth.

    Anyway, I listened to the story and just IMAGINED the voice I used to know. It is a good story, very well written and while not edge of your seat suspenseful, it did hold my interest throughout. This was only the second book I've listened to by this author- and I'll probably listen to more. There was only one thing that I didn't like about the story- it seemed to be filled with too much cute banter between Tess and Whitney--more than would be normal in the real world. I mean, do they have to find something witty to say every time they speak?

    Overall, the story is worth it if you don't mind the narration being off somewhat,

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MidwestGeek Ann Arbor, MI, United States 09-17-11
    MidwestGeek Ann Arbor, MI, United States 09-17-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 11-05-09
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 11-05-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for Me"

    I like Laura Lippman (recommend "What the dead know" but this narrator was impossible for me to listen to. It sounded like someone who smoked for 50 years. I might have liked the book better with another narrator.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
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