When I’m choosing what to read next, I don’t often reach for something in the mystery genre. Sometimes I find them too dark for my liking, or too complicated to follow unless you’ve had the chance to read the entire series. Other times, when a female is the main character, I find that the focus is not on the mystery being solved, but on the character’s fashion choices or love life. This novel was a pleasant surprise. The novel was mysterious without being too dark or gory, and the main character, Tess Monaghan, was not obsessed with her love life or her clothing, but instead she focused on the mystery at hand.
The book was well-written, making it a quick and pleasant read. The secondary characters managed to be interesting without being underdeveloped or taking centre stage (I loved Mrs. Blossom!). The mystery at hand was interesting, and we were left in the dark until the final chapters, when most of the puzzle was revealed. Lippman took the classic mystery genre a step further by leaving the reader to speculate about certain things that happened. There was some information that was not revealed to us (or to Tess), leaving something to the imagination. I really liked how Lippman did that.
The only thing that I wasn’t huge on was the novel’s setting. I didn’t get particularly excited about it being set in Baltimore, but given that the setting was really only a secondary player to what was going on, it didn’t matter that much.
All in all, an enjoyable read, and I’ll be looking up some of Laura Lippman’s other works in the future when I’m looking to read something in this genre.
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