I’ve been waning to read a book in Laura Lippmn’s Tess Monaghan series for a long time. I saw a copy of Charm City on sale and grabbed it, thinking I was getting the first book in the series. As it turned out, Charm City is the second book in the series. I was quite a few chapters in before I realized that, but it didn’t matter.
Charm City refers to Baltimore, Maryland. It’s a wonderful setting for a detective novel. To me, it also seemed to be one of the ancillary characters. The city has had lots of set-backs, but is always hopeful about the future. Tess Monaghan also fits that description. She’s a tough, tenacious reporter who has switched to being a tough, tenacious private investigator.
Tess doesn’t have her P.I. license yet, but she does have an office in a law firm and she’s had some paying clients. In this story one of Baltimore’s leading newspapers hires Tess to figure out who pushed through a story onto the front page when there was no editorial approval. It’s a controversial story about a man trying to land an new NBA team for the city. It exposes the newspaper to possible lawsuits. Tess digs in to the case,, but has more to investigate when the man dies, supposedly from suicide. Tess suspects murder and digs deeper.
This was an excellent, fast-moving story. There were some pretty intense moments as well as some light-hearted ones. I really liked Tess and most of the characters I met. I’m looking forward to meeting them again in future books. There was a side mystery about Tess’ uncle and a greyhound dog that was also interesting. It was a great way to meet Tess family and gave the whole story a richer quality.
In the end the author tied up all the loose ends which I always appreciate. I definitely want to know more about this author. Overall, I can wholeheartedly recommend Charm City. I liked it so much that I’m off to find the next book in the series. Have you read any books in the series? What did you think?