Tess Monaghan Books

Tess Monaghan is the name given to a series of mystery suspense novels written by Laura Lippman. The books follow the exploits of a young reporter who solves crimes in her native Baltimore City.

Order of Tess Monaghan Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Baltimore Blues 1997 Description / Buy
2 Charm City 1997 Description / Buy
3 Butchers Hill 1998 Description / Buy
4 In Big Trouble 1999 Description / Buy
5 The Sugar House 2000 Description / Buy
6 In a Strange City 2001 Description / Buy
7 The Last Place 2002 Description / Buy
8 By a Spider's Thread 2004 Description / Buy
9 No Good Deeds 2006 Description / Buy
10 Another Thing to Fall 2008 Description / Buy
11 The Girl in the Green Raincoat 2008 Description / Buy
12 Hush Hush 2015 Description / Buy
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Tess Monaghan was a pretty competent journalist. She knew how to follow a story and to grill targets until she got the answers she wanted. But by the time Baltimore Blues, the first of the Tess Monaghan novels, rolls around, things have taken a sour turn for Tess.

Her newspaper crashed and burned and she suddenly found herself without a job. Now Tess has a problem on her hands. She needs to make ends meet; to pay her rent and clear her bills.

And once it becomes clear to her that another position in another newspaper might not avail itself, Tess turns to PI work. Her change in careers comes just as a notorious Baltimore lawyer is murdered.

Most first-time private detectives might have given the high profile case a wide berth until they had properly mastered the art of investigative work. But then Darryl Paxton, Tess’s friend became the prime suspect in the case and he asked her to look into the matter, unearth a few leads and, hopefully, clear his name.

What starts as an experimental pastime that might or might not pay Tess Monaghan’s bills in the first novel explodes into a far more active career than the reporter might have expected.

The Tess Monaghan series follows Tess around as she struggles to get her bearings as a Private Investigator, opens her own office and cements her place in the PI world. Each new installment in the series pits Tess against a difficult mystery.

The manner in which Tess is drawn into the various mysteries that litter this series varies. Sometimes, she is personally sought out and charged with solving certain crimes. Other times, Tess is close to either the victims or the suspects and those personal ties drive her to get involved.

There are also occasions where Tess’ curiosity gets the better of her. When the heroine isn’t chasing down bad guys, she can be found maneuvering the dating scene and trying to maintain a healthy relationship with some of her family members.

Baltimore, the setting of this series, is just as prominent a character as Tess, and Laura Lippman spends a lot of time highlighting the city’s most interesting locations.

Tess Monaghan Awards

Tess has won a Shamus Award, Agatha Award, Anthony Award, Nero Wolf Award, Edgar Allen Poe Award and a Macavity Award for books like Butchers Hill, Baltimore Blues, and No Good Deeds.

Best Tess Monaghan Books

The Tess Monaghan novels are most commonly praised for their engaging mysteries and strong heroine, with some of the best books in this series including:

The Sugar House: Tess Monaghan was doing pretty well when her father asked a favor of her. She had a steady boyfriend and her reputation as a PI was starting to grow. But then her father spoke to her about a friend of his whose brother had died in prison.

The man had been accused of killing a mysterious girl. Looking into the matter, Tess learned that the girl was actually an escapee from an institution called The Sugar House which treated anorexics.

As Tess begins to dig into the Sugar house and a particular bar that the girl frequented, she takes note of all the troubling connections that might exist between her father and the Baltimore underworld.

It isn’t until her parents’ house is set alight that Tess realizes just how dangerous the case has become. Someone wants her to stop digging and they will take any steps necessary to achieve that goal.

The Last Place: Tess was in trouble. Her assault against a potential child molester had put her on the wrong side of the law. So when a wealthy individual asked her to look into a series of unsolved homicides, she was more than happy to accept the distraction.

Luisa O’Neal only hired Tess to look at police documents so that she could spot and highlight any mistakes the police had made. But what should have been a straightforward case leads Tess into unfamiliar territory where a zealous police officer and a clever killer are playing a dangerous game.

Other Book Series You May Like

Another great read is the “Lexie Starr Mystery” Series by Jeanne Glidewell. Lexie Starr is a widowed library assistant in her forties who hopes to operate her own B&B in Kansas. When she isn’t worrying about her children or keeping her establishment afloat, the amateur sleuth can be found solving mysteries and crimes.

Be sure to check out the “Hunt Country Suspense” Series by Jan Neuharth as well. Doug Cummings is an attractive lawyer and horse enthusiast from Middleburg, Virginia who can’t seem to steer clear of murders and mysteries.

What Is The Next Book in The Tess Monaghan Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Tess Monaghan Series. The newest book is Hush Hush and was released on February, 1st 2015.

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