The Girl In The Green Raincoat, by Laura Lippman – Book Review

The Girl In The Green Raincoat, by Laura Lippman

Tess Monaghan is laid up at the end of her pregnancy on bed rest, a condition that doesn’t suit her inquisitive nature. She gets binoculars to pair with the books and movies struggling to keep her occupied. Tess gives herself over to musing about a woman in a green raincoat she spies walking her dog. The dog emerges from the park one day without its owner and Tess is sure it’s a sign of foul play. She wants to solve the mystery, but has to rely on her boyfriend and her best friend to get the job done.

I picked up Laura Lippman’s Life Sentences last year and really enjoyed her writing, characterizations and depictions of Baltimore.  I had been trying for the first in the Tess Monaghan series but picked up the wrong book.  This time around I ended up with the last installment in the series. Originally serialized in The New York Times, this was a light and quick introduction in the series for me and I loved all the characters, the engaging storyline, and the technique of the bedridden investigator.  Lippman tells just enough that you get a feeling for who Tess is and where she is in her life and relationships without spoiling the previous books. I still want to go back to read the stories that have brought her to this moment and I really enjoyed that the mystery offered surprises for me, though it was a little rushed at the end.

The Monaghan books are a different breed of book than the stand alone that I read.  I can see how those who enjoy the series, might not find her other works not  to be their cup of tea.  Life Sentences had a much grittier feel with literary leanings and very detailed characterizations.  Based on this offering I would think the series are lighter reads. I enjoy both types of book when the mood strikes, but it is something to think about when choosing which Lippman book to delve into.  Recommended.

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  1. There are alot of Lippman fans out there, but I have yet to read a single one of her books. I do have Life Sentences on my shelves, I just need to get to it. But as a reader of crime series in general, I can appreciate that the author changed it up a bit in this one. It is nice when not every single installment has the protagonist running around after an evil-doer, but instead she takes a “Rear Window” approach in this one. That type of tactic keeps things fresh.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I’ve often found that writers write differently in series than in stand alones. Not terrible, either way but just something that I try to keep in mind.

  3. I’ve been curious about this book, for some reason the title really grabbed me. Glad to see you’ve recommended it, I’ll add it to my list!

  4. I saw Staci’s review at Life in the Thumb earlier. This looks like a great book and glad you recommend it!

  5. I have yet to read Laura Lippman’s work and am kicking myself for delaying on it. I think your recommendation is good regarding which one is grittier and which is lighter, and that you like either based on your mood. That’s a good point and one I’ll make sure to keep in mind when I pick up her books. 🙂

  6. This sounds like a really interesting book. I like the Rear Window-type plot. I’ll add it to my list!

  7. I’ve already got this one on my list to read. I haven’t read anything but positive about it so far. The premise reminds me of Rear Window with Jimmy Steward and Grace Kelly.