Originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, Lippman's Tess Monaghan novella turns the intrepid Baltimore PI's at-risk late-pregnancy bed rest into a compellingly edgy riff on Hitchcock's Rear Window. Lovingly tucked up on her winterized sun porch, Tess marshals her forces--doting artist boyfriend Crow, best friend Whitney Talbot, middle-aged assistant gumshoe Mrs. Blossom, and researcher Dorie Starnes--to probe the disappearance of a chic blonde green-raincoated dog walker she'd been watching from her comfy prison. Tess also takes in the missing woman's abandoned green-slickered Italian greyhound from hell, a miniature canine terrorist whose anti-housebreaking vendetta offers comic relief from Tess's threatened pre-eclampsia, her obsessive unraveling of a complex scam, and her last-trimester spats with Crow about their future. Though postpartum Tess turns alternately weepy and shrill, that condition won't last, and this entertaining romp leaves plenty of hints of detective-mother exploits to come. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This light mystery novella is a far cry from Lippman's wonderful What the Dead Know: A Novel which is truly unfortunate. Though the parallels with Rear Window are immediately obvious, this book had none of the suspense or thrill of the original. The plot could easily have been worked into a full length novel which would have given Lippman a chance to flesh out these characters enough to pull in the reader; as it was, I couldn't share Tess' obsession with the missing woman nor understand how or why … more