Tess Monaghan, Baltimore reporter turned P. I., has gotten herself into huge trouble because of her sense of justice. After her friend Whitney's niece is almost ensnared by a creepy internet predator, Tess and Whitney exact hilarious revenge with a household cosmetic. Unfortunately, their little prank backfires in an uncomfortable way, and Tess ends up having to take some anger management courses. At the same time, the plucky P.I. takes on a grueling case that probes into five unsolved domestic violence cases that led to homicide. The collision of these two events hurtles this book to a startling conclusion.

Laura Lippman has always been a consistent writer with a knack for elegant prose, and the newest addition to the Tess Monaghan series bears this out. Tess, one of the most interesting characters in the mystery field today, is constantly evolving. In this book, Tess has grown more jaded than ever before, adding a different perspective to her crimesolving. Some readers may miss Crow, Tess's boyfriend, who is barely in this story. However, THE LAST PLACE, like all of Lippman's novels, is fast-paced, complex and thought-provoking—an excellent read! (Oct., 352 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Robyn Glazer