THE SUGAR HOUSE
After her latest adventure in Texas (In Big Trouble), where she saved her boyfriend Crows life, Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan is back in her hometown. And naturally, as soon as she returns, a friend of her fathers asks her for helpinvestigate the prison murder of her brother, who was convicted of killing an unknown young woman.
Tess, with the help of Crow and her best friend Whitney (whos haughty, blond, and boldhearted), tries to discover the identity of the original victim. Their search leads them to a hospital for girls with eating disorderslocated in an isolated Victorian mansion nicknamed the sugar houseas well as to political corruption and secrets from her own familys past. When one of Baltimores criminal families starts gunning for her, she knows shes on the right track, but will she survive long enough to solve the case?
Ive loved all of Lippmans books, but this funny, fast-paced, baffling mystery may be the best yet. Tess is smart, tough, and witty, and her relationship with the younger, post-modern boyfriend Crow is a delight. (Sep., 320 pp., $24.00)