Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan #12) by Laura Lippman

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Feb. 24 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K52I7HQ

Book Description

The award-winning New York Times bestselling author of After I'm Gone, The Most Dangerous Thing, I'd Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know brings back private detective Tess Monaghan, introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues, in an absorbing mystery that plunges the new parent into a disturbing case involving murder and a manipulative mother.

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn't sure he approves.

Now that's she's a mother herself--short on time, patience--Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre's lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre's security needs.

As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she's encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.

Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she's been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well. . . .

About the Author

Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.

Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.

Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since. She is the daughter of Theo Lippman Jr., a Sun editorial writer who retired in 1995 but continues to freelance for several newspapers, and Madeline Mabry Lippman, a former Baltimore City school librarian. Her sister, Susan, is a local bookseller.

My Review

I confess; I am a huge fan of Laura Lippman. I have read every book in the Tess Monaghan series as well as every stand alone that Lippman has written. She is good. Fabulously good. Hush Hush is a great addition to the Tess Monaghan series.

Carla Scout, who is Tess and Crow's daughter, plays a major role in Hush Hush. Lippman herself became a mother for the first time several years ago and her first hand knowledge of dealing with a toddler is very evident in Hush Hush. Only a mother could write so profoundly about the everyday highs and lows of raising a toddler. Well done!

Hush Hush revolves around the infanticide of a baby whose mother had been found guilty by reason of criminal insanity. The mother, Melisandre Harris Dawes, is an unlikable, self absorbed, and conniving monster whose family was destroyed by her actions. And now she is back. How many lives will she wreck havoc in this time?

There is something about a well written, thoughtful book that brings me joy. Highly recommend Hush Hush by Laura Lippman! So happy Tess Monaghan is back! Loved this book!


  1. I've read a couple of Lippman's standalones, but I've not ever read any of her Tess books. The cover on this one is kind of creepy. So, could I start at this point and see what I think?

  2. No, start at the beginning. The entire series is so good and you'll want the back story.