Review of “In Big Trouble” by Laura Lippman

In Big Trouble is the 4th book in the Tess Monaghan detective series. Tess, a Baltimore private investigator, receives a newspaper clipping in the mail showing a picture of her former boyfriend Crow under the headline “In Big Trouble.” She checks with Crow’s parents, and they affirm he is missing. They hire Tess to go to Texas to find him. In San Antonio, she gets involved in a complicated but interesting web of murder and revenge involving one of Crow’s band members, the ethereal looking Emmie.

In addition to the mystery plot, it is very entertaining to follow Tess’s explorations of San Antonio along with her comparisons to Baltimore. The slipped-in travelogue is one of Lippman’s strengths, as is Tess’s humor and sarcasm. Tess is impulsive, emotional, a sort-of-recovering food abuser, doesn’t do “tact” or “chit-chat,” can’t let unsolved mysteries lie, is very funny, and is fiercely loyal to friends and family.

Evaluation: The more I get to know Tess and her family and friends, the more I like them. This is a series I’ll want to keep following. This book won the Anthony and Shamus awards, and was nominated for the Edgar and Agatha awards.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Avon, 1999

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13 Responses to Review of “In Big Trouble” by Laura Lippman

  1. wait! in four, he is already “former”? I must have missed a lot of books in this series…but you are right..it is all about Tess. Well, maybe not all but key.

  2. Sandy says:

    You really make me want to invest in this series Jill. Keep poking me about it. If I can dig my way out of the hole I’m in, I think I’m going to do it. Will have to be after summer, because I can’t lug these books around on my travels. Maybe for RIP?

  3. zibilee says:

    I just came across the last standalone book by Lippman that I need to read, and have already ordered the first in this series based on your awesome set of reviews. I think I am going to love Tess as well, and look forward to getting to know her and her cohorts as well. I am glad that this series continues to impress! Great review!

  4. Julie P. says:

    You are flying right through these book! Glad to know you are liking them more and more!

  5. Barbara says:

    At the library yesterday I ran across The Girl in the Green Raincoat, a Tess Managhan novel, and the cover says, “available for the first time in book form.”
    Very thin book with large print. I’m looking forward to this Tess adventure.

  6. Ti says:

    I’ve only read one of her books so far and although it was okay, it didn’t really make me want to read another one by her. I’m glad you’re enjoying the series though. She’s well-liked by many.

  7. Okay, you’ve convinced me, once I finish the Maisie Dobbs series I’m heading right to Tess. Another great review.

  8. BermudaOnion says:

    Sounds like another winner. I’m curious about when the book came out because that cover looks old fashioned.

  9. I love that you keep giving her books pretty solid ratings…this is a series that I will read!

  10. Jenners says:

    Sounds like you have a new best friend.

  11. Margot says:

    I notice you are consistently rating these books high. That tells me a lot. I have to get going on these.

  12. stacybuckeye says:

    You have convinced me that I am really missing out by not reading this series!

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