Review of “The Girl in the Green Raincoat” by Laura Lippman

This is the eleventh book of the Tess Monaghan detective series. The author, Laura Lippman, is obviously a movie buff as her other books reveal, and this book is a knock-off of the 1954 Hitchcock classic, “Rear Window.”

Tess, a private detective with her own business, is now 35. She isn’t used to being inactive, but is temporarily confined to bed rest because of a high-risk pregnancy. She lives with her boyfriend Crow, who is “alarmingly in touch with his inner Martha Stewart.” Crow outfits Tess with all she might need to combat her frustration and crabbiness over her confinement, including a pair of binoculars so she can watch the neighbors at the dog park. Before long she notices that a dog has been abandoned, a dog previously walked by a woman in a green raincoat. She suspects foul play, and sends Crow along with her best friend Whitney to investigate.

As Tess does what research she can on the computer about the missing woman, she also worries about what aspect of herself might go missing when the baby arrives. How will she balance being a mother with having a dangerous, demanding job that she really loves? Moreover, Crow hasn’t said anything about getting married; doesn’t he want to? It’s all making her a wreck.

Evaluation: This is more like a novella than a book, and isn’t Lippman at her finest. Nevertheless, it is a must for fans of Tess Monaghan, because of the life-changing situation in which she now finds herself. In addition, other regular characters weigh in with Tess on love, marriage, and parenthood, and this gives us valuable and often touching insights into their lives as well as Tess’s.

Rating: 3/5

Published by HarperCollins, 2008

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12 Responses to Review of “The Girl in the Green Raincoat” by Laura Lippman

  1. It’s tough when a book in a series falls a little flat but I’m glad it at least brought about some character changing…um…changes. :O)

  2. Barbara says:

    I was curious what you would think about this novella after reading the rest of the series. I agree that this isn’t the Tess Monaghan book that we’re used to but I liked it because it was so different. I enjoyed her grouchy attitude (I mean it was understandable) and Crow’s transformation into Martha Stewart. The worries about the future and whether she would be a good mother rang true. It sets the stage for fascinating books to come.

  3. Sandy says:

    Ah, this was the book I spoiled in an earlier comment. Bad Sandy. I love Rear Window though, and I can totally relate with all the anxiety she is feeling over having a baby. I like it that the author is changing it up a little. I’m reading the latest of the Jack Reacher novels, and I was just thinking that Lee Child really needs to change things up. It is becoming alot of the same thing.

  4. zibilee says:

    I have been wondering when you would finally get to the last book, and it seems like that time is here! Although this wasn’t the best of the books, it still interests me, and I would love to read the entire series to see how Tess grows and matures throughout the books. It sounds like a loveable and quirky series, and although I don’t own any of the books right now, I am thinking of buying the first few. Great review, Jill!

  5. Darlene says:

    Too bad the final book wasn’t really good – it’s kind of disappointing when that happens. I still wouldn’t mind reading this series one of these days.

  6. Wow, you really did a great job reviewing this series. I can’t wait to get started. I’ll keep in mind what you said when I get to this latest installment.

  7. Staci says:

    Boy, I really enjoyed this one. So if you say this isn’t her at her best then I really have some stellar reads to look forward to!

  8. Margot says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your reviews of this series. I liked Rear Window too and it will be fun to read this one with that in mind.

  9. Alyce says:

    You’re welcome! Rear Window is one of my favorite old movies. It can still scare me silly (especially if I watch it late at night). 🙂

  10. Jenners says:

    Sounds like it is becoming more about the character of Tess and less about the “mysteries.” I like when a character grows with a series but it sounds like the series itself is getting a bit worn.

  11. Doret says:

    I agree this isn’t has strong as the others but still glad I read it. It originally ran in the NYT, for a few weeks they released a chapter a day.

    I think what happen was, Lippman’s fans were probably wanting a new Tess book so badly, her publishers had to give us something.

    So I consider the Girl in the Green Raincoat a filler to keep Tess fans happy.

  12. stacybuckeye says:

    Thanks for listing the series in order for me!

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