Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Tess and boyfriend Crow are maintaining their romance while balancing jobs and family and coping with their precocious three-year-old daughter, Carla Scout. With her PI firm short on clients, Tess agrees to check security arrangements for -Melisandre Dawes, a child killer found not guilty by reason of insanity, who is filming a biopic of her life, her trial, and her attempt to reestablish relations with her ex-husband and her two teenage daughters. A couple of subplots unrelated to the murder of the ex-husband further muddle the main plot, making the overall effort seem strained. An excellent reading by Jan Maxwell saves the audio. Characters developed earlier in the series seem shallow in this tale, and it's difficult to empathize with several new ones. VERDICT Despite this books' problems, the author's fans will want to hear it; recommended for adult mystery fiction collections. ["Strongly recommended for fans of Lippman's previous books, as well as readers who enjoy stories about female private investigators": LJ 1/15 starred review of the Morrow hc.]-Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In bestseller Lippman's searing 12th installment in her series featuring Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan (last seen in the 2011 novella "The Girl in the Green Raincoat"), Tess, now the mother of a three-year-old girl with longtime boyfriend Crow, reluctantly takes a security job from attorney Tyner Gray, a family friend. Tyner represents Melisandre Harris Dawes, who, 12 years earlier, intentionally left her infant daughter in a hot car to die. Melisandre, a former lawyer, successfully argued that she suffered from postpartum psychosis, and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She left Baltimore-and her two young daughters-behind, and moved abroad. Now Melisandre is back, with a documentary filmmaker in tow, to reunite with her daughters, 17-year-old Alanna and 15-year-old Ruby, who live with their father, Stephen, his new wife, and their baby. Tess, along with her new partner, ex-cop Sandy Sanchez, must assess Melisandre's security risks. Lippman expertly delves into what it means to be mad-and more importantly, what comes next. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Motherhood plus murder equals one intense, uproarious, and riveting mystery from a classy crime writer of wit and wisdom. Lippman introduced former homicide detective Sandy Sanchez in After I'm Gone (2014). He returns in the employ of Lippman's signature sharp-tongued sleuth, Tess Monaghan, whom readers haven't seen since The Girl in the Green Raincoat (2011). A lot has happened, namely, her bossy three-year-old daughter, Carla Scout. Tess is now a gun-packing momma, delirious from sleep deprivation and the perpetual demands of a willful toddler and not at all well-disposed toward her wealthy and glamorous new client. Melisandre Harris Dawes fled Baltimore a decade ago after killing her two-month-old daughter and being acquitted by reason of criminal insanity. Now she's hired a struggling documentary filmmaker, Harmony Burns, to record her reunion with her two surviving teenage daughters. Lippman makes shrewd use of the interviews Harmony conducts as threats and revelations complicate Melisandre's plan. With an intriguing cast of characters, stinging dialogue, hilarious moments, and a superbly convoluted and suspenseful plot, Lippman has created an incisive and provocative tale about parents good and evil. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Lippman's fans will rejoice as the return of wisecracking sleuth Tess Monaghan is heralded by an author tour and major print, broadcast, and online publicity campaigns.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Lippman's latest installment in the Tess Monaghan series weaves an exploration of the joys and frustrations of motherhood with a clever and engaging mystery. In the last Monaghan mystery, The Girl in the Green Raincoat (2011), Tess solved a Rear Window-style crime when her doctor confined her to bed rest at the end of her pregnancy. Fast-forwarding three years, Lippman has brought Tess back, now the mother of toddler Carla Scout as well as a full-time PI. She has taken on a new partner, ex-homicide cop Sandy Sanchez (the protagonist of Lippman's excellent 2014 stand-alone, After I'm Gone), but even with Sandy's help Tess struggles to juggle her tantrum-prone daughter, her relationship with longtime boyfriend Crow and her work. The job in question is complex and juicy: Tess has been hired by the rich and haughty Melisandre Harris Dawes, who killed her infant daughter by leaving her in a sweltering car. Dawes was found not guilty by reason of insanity (specifically, postpartum psychosis), but after her trial, she gave away custody of her older daughters, divorced her husband and fled the country. Now she's returned to Baltimore and wants Tess to look into her security. She's also commissioned a documentary on the insanity defense, giving Lippman plenty of room to share her observations on our passion for reality TV and obsession with the most horrifying crimes. Before long, both Dawes and Tess are receiving notes with creepy stalker overtones, and the case takes a nasty, violent turn. Tess' constant worry about whether she's a good mother dovetails ironically with Dawes' fight to win her daughters back. Lippman dives deep not only into the ways women tend to question their choices and abilities, but also into whether all mothers, and kids, are a little crazy. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.