Charm City – Laura Lippman

My Rating – 3.75/5

Summary –

When “Wink” Wynkowski announces bringing a pro basketball team to Baltimore, people of Baltimore are excited. But a nasty piece of article in local newspaper Beacon-Light kills his plans. Unable to save his crumbling business empire without Basketball deal, Wink commits suicide.  Editors at Beacon Light hire Tess to find out who published the article. Was it ambitious young reporter Rosita Ruiz? Or Was it somebody else? And did Wink really commit suicide?

Review –

Six months after the events of Baltimore Blues, Tess Monaghan is on a sure footing. No more an underemployed clerk in her aunt’s bookstore, she has a full time job, a permanent boyfriend and is on the verge of becoming a private investigator. She is very much interested when her friend Whitney, a reporter at Beacon-Light invites her to investigate how an expose of the tainted past of business tycoon “Wink” Winkowski got printed when everybody thought it was killed by the editors. More so because publishing of that story not only killed Wink’s efforts to bring a pro basketball team to Baltimore but also killed Wink, found asphyxiated in his garage. But Tess also has another worry on her mind. Her uncle Spike has been beaten badly by some goons and is in coma. Spike has left her a gangly greyhound Esskay and Tess does not know how he laid his hands on the racing dog. To make things worse, there are unsavoury characters lurking in the background, keeping tabs on Monaghan family and they seem hell bent to get hold of the dog.

Charm City is a fun, fast read. Tess is more confident, now that she has established herself and got over her past as a failed journalist. Being in a steady relationship with a man who loves her has also helped. But she is still not ready for a commitment. On the job front, she is still learning the ropes. But she is a ‘jugadu’, clever at putting her foot in the door and getting things done. She is also good at talking to people, enticing them to open up.

There are two mysteries running parallel and I wondered for quite some time if they are connected. The mysteries are good though not very difficult. What I really like about the series is Tess’s central character. She is energetic, smart and loves Baltimore. The setting of Baltimore also plays an important part and I think I will soon come to know the city well now that I am following the series. Tess is also something of a foodie and her culinary tests play minor role in identifying murderer.

I certainly like this series more with Tess’s every new adventure and will try to keep it up with it.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.

The book is available cheapest in India at –

1. Homeshop 18 2. Uread 3. Crossword

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