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Butchers Hill

by Laura Lippman

Publishers Weekly Tess Monaghan, newspaperwoman turned sleuth, makes it official with a new business as a PI in a run-down section of Baltimore, Butchers Hill. Her first clientsÄan elderly man known as the Butcher of Butchers Hill and a highly successful female professional fund-raiserÄpresent the first dilemma. Tess needs a cover, reluctantly supplied by Client 2, in order to get access to information on the ghetto for Client 1. The process of finding diverse missing persons starts Monaghan and her two black clients on sometimes prickly discourse involving race. As in Baltimore Blues and Charm City, dialogue is on the mark, accompanied by lively observations about female entrepreneurship, adoption, foster home rackets, and quirky Baltimore natives and neighborhoods. A bittersweet, perfectly plausible ending winds things up. (July)

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Library Journal Tess Monaghan leaves her job as a newspaper reporter and becomes a PI in Laura Lippman's Butchers Hill (Avon. 1998. ISBN 978-0-380-79846-9. pap. $6.99). Her first client is Luther Beale, imprisoned for killing a young man he caught vandalizing his car. Beale has recently been released and is looking to make amends. So why are the witnesses to the crime starting to die? This novel was inspired by a real-life Baltimore homicide in which a man shot and killed a 13-year-old boy for throwing rocks at his vehicle. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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