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Laura Lippman's
A Tess Monaghan Mystery
First Chapter
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SUGAR HOUSESince her debut in 1997, Laura Lippman has won every major mystery writing award for this remarkable series, in which reporter-turned-PI Tess Monaghan and her beloved-but-flawed Baltimore share top billing. Now, the acclaimed author achieves a new level of mastery with a murderous puzzle that centers on places Tess thinks she knows: her hometown and a moving target called...

Locals recognize the Sugar House as a stubborn and defiant legacy of the city's past that competes with Charm City's glitzy present. Tess thought she knew it, too/--/until she is forced to take on the most disturbing case of her accidental career.

First there's her client, former barmaid Ruthie Dembrow, who seems to know Tess's father well, a little too well as far as his daughter is concerned. Then there's the nature of the crime she's asked to investigate/--/and its cast of characters.

"Ever heard of a Jane Doe murder?" Ruthie asks Tess, and with that question there's no turning back. Fourteen months ago, Ruthie's low-life brother, Henry, killed a runaway over a bottle of glue. His confession put him away, but no one ever learned the girl's name. A month into his prison term, Henry met the same grim fate as his victim. Now Ruthie wants Tess to find out why.

With just a few tantalizing and elusive clues, Tess sets off on a path that takes her from Baltimore's exclusive Inner Harbor to the city's seediest neighborhoods. But it's the shocking discovery of the runaway's true identity that turns Tess's hunt deadly. Suddenly, her supposedly solved murder case keeps turning up newer, fresher corpses and newer, scarier versions of the Sugar House-places that look so sweet and safe, but only from the outside. And every time Tess thinks she's done what she has to do to protect her family, this decidedly sour case ends up back on her doorstep, ready to claim another life.

Read the first chapter

Praise for Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan Mysteries

"Smart, sassy and wildly funny."
-- The San Antonio Express-News

"Tess if feisty... And it is a joy to watch her come alive."
-- The Washington Times

"Laura Lippman deserves to be a big star."
-- Julie Smith, author of House of Blues


Twilight Lane, from Avon Books, at The Online Mystery Network,
is produced and published by Newfront Productions, Inc.

Copyright © 1998, 2009 by Avon Books and Newfront Productions, Inc.
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.