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No Good Deeds: A Tess Monaghan Novel

by Laura Lippman

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No Good Deeds: A Tess Monaghan Novel
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New York Times Bestseller

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—becomes involved in a complicated investigation that will force her to question her loyalties.

“Chilling, insightful, and edge-of-your seat exciting.”—USA Today

For Tess Monaghan, the unsolved murder of a young federal prosecutor is nothing more than a theoretical problem, one of several cases to be deconstructed in her new gig as a consultant to the local newspaper. But it becomes all too tangible when her boyfriend, Crow, brings home a young street kid who’s a juvenile con artist and who doesn’t even realize he holds an important key to the sensational homicide.

Tess agrees to protect the boy’s identity no matter what, especially when one of his friends is killed in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity. But as she soon discovers, her ethical decision to protect him has dire consequences. And with federal agents determined to learn the boy’s name at any cost, Tess finds out just how far even official authorities will go to get what they want.

It isn’t long before Tess finds herself facing felony charges. To make matters worse, Crow has gone into hiding with his young protégé. So Tess can’t deliver the kid to investigators even if she wants to. Now her only recourse is to get to the heart of the sordid and deadly affair while they're all still free...and still breathing.

New York Times BestsellerAward-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—becomes involved in a complicated investigation that will force her to question her loyalties. “Chilling, insightful, and edge-of-your seat exciting.”—USA TodayFor Tess Monaghan, the unsolved murder of a young federal prosecutor is nothing more than a theoretical problem, one of several cases to be deconstructed in her new gig as a consultant to the local newspaper. But it becomes all too tangible when her boyfriend, Crow, brings home a young street kid who’s a juvenile con artist and who doesn’t even realize he holds an important key to the sensational homicide. Tess agrees to protect the boy’s identity no matter what, especially when one of his friends is killed in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity. But as she soon discovers, her ethical decision to protect him has dire consequences. And with federal agents determined to learn the boy’s name at any cost, Tess finds out just how far even official authorities will go to get what they want.It isn’t long before Tess finds herself facing felony charges. To make matters worse, Crow has gone into hiding with his young protégé. So Tess can’t deliver the kid to investigators even if she wants to. Now her only recourse is to get to the heart of the sordid and deadly affair while they're all still free...and still breathing.
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Product Details
Edition Description:
Reprint
Sales Rank:
554,788
Pages:
384
Publication Date:
08/16/2016
Series:
Tess Monaghan Series , #9
ISBN13:
9780062403285
Product Dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x0.79(d)
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
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About the Author

Since LAURA LIPPMAN’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than fifty awards for crime fiction and won almost twenty, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Hometown:

Baltimore, Maryland

Date of Birth:

January 31, 1959

Place of Birth:

Atlanta, Georgia

Education:

B.S., Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1981
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Read an Excerpt

No Good Deeds

A Tess Monaghan Novel
By Laura Lippman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Laura Lippman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060570725

Chapter One

When I was a kid, my favorite book was Horton Hears a Who, and, like most kids, I wanted to hear it over and over and over again. My indulgent but increasingly frazzled father tried to substitute Horton Hatches the Egg and other Dr. Seuss books, but nothing else would do, although I did permit season-appropriate readings of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. See, I had figured out what Seuss only implied: Those Whos down in Who-ville, the ones who taught the Grinch what Christmas was all about? Clearly they were the same Whos who lived on Horton's flower. That realization made me giddy, a five-year-old deconstructionist, taking the text down to its bones. The word was the word, the Who was the Who. For if the Whos lived on the flower, then it followed that the Grinch and his dog, Max, did, too, which meant that the Grinch was super tiny, and that meant there was no reason to fear him. The Grinch was the size of a dust mite! How much havoc could such a tiny being wreak?

A lot, I know now. A whole lot.

My name is Edgar "Crow" Ransome, and I indirectly caused a young man's murder a few months back. I did some other stuff, too, with far more consciousness, but it'sthis death that haunts me. I carry a newspaper clipping about the shooting in my wallet so I'll be reminded every day -- when I pull out bills for a three-dollar latte or grab my ATM card -- that my world and its villains are tiny, too, but no less lethal for it.

Tiny Town is, in fact, one of Baltimore's many nicknames -- along with Charm City and Mobtown -- and perhaps the most appropriate. Day in, day out, it's one degree of separation here in Smalltimore, an urban Mayberry where everyone knows everyone. Then you read the newspaper and rediscover that there are really two Baltimores. Rich and poor. White and black. Ours. Theirs.

A man was found shot to death in the 2300 block of East Lombard Street late last night. Police arrived at the scene after a neighbor reported hearing a gunshot in the area. Those with information are asked to call . . .

This appeared, as most such items appear, inside the Beacon Light's Local section, part of something called the "City/County Digest." These are the little deaths, as my girlfriend, Tess Monaghan, calls them, the homicides that merit no more than one or two paragraphs. A man was found shot to death in an alley in the 700 block of Stricker Street. . . . A man was killed by shots from a passing car in the 1400 block of East Madison Street. . . . A Southwest Baltimore man was found dead inside his Cadillac Escalade in the 300 block of North Mount. If they have the victim's name, they give it. If there are witnesses or arrests, the fact is noted for the sheer wonder of it. "Witness" is the city's most dangerous occupation these days, homicide's thriving secondary market, if you will. We're down on snitchin' here in Baltimore and have the T-shirts and videos to prove it. Want to know how bad things have gotten? There was a hit ordered on a ten-year-old girl who had the misfortune to see her own father killed.

Here's what is not written, although everyone knows the score: Another young black man has died. He probably deserved it. Drug dealer or drug user. Or maybe just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he should have known better than to hang around a drug corner at that time, right? If you want the courtesy of being presumed innocent in certain Baltimore neighborhoods, you better be unimpeachable, someone clearly, unambiguously cut down in the cross fire. A three-year-old getting his birthday haircut. A ten-year-old playing football. I wish these examples were hypothetical.

I'm not claiming that I was different from anyone else in Baltimore, that I read those paragraphs and wondered about the lives that preceded the deaths. No, I made the same calculations that everyone else did, plotting the city's grid in my head, checking to make sure I wasn't at risk. Shot in a movie theater for telling someone to be quiet? Sure, absolutely, that could happen to me, although there aren't a lot of tough guys in the local art houses. Killed for flipping someone off in traffic? Not my style, but Tess could have died a thousand times over that way. She has a problem with impulse control.

But we're not to be found along East Lombard or Stricker or Mount or any other dubious street, not at 3:00 a.m. Even when I am in those neighborhoods, people leave my ride and me alone. Usually. And it's not because I'm visibly such a nice guy on a do-gooding mission. They don't bother me because I'm not worth the trouble. I'm a red ball walking; kill me and all the resources of the city's homicide division will be brought to bear on the investigation. I'll get more than a paragraph, too.

In fact, I think I'd get almost as much coverage as Gregory Youssef, a federal prosecutor found stabbed to death last year. Perhaps I should carry a clipping of that case, too, for it was really Youssef's death that changed my life, although I didn't know it at the time. But I'm not likely to forget Youssef's death soon. Nobody is.

The hard part would be fitting me into a headline. Artist? Musician? Only for my own amusement these days. Restaurant-bar manager? Doesn't really get the flavor of what I do at the Point, which is a bar, but increasingly a very good music venue as well, thanks to the out-of-town bands I've been recruiting. Scion of a prominent Charlottesville family? Even if I were confident I could pronounce "scion" correctly, I'm more confident that I would never pronounce myself as such. Boyfriend of Tess Monaghan, perhaps Baltimore's best-known private investigator? Um, no thank you. I love her madly, but that's not how I wish to be defined.

Continues...


Excerpted from No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman Copyright © 2006 by Laura Lippman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents
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Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
This installment of Laura Lippman's saga featuring vivacious Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan (By a Spider's Thread, The Last Place, et al.) pits Tess and her big-hearted boyfriend, Edgar "Crow" Ransome, against their most dangerous foe yet: their principles.

After finishing a shift volunteering at an inner-city soup kitchen, Ransome finds one of his car tires slashed and meets smooth-talking con man Lloyd Jupiter, who offers to help fix the flat for a nominal fee. Instead of calling the police on the 16-year-old scam artist, Ransome does the unthinkable and brings Jupiter back to his home, where he feeds him and offers him a bed for the night. When Tess returns home, she and Ransome discover that Jupiter may have information concerning an unsolved case involving the brutal murder of a federal prosecutor months earlier. After vowing not to reveal Jupiter's identity, Tess gives the local newspaper the story and almost immediately becomes Public Enemy No. 1 to a trio of ruthless law enforcement agents for refusing to reveal her source. With Ransome and Jupiter on the run and Tess trying hard to stay out of jail, the motives behind the mysterious murder are slowly uncovered…

Described as an homage to Lippman's favorite Robert B. Parker novel, Early Autumn, this page-turning whodunit is a surprisingly touching story about a kindly stranger teaching a troubled boy what it means to be a man. Fans of Lippman and Parker alike should enjoy this Tess Monaghan adventure. Paul Goat Allen Here, Lippman has pulled off the near-impossible: writing a conventional procedural that still feels fresh. It's impossible not to like the complex, all-too-real Monaghan, a strong, wry detective prone to "derailing my own gravy train." How can you resist a tough cookie who is nonetheless sentimental enough to turn down all work around Valentine's Day, which is to private investigators what April 15 is to accountants?
— The Washington PostSmartly plotted and paced, Lippman's ninth Tess Monaghan novel (after By a Spider's Thread) opens with a somewhat unlikely scenario: Tess's boyfriend, Edgar "Crow" Ransome, brings home for the night a homeless teenager, Lloyd, who slashed Crow's tires outside a Baltimore soup kitchen. When PI Tess discovers that Lloyd has information regarding the recent murder of Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Youssef, Tess gives his story, sans name, to the local paper, so the authorities will get it secondhand. After a crony of Lloyd's is murdered instead of Lloyd, Tess receives her first visit from a sinister trio of law enforcement agents avid to know her source. Crow flees with Lloyd while Tess suffers growing pressure, including the threat of federal jail time. Baltimore itself is the book's most compelling character, its uneasy mix of aspiration and decay perfectly suited to Lippman's ironic voice. Crow is the book's weakest link; even a late revelation about his motives fails to make his sudden paternalism toward Lloyd believable. Happily, Lippman's loyal fans won't mind. Author tour. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. Following on the heels of Lippman's haunting standalone To the Power of Three, Tess Monaghan is back in this ninth entry of the award-winning series. An assistant U.S. attorney is found stabbed to death in the car of a young homeless man, Lloyd, whom Tess meets after her soft-hearted boyfriend, Crow, brings him home on a cold Baltimore night. But Lloyd may know something about the murder. Tess gives the story to her old newspaper with the understanding that they won't reveal her source-they don't, but they do report that Tess leaked the story. Lloyd goes into hiding with Crow, but a very persistent triumvirate of law enforcement-an FBI agent, a DEA agent, and another assistant U.S. attorney-pursues Tess to identify and reveal the whereabouts of her source. Things get really sticky until the highly satisfying and surprising ending. Strongly recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/06.]-Stacy Alesi, Southwest Cty. Regional Lib., Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. Trying to save the world one boy at a time buys a world of trouble for private eye Tess Monaghan and her boyfriend Crow. Not content with delivering fresh produce to every soup kitchen in Baltimore, Edgar "Crow" Ransome offers homeless 15-year-old Lloyd Jupiter, whom he suspects of running the old I-don't-know-who-slashed-your-tire-but-for-five-bucks-I'll-help-change-it scam, a bed at the Roland Park bungalow he shares with Tess. The teenager gives Tess the willies, especially since he seems to know something about Gregory Youssef, the assistant U.S. Attorney found dead on the Howard County side of the Patapsco River the day after Thanksgiving. After smashing up Crow's Volvo, Lloyd bolts, but Tess tracks him down and forces him to tell what he knows about Youssef's murder to Marcy Appleton, a young Beacon-Light reporter who deserves a break. How can she know that Youssef's colleague Gabe Dalesio is also looking for a break in the case? Along with Barry Jenkins of the FBI and Mike Collins of the DEA, Gabe will use any threat available to get Tess to name her source-even if outing Lloyd would drastically reduce his shelf life. So while the Feds lean on Tess, Crow hides Lloyd in Delaware, where no one would ever look, counting on Tess's resourcefulness and his own luck to stave off disaster. After Lippman's crossover stint (To the Power of Three, 2005, etc.), Tess is better than ever.
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Customer Reviews (19)
A fine political mystery
In Baltimore, Edgar 'Crow' Ransome takes home fifteen year old Lloyd Jupiter who he met outside a soup kitchen when the homeless teen offered to change his flat tire for five bucks Crow assumes the kid slashed his tire, but counteroffers with a warm bed and three square meals at the bungalow he shares with private investigator Tess Monaghan.---------- Lloyd frightens Tess when it becomes apparent that the teen knows plenty about Assistant US Attorney Gregory Youssef, recently found murdered. Tess persuades the teenager to tell all he knows to Beacon-Light reporter Marcy Appleton. When one of Lloyd¿s pals is murdered, Crow takes the kid with him into hiding in Delaware as he believes anyone associated with the perverted side of Youssef is a target. Assistant US Attorney Gabe Dalesio, FBI Agent Barry Jenkins, and DEA operative Mike Collins demand Tess to name her source or else face the full impact of the law and the illegal contempt of other means they have at their disposal in this post nine-eleven world.----------------- As always in a Monaghan thriller (see BY A SPIDER¿S THREAD), Baltimore is the star as readers see two cities side by side one a depressing putrefying loser and the other an optimistic bright light. Monaghan is terrific as is the Feds who uses extreme pressure including threats to jail her loved ones (similar to the ¿threat¿ to take away Steele¿s adopted Romanian son during the Starr investigation into Clinton) to force the heroine to talk. Crow's interest in Lloyd seems off kilter until a too late revelation explains all still fans will agree that in this case NO GOOD DEEDS rewards fans with a fine political mystery.----- Harriet Klausner
- Guest
June 6, 2006
- Anonymous
May 25, 2011
- Anonymous
February 8, 2011
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No Good Deeds: A Tess Monaghan Novel
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