Monday, September 03, 2012

The Girl in the Green Raincoat

I've been reading reviews of Laura Lippman's The Girl in the Green Raincoat for a couple of years now, and it's been on my TBR list since I first learned about glad that I finally made time to read it over the weekend.  It is a perfect weekend book, at only 158 pages, and the writing and story really make it zip along.

The premise is straightforward--Tess Monaghan, private eye, is on bedrest, awaiting the birth of her first child, and is bored out of her mind.  She observes a young woman in a green raincoat walking her dog every day at the same time, and when one day the dog comes back from the park without its owner, Tess assumes the woman has been assaulted and decides to investigate.  The resultant mystery is interesting, with a twist I didn't anticipate, which is always fun, and Tess Monaghan is an engaging I look forward to getting to know better as this is the 11th in the series. 

I don't usually like to read books out of order, but since this one was the first I heard about, and the premise was so wonderful--with acknowledged debt to Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time and the Jimmy Stewart movie, Rear Window--I decided to read it and see how I liked Lippman and Tess.

In addition to the good writing, great premise, and engaging characters, I also enjoyed the literary and cultural references, and found myself reaching for my iPhone to look up such things as a "shaggy dog story," Marjorie Morningstar, and What a Way to Go! On the other hand, there were enough references that I did get, like Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, that I felt the book was written for someone like me, which is a bit comforting actually.


  1. A private eye on bed rest waiting for the birth of her child definitely sounds original!

    One thing that struck me about your commentary was the use of the internet to look up references in the book. I am doing that more and more to the point where in some ways it is changing the way that I read. How the world has changed in the last few years!

  2. This sounds perfect, even if it is the 11th (!) in a series. I just discovered Lippman last year through What the Dead Know. It was an excellent audio and I've been wanting to read more.