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Butchers Hill

von Laura Lippman

Reihen: Tess Monaghan (3)

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6402428,330 (3.58)61
Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess's greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there's a roof. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalizing his car. Just out of prison, he says he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Is the "Butcher of Butchers Hill" at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.… (mehr)
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A real joy. I like Lipmann, but all the Tess Monaghan books are not created equal. Butchers Hill is one of the really good ones. The book is dated -- there is lots of discussion of things related to computers and its funny to hear people talk about IBM clones vs. Mackintosh and floppy discs and shadowy people who have side hustles selling information because they have access to interlinked computer. But its still a great story that resonates. The resolution of the mystery surprised me and there was all the great and complicated family and friends storytelling that makes the Tess books so fun. ( )
  Narshkite | May 8, 2021 |
Third in the Tess Monaghan series.

In Butchers Hill we find Tess has moved. She has her own office and her own pad. She's starting to take in money. She is still tied to Tyner Gray, friend, attorney, rowing coach, who signs a contract with each client Tess accepts, giving her some protection through privilege laws.

Tess is involved in two investigations in this novel. First, the case of Luther Beale. Beale is fresh out of prison for shooting (and killing) a young boy who, with his buddies, had been causing trouble in Beale's neighborhood. He tells Tess that he wants to make amends for the shooting, as best he can, by providing money or other financial means for the rest of the little gang, wherever they are now. His manner, though, is stiff and formal and Tess wonders if he has other reasons for wanting to know where these other grown children are. When some of them start turning up dead, she really has to think this through.

Then there's the cool, beautiful woman, Mary Browne, who wants to find her sister, who had gone missing many years ago. But is that what she really wants? It seems too easy.

Tess has to call on several friends she has made over the years to help her solve these cases, and she is accompanied by her rescue greyhound, Esskay (which I am always tempted to read as "Kess", as in translating pig latin).

One of the side benefits of these novels is that Tess loves Baltimore, where she lives. We go to many parts of the city and eat in many of the restaurants and drink in some of the bars. I feel like I would know the place if I ever visited. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12548989
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Going to applaud Laura Lippman here for tackling race. I was wondering if she was going to do it, and it's slightly imperfect, but I did love her showing how Tess was steeped in privilege and didn't even get how much until she met Jackie (one of her clients with a surprising connection to her) and Luther Beale. I loved how Lippman showcases two different Baltimore's (one for white people and one for black people). I also love the shoutout to HBO's "The Wire."

"Butchers Hill" has Tess single and dealing with the effects of being badly beaten in the last book. She finally opened up her own P.I. firm in Baltimore and is nervously waiting for business to come her way. Her first client is Luther Beale, an older African American man who was charged with manslaughter years earlier when he fired when some young kids started vandalizing his car. Beale is a pariah in his community and wants Tess's help in tracking down the survivors in order to provide them with money to help them out.

Tess's second client is a woman named Jackie that is looking to find her adopted daughter. I won't get into how Tess and her relationship is complicated, but the reveal we get is outstanding. What is great though is that Tess is floundering without her best friend Whitney by her side. She needs someone to interact with that is not her nutty family or her aunt. When Tess and Jackie start to interact, Tess finds herself envious of Jackie's money and clothes, but realizes that even that doesn't change that the rest of the world still looks down on Jackie because she's black.

I have to say a few times I wanted to shake Tess cause her thoughts and comments pretty much shows she doesn't get it when African American people she comes across don't want to have anything to do with her, and she seems to have a vague idea that racism is a thing. She makes a few jokes about the confederacy and I wanted Jackie to smother her.

That said, you can see Tess in her own misguided way, wants to help Jackie and really sees her as a friend. I was surprised by the ending with these two and I think most readers will be as well.

These two cases really have nothing to do with each other besides Jackie helping out Tess with her first investigation and things tying up nicely in the end.

Tess's family shines in this one. You have heard about the bickering and pain in the butt grandmother, now you get to meet people in the flesh. I maybe laughed a few times at some of the scenes and was surprised to see how things ended up with Tess, her family, and some other characters.

The writing was really good and I liked the flow.

Baltimore is still a perfect setting for this series and this third book really comes alive with things. I don't know about the fourth book, looks like Tess is going to Texas and I am sad we won't see her in her usual habitat.

Great read! ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I am liking this series. The characters are interesting and varied. ( )
  RobertaLea | Jan 11, 2020 |
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Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess's greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there's a roof. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalizing his car. Just out of prison, he says he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Is the "Butcher of Butchers Hill" at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.

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