Reviewed by Colleen Turner

Tess Monaghan, the plucky private investigator many fans of Laura Lippman have come to love, is back in The Girl in the Green Raincoat, originally serialized in the New York Times but available now in book form. Our heroine finds herself immobilized and forced into bed rest after learning her surprise pregnancy has become high risk due to preeclampsia. Not one to lie down without a fight, she feels trapped by her body and her well-meaning band of nursemaids (to include her boyfriend Crow and her best friend Whitney among others).

Forced to stare out the window at the lucky people walking their dogs each afternoon, she can’t help but have her eyes drawn to a beautiful blond woman and her prancing dog walking everyday at the same time, each with matching green raincoats. One day the dog is running around with its collar and leash firmly attached but no owner in sight. Tess’s investigation instincts instantly take over and she is sure something terrible has happened to the owner.

Putting her skills to the test, Tess disperses her friends, family and coworkers to go where her body cannot follow and builds a case that points its fingers at the missing woman’s husband. While trying to connect all the pieces of this puzzle together, she also finds herself pondering the things she has never done before. How does one learn to be a mother? How is she supposed to balance this new responsibility with the hectic career she loves? And why, right when she thinks she is ready to settle down, has Crow stopped asking her about marriage?

As tensions begin to build and the authorities and media begin to take The Girl in the Green Raincoat’s disappearance seriously, the tables turn and a revelation Tess did not expect asserts itself, and puts her and her unborn child’s lives in grave danger.

This is my first experience with Laura Lippman and the Tess Monaghan series. My biggest complaint with the book is that so many of the characters have obviously been introduced and developed extensively earlier in the series and I had the impression of being the outsider late for the party. The plot also seemed a little light for a crime mystery and there weren’t as many twists and turns as I typically like in this genre. Beyond that, I loved Tess’s spunk and found myself laughing out loud while she whiled away the hours during her bed rest. The witty internal banter that she and her friend Whitney delivered made the book for me and I will definitely go back and start the Tess Monaghan series from the beginning to get caught up to speed.

Rating: 3.5/5

Check out our reviews of Laura Lippman’s I’d Know You Anywhere and Life Sentences

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son and pet fish. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.