Title: Another Thing to Fall & The Girl in the Green Raincoat
Author: Laura Lippman
ISBN: 9780061128882 / 9780061938368
Pages: 352 / 176
Release Date: February 24, 2009 / January 18, 2011
Publisher: Harper / William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Crime Fiction
Source: Personal Copy / Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5
In Another Thing to Fall, the tenth book in the Tess Monaghan series, Tess is hired to babysit the star of a new TV show filming in Baltimore. But when someone starts sabotaging the production, Tess must discover if someone has a grudge against the show or if someone on the inside doesn’t want it to get made.
In The Girl in the Green Raincoat, Tess is pregnant and is suffering from preeclampsia, so she is confined to bed rest. She sees a woman in a green raincoat walking outside her window with a dog and later sees the dog running away without the woman. Obsessed with who this woman was and what might have happened to her, Tess investigates the maybe-case from her bed and sofa.
Another Thing to Fall is just another case in Tess’s busy life as a private investigator. This novel differs from many of the previous Tess Monaghan novels, as there’s only one case running through the book. Usually in these novels, Tess is juggling multiple cases at once, but she’s had a dry spell when the novel begins. So it’s just the one case with the bratty TV star; in other words, if you aren’t a fan of the storyline, there’s no secondary ones to entertain you.
Happily, though, Lippman (as always) does a solid job with Another Thing to Fall. It wasn’t my favorite of the series, but it was an entertaining read, to be sure. One complaint readers of the series might have is that it actually doesn’t include most of the secondary characters developed over the course of the series. Even Crow only makes a minor appearance at the beginning of the novel. Still, it’s enjoyable, and the mystery is intriguing and well-paced.
The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a novella in which Tess finds herself in an entirely unexpected situation: she’s pregnant and bedridden. It’s an amusing novel just for the situation – Tess does not like to be confined to her house. But things get more serious as Tess begins investigating the strange woman who was outside her house. It’s definitely an homage to the classic movie Rear Window; readers (and Tess’s friends and loved ones) will wonder if she’s creating a crime in her head, or if something sinister really occurred. It’s also entertaining to see Tess in the throes of pregnancy hormones, as she’s much less emotionally stable than usual. The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a pleasant, quick read with all the juiciness of a full novel.
With these two books, I have caught up on the Tess Monaghan series. It’s unclear whether Lippman will continue to write about Tess, as she’s been focusing on standalone novels lately, but I certainly hope she’ll keep writing about her. Tess is a great character, and I’ve been surprised how consistently good each of Lippman’s novels about her are. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and look forward to what comes next.
Other books by Laura Lippman: