By Laura Lippman
It's a precious allure urban culture. each year on Edgar Allan Poe's birthday a determine wrapped in a dismal cloak visits the popular author's Baltimore gravesite and leaves at the back of 3 roses and part a bottle of cognac. No Baltimorean worthy his or her salt might ever dream of attempting to ascertain the genuine id of the "Poe Toaster," thereby in all likelihood destroying a loved ritual. that is why Tess Monaghan refuses to aid the bizarre, piglike guy who desires to rent her to unmask the customer, who the Porcine One claims has deceived and cheated him. If not anything else, the rejected client's tale has whetted Tess's curiosity—and so the next night she and her enthusiastic boyfriend, Crow, are braving the wintry weather sit back and the graveyard darkish to monitor the unusual, cherished ceremony from a deferential distance. yet in this specific January 19, caped figures method Poe's resting position. One leaves the tribute and escapes into the evening. the opposite dies there, felled by way of an assassin's bullet. Tess sees not anything that the opposite witnesses did not see. She isn't really operating for a person on the moment—and the murder detective who stuck this actual "red ball" is an outdated and unsafe nemesis—so it would be worthy her whereas to prevent this situation just like the plague. yet another person desires Tess thinking about the worst approach. A stranger is surreptitiously leaving her roses and cognac and weird, cryptic clues—someone who understands Tess's conduct, anyone who is familiar with who she understands and the place she lives. And abruptly house is a secure haven now not. love it or no longer, Tess Monaghan is now a primary participant within the murderous drama. and because the physique count number rises even larger, she uncovers hyperlinks in a series of greed, lies, fake histories, and lethal acquisitiveness, a dangerously twisted secret worthwhile of Poe himself.
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Additional info for In a Strange City (Tess Monaghan Mysteries)
Tess asked plaintively, leaning against the doorjamb—or where the doorjamb would be, eventually. ” “Lost track of the time,” Crow said abstractedly, examining the one cabinet that was almost done. Her father had wanted to yank out everything in the kitchen and start over, replacing the original cabinets with modular units from Ikea. But Crow had a hunch that maple lurked somewhere beneath the layers of paint, past bile green, past egg-yolk yellow, past mud brown, past no-longer-glossy white. The kitchen cabinets were a veritable history of bad American taste, circa 1930–1975.
Through this one odd figure, she could travel to the past and back again. Her mind scrambled for the fragments of facts she had accumulated about Poe over her lifetime. He invented the detective story. He married his young cousin. He had been found, wandering in a state of confusion, on Election Day, wearing strange clothes. He had died in a hospital in East Baltimore within a few days—Church Home Hospital, she thought, although it may have had a different name then. Crow would know; she would have to ask him later.
Actually, it had meant both things, but Tess was happy to settle for the latter. It was a small price to pay for being obscure. She could have a brownie after. Now Crow, on the other hand, knew what he wanted, said what it was, and almost always got it as a result. What a concept, Tess thought. And then she stopped thinking for a while, which was Crow’s great gift to her. He was the only person who could make her mind shut down. The old church and its graveyard stood on the western edge of downtown Baltimore, in a neighborhood over-28 taken by the University of Maryland’s various graduate schools.
In a Strange City (Tess Monaghan Mysteries) by Laura Lippman