The Sugar House by P-HarpercollinsPubl

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A client named Ruthie — who seems to know Tess's father a little too well — asks the newspaperwoman-turned-p.i. to investigate a year-old "Jane Doe" murder and its grim aftermath. Ruthie's low-life brother, Henry, confessed to killing a teenager runaway over a bottle of glue — and, a month into his prison term, he met the same fate as his victim. Following a precious few tantalizing clues, Tess sets off on a path that is leading her from Baltimore's exclusive Inner Harbor to the city's seediest neighborhoods. But it's the shocking discovery of the runaway's true identity that turns her hunt deadly. Suddenly a supposedly solved murder case is turning up newer, fresher corpses and newer, scarier versions of the Sugar House — places that look sweet and safe...but only from the outside.

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									The Sugar House
Tess Monaghan

Author: Laura Lippman
Description

A client named Ruthie — who seems to know Tess's father a little too well — asks the
newspaperwoman-turned-p.i. to investigate a year-old "Jane Doe" murder and its grim aftermath. Ruthie's
low-life brother, Henry, confessed to killing a teenager runaway over a bottle of glue — and, a month into
his prison term, he met the same fate as his victim. Following a precious few tantalizing clues, Tess sets
off on a path that is leading her from Baltimore's exclusive Inner Harbor to the city's seediest
neighborhoods. But it's the shocking discovery of the runaway's true identity that turns her hunt deadly.
Suddenly a supposedly solved murder case is turning up newer, fresher corpses and newer, scarier
versions of the Sugar House — places that look sweet and safe...but only from the outside.
Excerpt

Sour beef day dawned clear and mild in Baltimore.Other cities have their spaghetti dinners and potluck at
the local parish, bull roasts and barbecues, bake sales and fish fries. Baltimore had all those things, too,
and more. But in the waning, decadent days of autumn, there came a time when sour beef was the only
thing to eat, and Locust Point was the only place to eat it."I'm going to ask for an extra dumpling," Tess
told her boyfriend, Crow, as his Volvo edged forward through the neighborhood's narrow streets. The
unseasonably warm day had sharpened her appetite, but then a cold one would have done the same
thing. Just about everything goosed Tess Monaghan's appetite. Good weather, bad weather. Good news,
bad news. Love affairs, breakups. Peace, war. Day and night. She had eaten when she was depressed;
happy now, she ate more. Then she worked out, so she could eat again.But the primary reason she ate
was because she was hungry, a feeling she never took for granted."You deserve an extra dumpling,"
Crow said. "You deserve whatever your heart desires. What do you want for Christmas,
anyway?""Nothing, I keep telling you, absolutely nothing. I have everything I want." She squeezed his
knee. "Although if I could have anything, it would be one of those neon signs you see at beauty supply
stores, the ones that say 'Human Hair.'"Crow started to slide the car into a mirage of a space, only to
realize the gap was really an alleyway. He sighed philosophically. "Locust Point feels like it's at the end
of the world.""Just the end of Baltimore.""Isn't that the same thing?" He was teasing her, in a way that
only he could. There was no bitter under Crow's sweet, no meaness lurking in his narrow face. When they
had first known each other, that almost-pretty face had been lost under a head full of purple dreads.
Shorn now, and back to his natural black, Crow was a guileless little beacon, beaming his feelings out
into the world. She liked that in a man.Unless the man was her father, standing on the church steps,
frowning at his watch. Her Uncle Spike was next to him, chewing placidly on a cigar. Uncle Spike didn't
take time so seriously."Great, we're late, and we'll never find a parking space this close. Look, even the
fire truck is illegally parked.""Just for carry-out," said Crow, who couldn't shake his bad habit of thinking
the best of everyone. "See, there the firefighters are now, with a stack of plastic containers. What does
sour beef taste like, anyway?""Like sauerbraten, I guess. Not that I've ever had sauerbraten.""I thought
sour beef was sauerbraten.""Yes, but — well, Baltimore, Crow." Funny how much could be explained
with just those four words. Yes, but, well, Baltimore. "If we don't get in soon, there'll be a line. The
dinner's late this year, because of a fire in the kitchen. Usually it's before Thanksgiving.""Why don't I let
you out here, and then come in when I find a place to park? Just save me a seat — and make sure it's
next to you."Tess leaned across the gearshift for a quick kiss. Crow grabbed her and gave her the sort of
deep, passionate, openmouth probe suitable to sending a loved one behind prison walls, or into the
French Foreign Legion. Since they had reunited this fall, he was living in the moment with characteristic
fervor. Tess found it overwhelming, exhausting, and altogether glorious.Although the glory faded a little
when she surfaced for air and found her father's blue eyes focused on them in a hard, unapproving stare.
Tess disentangled herself, slipped out of the car, and...
Author Bio
Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman was a Baltimore Sun reporter for twelve years. Her novels have been awarded every major
prize in crime fiction. The first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence, she lives in
Baltimore, Maryland.

								
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