Apr 232011
 

In a Strange City (Tess Monaghan, #6)In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Middles. I’ve been thinking a lot about middles recently because I’ve been going through the final edits of my first novel She. The beginning needed little work (probably because I spent the most time on it in the writing phase), and the ending went fast. But the middle…oy! Why is it middles are the hardest part to write? I wondered that again as I was reading In A Strange City. It seemed to sag there for a bit, and I kind of got lost. But the latter could’ve been because my brain was fried from all the editing and writing I was doing and didn’t have much left over for reading. And then the final action sequences began, and the book picked up. Even the final chapter, the one that came after all was solved and resolved, was intriguing and kept my attention.

The entirety of this book also felt like a middle. It is number six in the Tess Monaghan series, and it feels like it’s between the first part of Tess’s adult life and the rest yet to come. Her personal story is moved along, but instead of there being action and drama in it as well as in the mystery part, all the action is in the mystery. Her personal life does need a quiet time. One’s life cannot be all drama. It’s exhausting. Still, it’s an unexpected change from the previous books in the series.

I wasn’t sure about the title, but I’m guessing it’s an allusion to the fact Tess knows nothing about Edgar Allan Poe and this case is her entrée to Poe and his effect on her native city, something she’d never thought about before. Overall, a decent read.

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