Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
Not going to lie, this one so far is my least favorite of the series. It just drags and it's pretty obvious who has to be the bad guy because we are only introduced to one person who could have done it. Also for a book about Edgar Allen Poe this was boring. I have to admit though, I had no freaking clue the Baltimore Ravens were named for Poe's "The Raven" poem. How did I not know that? Interesting premise, but it just doesn't work.
"In a Strange City" has Tess and Crow dealing with the renovation of the house they bought. Tess has some downtime and gets asked about being hired to unmask the famed Visitor (a man who goes to Edgar Allen Poe's grave and toasts him, leaves flowers, and a note every year) that has become a Baltimore tradition. Tess is outraged about anyone trying to unmask this person so she decides to go with Crow to make sure that the Visitor is left alone. Instead two men meet at Poe's grave, and one is shot to death. With the police involved, Tess decides to track down the man who originally tried to hire her. She ends up running into the police and another private investigator on this one.
Tess is usually on her game, but in this one she gets beaten up twice and not really able to link things as well as she usually does (well not until the end). Tess and Crow seem to be solid, but honestly I needed him in a corner out of the way, he doesn't add much to this book. We hear about Tess's parents, but they are not in this one and her Uncle Spike has moved. So we have some of the usual characters missing and it is felt.
The writing is okay, it just felt like Lippman kept trying to loop in Poe references and it doesn't really work. When you see how Poe is involved I maybe rolled my eyes.
The flow was not good though, the first part of the book really does drag. I honestly didn't think things picked up much until we dealt with a second murder that happens. At this point the book moves a bit faster and it feels as if Tess is rushing to just name the murderer already.
The ending was odd, no other way to call it. I just didn't see much of the point in this. It doesn't help that the so called Poe Toaster stopped being a thing in Baltimore in 2010. It restarted again in 2016 though lost it's flair for the unknown when the Maryland Historical Society picked someone to be the new toaster.