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Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Read Like a Filler Book

Another Thing to Fall: A Novel (Tess Monaghan Mysteries) - Laura Lippman

Not too much to say here except that this read like a filler book in the adventures of Tess and her private investigation business. It's pretty apparent she got some of this plot idea from being married to David Simon. It just didn't work and honestly all of the characters we are used to (Whitney, Crow, and even now I guess Lloyd) felt very muted. 


"Another Thing to Fall" has Tess almost being ran over by a television crew boat. She's somehow offered a job out of nowhere to keep an actress on their set safe. The young actress's photos were found in a man's home who killed himself. But now there are crew accidents and there seems to be someone out there trying to stop production on the show called "Mann of Steel." 

Tess is still level headed and has a high BS meter, however, she kind of stumbles onto what is going on and who is behind it on the set. Her and Crow seem quite comfortable though she's a bit over him letting his "protege" Lloyd stay with them. Frankly I don't get why Tess allows it and I wish someone would tell Crow it's creepy he's adopted a young black man who he thinks he needs to teach about the world. The white savior nonsense in the past two books is a huge turn off. 

There's not much else to say. The book focuses mostly on the writer/director/ on the show who are childhood friends. We also get POVs from one of the actors along with a man who is very interested in the set. It takes a while to figure out how he fits in. Instead of Lippman juggling all of this together, it read like everyone was in a different book. Tess is supposed to be the draw and I wish we had stayed with her mostly. Whitney is only on hand to babysit and I miss kick ass Whitney and Tess doing their thing. We also only hear about Tess's aunt and we get one appearance of the man she married. Same thing about Tess's parents who used to be prominent in the series, we just hear about them.

The writing felt stilted since Lippman is trying to make television writing sound interesting. Going on about sets, the script Bible, etc. made my eyes glaze. I just didn't care. Things got interesting once the first character was murdered, but again, she (the woman who was murdered) didn't feel very developed and also seemed just there to move the plot along. The flow was pretty off. I had to sit and make myself get through all of the parts not showcasing Tess.

The setting of Baltimore feels a bit off in this one. Maybe because we are reading about it via stranger's eyes. Tess has nothing but love for Baltimore and we usually get some history lessons in her quick soliloquies to herself. Instead we have a lot of people complaining about how big the residents are, how their teeth look weird (a la not bright white) and the crime. 

The ending was a mess. I guess we are supposed to cheer new starts for one of the secondary characters even though we know that justice really wasn't done in the case of one of the murders.