Tess Monaghan Books in Order

The Tess Monaghan books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Tess Monaghan books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Tess Monaghan Books

Baltimore Blues

Lippman, Laura 1997

In a city where someone is murdered almost every day, attorney Michael Abramowitz’s death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer’s notoriety—and his taste for illicit midday trysts—make the case front-page news in every local paper except the Star, which crashed and burned before Abramowitz did.

A former Star reporter who knows every inch of this town—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill—now unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan also knows the guy the cops like for the killing: cuckolded fiancé Darryl “Rock” Paxton.

The time is ripe for a career move, so when rowing buddy Rock wants to hire her to do some unorthodox snooping to help clear his name, Tess agrees. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the Charm City shadows. And Tess’ own name could end up on that ever-expanding list of Baltimore dead.

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Charm City

Lippman, Laura 1997

Reporter-turned-p.i. Tess Monaghan loves every inchof her native Baltimore—a quirky city where baseball reigns, and homicide seems to be the second most popular sport. Business tycoon “Wink” Wynkowski wants to change all of that by bringing pro-basketball back to town—a laudable mission that’s greeted with widespread cheers .

. . and a muckraking front page exposé of his past in the Baltimore Beacon-Light. The “Blight’s” surprised editors are sure they killed the piece. Instead, the piece kills Wynkowski, who’s discovered asphyxiated in his garage with his car’s engine running.

Now the paper wants former newshound Tess to track down the rogue computer hacker whose prank took a human life. But there’s more than cyber-crime involved here—and Tess is about to discover firsthand that trying to stay alive in Charm City is murder these days.

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Butchers Hill

Lippman, Laura 1998

Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it's not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess's greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there's a roof.

Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalizing his car. Just out of prison, he says he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying.

Is the "Butcher of Butchers Hill" at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.

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In Big Trouble

Lippman, Laura 1999

“[Laura Lippman] is quite simply one of the best crime novelists writing today.”—Tess Gerritsen New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman burst onto the crime fiction scene with her critically acclaimed suspense series featuring Baltimore p.

i. Tess Monaghan. In Big Trouble is classic Tess, a case that draws the intrepid investigator from Charm City to Texas to help an ex-lover in peril. Lippman’s novels have won the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Shamus—every major award, in fact, given for American mystery fiction.

In Big Trouble is a prime example of the storytelling artistry that has won Laura Lippman the admiration of critics and peers alike, from Tess Gerritsen to Harlan Coben (“I love her books”).

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The Sugar House

Lippman, Laura 2000

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan must solve one of the most baffling murders in her PI career.When Tess Monaghan agrees to talk to Ruthie Dembrow, she senses she’ll regret it. If there’s anything Tess has learned in her work both as a newspaper reporter and then as a PI, it’s to trust your instincts.

Still, she can’t deny she’s intrigued when Ruthie asks her to investigate the fatal stabbing of her brother, Henry, while he was locked away for murdering a teenage runaway over a bottle of glue. Henry’s death at the hands of fellow convicts doesn’t surprise Tess, but what does is that he was convicted for murdering a “Jane Doe”—something that rarely happens in the judicial system.

No ID was found on the victim’s body, and her fingerprints didn’t match up to any in the national database. How could anyone escape all the identity nets of the modern world? Ruthie is convinced if she learns the identity of her brother’s victim, maybe she can also find out why he was killed.

Tess’s search takes her on a harrowing journey from Baltimore’s exclusive Inner Harbor to the seedy neighborhood of Locust Point. But it’s the shocking discovery of the runaway’s true identity that turns Tess’s hunt deadly. Suddenly, her supposedly solved murder case keeps turning up newer, fresher corpses and scarier versions of the Sugar House—places that look so sweet and safe, but only from the outside.

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In a Strange City

Lippman, Laura 2001

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan must put her PI skills to the ultimate test when she falls into the crosshairs of a psychopath who knows everything about her.For the past fifty years on the birth date of Edgar Allan Poe, a person wearing a cloak has placed three roses and a half bottle of cognac on the writer’s gravesite.

PI Tess Monaghan has never witnessed the event. But when John P. Kennedy, an eccentric antiques dealer, asks her to uncover the identity of the caped visitor, who he believes has duped him with the sale of an inauthentic antique, Tess decides to hold vigil on the night the cloaked stranger is expected to make an appearance.

But the custom takes on a bizarre, fatal twist when two cloaked figures arrive. The imitator leaves his tribute and then makes his escape…after shooting the first visitor. Warning bells tell Tess to steer clear of this case. But when roses and cognac appear on her doorstep, Tess’s curiosity is piqued.

She soon discovers that John P. Kennedy has vanished into thin air and much of what he told her was questionable. Then the identity of the shooting victim comes to light, and all clues seem to point to the possibility he was the target of a hate crime.

But Tess isn’t convinced. What was his connection to the decades-long Edgar Allan Poe tradition and to the killer? When more cryptic clues are left at her home, Tess realizes that someone is watching her every move...someone who’s bent on killing again.

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The Last Place

Lippman, Laura 2002

When New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan investigates five cold case murders, she doesn’t expect the investigation to become personal…Tess Monaghan agrees to look into a series of unsolved homicides that date back over the past six years despite the fact that the assignment originates from a troubling source: wealthy Baltimore benefactor Luisa O’Neal, who was both instrumental in launching Tess’s present career and intimately connected with the murder of Tess’s former boyfriend.

Apart from the suspicion that each death was the result of domestic violence, nothing else seems to connect them. Five lives—four women, one man—ended in various ways. The only thing the five cases seem to have is that they are now ice cold. Tess’ search for the connecting threads takes her beyond the Charm City limits and into dangerously unfamiliar territory.

With the help of a police officer obsessed with bringing a murderer down, she follows scant leads into the remotest corners of Maryland, where a psychopath can hide as easily in the fabric of a tiny, rough-hewn fishing community as in the alleys and shadows of bustling Baltimore.

As she strays far from everything that’s familiar and safe in her life, Tess is suddenly cast into a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with an ingenious slayer who changes identities as often and effortlessly as clothing. But at last, a single link to the murders emerges.

Unfortunately, it's Tess. 

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By a Spider's Thread

Lippman, Laura 2004

New York Times BestsellerAward-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—must track down a missing wife and unravel the secrets in her marriage that led her to flee.

“A hair raising ride.”—Boston GlobeMark Rubin's family is missing—and the police won't get involved because all the evidence indicates that his wife left willingly. So the successful Baltimore furrier turns to Tess Monaghan, hoping she can help him find his wife and three children.

Tess doesn't quite know what to make of Rubin, who doles out vitally important information in grudging dribs and drabs. According to her client, he and his beautiful wife, Natalie, had a flawless, happy marriage. Yet one day, without any warning or explanation, Natalie gathered up their children and vanished.

Tapping into a network of fellow investigators spread across the country, Tess is soon able to locate the runaway wife and the children who have been moving furtively from state to state, town to town. But the Rubins are not alone. A mysterious man is traveling with them, a stranger described by witnesses as "handsome" and "charming" but otherwise unremarkable.

And the deeper Tess digs, the more she suspects that the motive behind Natalie's reckless flight lies somewhere in the gap between what Rubin will not say and what he refuses to believe.An intricate web of betrayal and vengeance is already beginning to unfold, as memory begets rage, and rage begets desperation…and murder.

Suddenly, much more than one man's future happiness and stubborn pride are in peril. For the lives of three innocent children are dangling by the slenderest of threads.  

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No Good Deeds

Lippman, Laura 2006

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan finds herself facing the most complicated case of her career…When Tess Monaghan begins her new gig as a consultant to the local newspaper, she’s handed the case of an unsolved homicide of a young federal prosecutor.

But she never dreams the key to the sensational homicide will fall into her lap when her boyfriend, Crow, brings home a street kid—a juvenile con artist who unwittingly holds a crucial clue in the prosecutor’s murder.Tess agrees to protect the boy’s identity no matter what, especially when one of his friends is killed in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity.

But as she soon discovers, her ethical decision to protect him has dire consequences. And with federal agents determined to learn the boy’s name at any cost, Tess finds out just how far even official authorities will go to get what they want.It isn’t long before Tess finds herself facing felony charges.

To make matters worse, Crow has gone into hiding with his young protégé. So Tess can’t deliver the kid to investigators even if she wants to. Now her only recourse is to get to the heart of the sordid and deadly affair while they're all still free.

..and still breathing. 

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Another Thing to Fall

Lippman, Laura 2008

New York Times BestsellerAward-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—must protect an up-and-coming Hollywood actress, but when murder strikes on a TV set, the unflappable PI discovers everyone’s got a secret.

“[A] welcome addition to Tess Monaghan’s adventures and an insightful look at the desperation that drives those grasping for a shot at fame and those who will do anything to keep it.”—San Francisco ChronicleWhen private investigator Tess Monaghan literally runs into the crew of the fledgling TV series Mann of Steel while sculling, she expects sharp words and evil looks, not an assignment.

But the company has been plagued by a series of disturbing incidents since its arrival on location in Baltimore: bad press, union threats, and small, costly on-set "accidents" that have wreaked havoc with its shooting schedule. As a result, Mann's creator, Flip Tumulty, the son of a Hollywood legend, is worried for the safety of his young female lead, Selene Waites, and asks Tess to serve as her bodyguard.

Tumulty's concern may be well founded. Recently, a Baltimore man was discovered dead in his home, surrounded by photos of the beautiful—if difficult—aspiring star.In the past, Tess has had enough trouble guarding her own body. Keeping a spoiled movie princess under wraps may be more than she can handle since Selene is not as naive as everyone seems to think, and instead is quite devious.

Once Tess gets a taste of this world of make-believe—with their vanities, their self-serving agendas, and their remarkably skewed visions of reality—she’s just about ready to throw in the towel. But she’s pulled back in when a grisly on-set murder occurs, threatening to topple the wall of secrets surrounding Mann of Steel as lives, dreams, and careers are scattered among the ruins.

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The Girl in the Green Raincoat

Lippman, Laura 2008

In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile. Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes .

. . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day. Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen. Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker's abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom.

But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora's box of past crimes and troubling deaths . . . and she's not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child's. Previously serialized in the New York Times, and now published in book form for the very first time, The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a masterful Hitchcockian thriller from one of the very best in the business: multiple award-winner Laura Lippman.

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The Book Thing

Lippman, Laura 2012

A thief targets a local bookstore and it will take a bibliophile PI to save the shop. Tess Monaghan wants to like the Children’s Bookstore. It’s bright, cozy, and packed with the kinds of books that she is dying for her daughter to fall in love with.

But no matter how badly she wants to support this adorable local business, the owner’s attitude stops her in her tracks. What kind of children’s bookseller hates children? What’s eating Octavia, the grouchy owner, is more than the pressures of running a small business.

Each Saturday, someone steals a stack of her priciest, most beautiful children’s books, and the expense threatens to force her fledgling store out of business. Luckily, Tess is more than a book lover—she’s a private investigator who doesn’t mind working pro bono to help out an independent bookshop.

Her simple act of kindness will make Octavia smile for the first time in months—and uncover a crime more suitable for the mystery aisle than the children’s section.The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.

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Hush Hush

Lippman, Laura 2015

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman plunges Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan into a twisted and disturbing case.Tess Monaghan has encountered almost every possible criminal motive throughout her career: greed, revenge, jealousy, rage.

But there are crimes that defy all attempts at understanding, where a search for motive seems pointless.Melisandre Harris Dawes committed such a crime. Found not guilty by reason of insanity, she fled the country, leaving her two daughters with their father.

Twelve years later, she’s back in Baltimore, and Tess is asked to provide security detail while Melisandre films a documentary about her attempts to reconcile with her now teenaged children.Tess, juggling work with caring for her demanding toddler, is uneasy about the case.

Still, Melisandre’s lawyer is family. And there is something about the woman herself—confident, beautiful, shrewdly intelligent—that draws Tess in. Is she a master manipulator or someone who was driven to temporary madness? Cold and calculating, or a mother concerned for her daughters’ well being? Someone is leaving Melisandre enigmatic, threatening notes.

Soon Tess, insecure about her parenting abilities and receiving cryptic messages of her own, isn’t sure whether she should be protecting Melisandre from harm—or protecting everyone else from Melisandre.When Melisandre becomes the prime suspect in a murder, Tess must uncover the truth.

Doing so will mean confronting her deepest beliefs about what separates good parents from bad, madness from sanity, and what lengths even the most rational person will go to, to protect what they cherish most.

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Publication Order of Tess Monaghan Collections

The Tess Chronicles

Lippman, Laura 2018

Laura Lippman's beloved Baltimore private investigator, Tess Monaghan, has been featured in several short stories, including “Ropa Vieja”, “The Shoeshine Man's Regrets”, and “The Book Thing*”. Another story, “The Every Day Housewife”, provides the first look into the inner life of Tess's mother as a young newlywed in the 1970s.

As a bonus, there is also a "profile" of Tess—bylined by former journalist Laura Lippman-—that appeared in the award-winning anthology, The Line-Up. Available singly or as a collection.

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And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Tess Monaghan books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

Happy reading!


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