Title: The Girl in the Green Raincoat
By: Laura Lippman
Call #: Mystery Lippm.L
With a nod to Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” private detective Tess Monaghan is confined to her sofa during the final weeks of a high-risk pregnancy. Bored beyond belief, she mopes and watches with great envy the jolly collection of twice-a-day dog walkers she can easily see from her large picture window. As a trained observer of humanity and its patterns, Tess realizes that the owner of a very ill-behaved greyhound, a stylish young woman clad in a green raincoat who dresses her dog in a matching doggie version, has not joined the others for a day or so. When the crazed hound is found running amok with raincoat on and leash and license still attached, Tess is convinced a crime has been committed. Is it her overactive imagination stoked by an epic bout of boredom? As she delves–or, rather, as she convinces her assistant and best friend to investigate for her, she tracks down a husband, married four times (a real Blackbeard, perhaps?), three deaths under mysterious circumstances, funny money goings-on, missing jewelry, an uninterested police homicide department (they never resolved any of the earlier deaths so they closed the cases). Tess’s fiance Crow is worried that she’s making her preeclampsia condition worse, and, it’s true that her BP shoots up every time a new but frustratingly incomplete piece of this puzzle comes to light, but the real danger to Tess is not something the medical profession can treat.