Another Thing to Fall (Tess Monaghan, Book 10) by Laura Lippman

By Laura Lippman

The California dream weavers have invaded allure urban with their cameras, their stars, and their controversy. . . .

When deepest investigator Tess Monaghan actually runs into the staff of the fledgling television sequence Mann of metal whereas sculling, she expects sharp phrases and evil appears, now not an task. however the corporation has been tormented by a sequence of stressful incidents for the reason that its arrival on position in Baltimore: undesirable press, union threats, and small, high priced on-set "accidents" that experience wreaked havoc with its taking pictures agenda. for that reason, Mann's writer, turn Tumulty, the son of a Hollywood legend, is concerned for the security of his younger girl lead, Selene Waites, and asks Tess to function her bodyguard/babysitter. Tumulty's drawback can be good based. now not in the past a Baltimore guy used to be found lifeless in his own residence, surrounded by way of images of the attractive, tricky superstar-in-the-making.

In the prior, Tess has had adequate hassle guarding her personal physique. conserving a spoiled motion picture princess lower than wraps could be greater than she will handle-even with assistance from Tess's icily unflappable buddy Whitney-since Selene isn't really as naive as each person turns out to imagine, and much extra devious than she before everything seems to be. this isn't Tess's international. And those are usually not her type of humans, with their vanities, their self-serving agendas and invented personas, and their remarkably skewed visions of reality-from the series' getting older, shallow, former pretty-boy prime guy to its envious, always-on-the-make cowriter to the officious younger assistant who will be too hungry for her personal good.

But the fish-out-of-water P.I. is all of sudden pulled again in by means of an incidence she's all too widely used with-murder. without notice the wall of secrets and techniques round Mann of metal is at risk of toppling, leaving shattered desires, careers, and lives scattered one of the ruins-a disaster that threatens the folks Tess cares approximately . . . and the town she loves.

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The alley was narrow and gave of the cool of the surrounding stones; the ground below us was wet and foul odors drifted up from the puddles of putrid water and the moldering garbage that littered the ground. We discovered a wooden crate set against the wall almost for our convenience, and I could scarce believe that in this part of town an item that might fetch at least a few pence would not be salvaged and sold within minutes of its abandonment. Indeed, I should not have believed it, but more concerned with Kate, I dismissed my curiosity almost at once.

Old Balfour only relented once his brother merchants convinced him that to pursue this mad course was to risk riot and destruction of all their trades. That this merchant’s son should assert that his was an old family was patently absurd—it was not even an old trading family. And while in those days there was, as there is now, something decidedly English about a wealthy merchant, it was a relatively new and uncertain assertion that the son of such a man could claim the status of gentleman. My declaration that our families were of a piece sent him into a kind of fit.

It was a harsh blow. His family was an upstart, and he knew it. He had earned that most ambiguous title of gentleman through his father’s aggressive dealings as a tobacco merchant, not through the majesty of his bloodlines. Indeed, I recalled that old Balfour had made a bit of a stir among the more established tobacco merchants by angering the men he hired to unload his vessels. Dock laborers have, by custom, always been given scant wages, and they have evened out their earnings through a kind of quiet redistribution of the goods they handle.

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