Tess Monaghan, a former Baltimore Star reporter, is unemployed now that the newspaper has closed. When her rowing buddy, Rock, becomes the primary suspect in the murder of a local attorney, she agrees to investigate. Baltimore very much comes alive and the character of Tess Monaghan is likable and interesting. Baltimore Blues is the first novel in the Tess Monaghan series and well worth reading. Laura Lippman has won numerous awards for her work, such as the Edgar, Agatha, and Nero Wolfe awards.