I seem to be on a Laura Lippman kick lately. This book is actually a novella, a 158 page fun read that is quite unusual for Lippman even though it is a part of the Tess Monaghan series. My copy says "available for the first time in book form."
The story begins with a very pregnant Tess confined to a chaise lounge in her sunroom by a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia and a close call with a miscarriage. Baby Daddy Crow is happily doing his best imitation of Martha Stewart, cooking and keeping house, while harping at Tess to "stay put" and not to work. Since she is fascinated by the people walking their dogs in the park next to her house, he brings her binoculars and she does her imitation of "Rear Window."
Every day a young woman in a celery green raincoat walks an Italian greyhound wearing an identically colored raincoat. The woman talks on a cell phone constantly while the dog prances in front of her and for some reason Tess finds them interesting. Then one evening the dog runs back out by itself and Tess never sees the woman again. Certain something terrible has happened to her, Tess sets out to solve the mystery - to Crow''s horror.
Tess' new employee Mrs. Blossom who resembles her name and best friend Whitney help in the investigation. As she gets involved, her house begins to take on a Grand Central Station atmosphere, and since she must leave the door unlocked (Crow would kill her if she got up to answer it), she's wide open to danger.
I was fooled by the story, but then I was a little busy laughing at the characters and the antics of the dogs, hers plus the little greyhound, and I kept hoping she wouldn't lose the baby. Want to know how it all came out? You'll just have to read this charming little novella for yourself.