Baltimore: home to Edgar Alan Poe, the Orioles, and P.I. Tess Monaghan, the subject of most of Laura Lippman’s books.
Tess’s live-in boyfriend Crow is a trusting soul, which both endears him to her and exasperates her. One cold night, he brings home a homeless teenager, Lloyd Jupiter. At first, she is annoyed. Then she realizes that Lloyd is unwittingly connected to the recent murder of a federal prosecutor.
As events develop, Crow and Lloyd go on the run, while Tess stonewalls against the feds, reluctant to betray Crow’s trust.
Tess, like so many fictional PIs, has a stubborn streak and her mouth sometimes gets her into trouble. She is not a loner, however, having deep roots in Baltimore. Her loving family and friends are recurring characters, though most of them remain offscreen in this book.
Lippman is quite acute when she deals with liberal guilt and the hard life of homeless teenagers. I think she’s losing some of her enthusiasm for this series, and several of her recent novels have been standalone books.