The Sugar House

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I enjoyed Laura Lippman’s “The Sugar House”, but I’m only moved to talk about it because it’s such a contrast to Thursday’s Child, the last book I mentioned.  Lippman brings her protagonist to life.  She’s a thirty-year old private eye in Baltimore who started out as a reporter on a local paper.  She’s pushy and amusing, a convincing personality type.  She has a believable one (1) man who is in love with her and there is an occasional attempt by other men to hit on her, totally plausible for any presentable young woman.

The story begins when she’s hired to determine the identity of an anonymous murdered girl, and becomes complicated when she succeeds, with the help of her socialite best friend and a cooperative police detective.  Along the way we explore some feminist themes, including the problem of negative self-image among teenage girls, and become maybe better acquainted than we would like with the sleazy nature of Baltimore politics.

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