Summary (from Goodreads):
“A thief targets a local bookstore and it will take a bibliophile PI to save the shop
Tess Monaghan wants to like the Children’s Bookstore. It’s bright, cozy, and packed with the kinds of books that she is dying for her daughter to fall in love with. But no matter how badly she wants to support this adorable local business, the owner’s attitude stops her in her tracks. What kind of children’s bookseller hates children?
What’s eating Octavia, the grouchy owner, is more than the pressures of running a small business. Each Saturday, someone steals a stack of her priciest, most beautiful children’s books, and the expense threatens to force her fledgling store out of business. Luckily, Tess is more than a book lover—she’s a private investigator who doesn’t mind working pro bono to help out an independent bookshop. Her simple act of kindness will make Octavia smile for the first time in months—and uncover a crime more suitable for the mystery aisle than the children’s section.”
This is the first of two Laura Lippman stories I didn’t know about. This is made even better (or worse, depending on your perspective) by the fact that it’s a Tess Monaghan story.
Everything about this story was perfect. I love the fact that it’s set around various Baltimore bookstores. (There is a Children’s Bookstore in Baltimore, although it’s not this one, and The Book Thing is also real.)
And I especially love the fact that it’s a Tess Monaghan story. Tess has been gone for ages, although we have a new novel-length installment of her series coming up soon.
This one is just a short story, but it’s wonderful.