Welcome to the TLC Book Tour for Baltimore Blues
Tess Monaghan’s life — like the recessed Baltimore of the late 1990’s in which she lives — is stagnant. On hold. In her late 20’s, her career as a reporter sputtered and stalled when the newspaper employing her ceased publication and she was not hired by its competitor, the Beacon Light. She ekes out a living by renting quarters above her eccentric and free-spirited Aunt Kitty’s niche bookstore and working odd jobs, including for her uncle (who is secretly paying her with his own funds, rather than those of his government employer). Tess is beginning to wonder if she still wants to pursue a career in journalism, although she isn’t pursuing any other career options. She is equally indecision when it comes to romance, having settled into a comfortable yet unsatisfying friends with benefits arrangement with colleague Jonathan Ross, an investigative reporter with the Beacon Light.
The only constants in Tess’s life are her commitment to rowing every morning and her friendship with Darryl “Rock” Paxton, a researcher obsessed with the sport, with whom she eats breakfast each day following their workouts. When Rock tells Tess that his beautiful fiancé, Ava Hill, a would-be lawyer with Baltimore’s preeminent law firm who can’t seem to pass the bar exam, has been even more aloof and mysterious of late than is typical for her, Tess agrees to accept Rock’s generous offer of compensation in exchange for dabbling as an amateur private investigator.