Locals recognize the Sugar House as a stubborn and defiant legacy of the city's past that competes with Charm City's glitzy present. Tess thought she knew it, too/--/until she is forced to take on the most disturbing case of her accidental career.
First there's her client, former barmaid Ruthie Dembrow, who seems to know Tess's father well, a little too well as far as his daughter is concerned. Then there's the nature of the crime she's asked to investigate/--/and its cast of characters.
"Ever heard of a Jane Doe murder?" Ruthie asks Tess, and with that question there's no turning back. Fourteen months ago, Ruthie's low-life brother, Henry, killed a runaway over a bottle of glue. His confession put him away, but no one ever learned the girl's name. A month into his prison term, Henry met the same grim fate as his victim. Now Ruthie wants Tess to find out why.
With just a few tantalizing and elusive clues, Tess sets off on a path that takes her from Baltimore's exclusive Inner Harbor to the city's seediest neighborhoods. But it's the shocking discovery of the runaway's true identity that turns Tess's hunt deadly. Suddenly, her supposedly solved murder case keeps turning up newer, fresher corpses and newer, scarier versions of the Sugar House-places that look so sweet and safe, but only from the outside. And every time Tess thinks she's done what she has to do to protect her family, this decidedly sour case ends up back on her doorstep, ready to claim another life.
Original title: The Sugar House
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Private Detective