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From Nancy Drew to Miss Marple, there’s nothing like a strong-willed female detective. And forget that pompous priss on television’s Deadlinefor a peek into the life of a truly fascinating reporter-turned-P.I., check out Tess Monaghan. She’s the central character of three mystery novels by author (and Baltimore Sun writer) Laura Lippman. In her latest release, The Sugar House: A Tess Monaghan Mystery, our feisty protagonist works to identify a nameless girl whose killer is murdered himself just after he’s jailed for the crime. The search leads Tess from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Philadelphia’s Main Line, and to a question: Why in the world is her own father involved? I don’t know if Lippman will provide that answer, but she will read from and sign copies of The Sugar House at 7 p.m. at the Upper Marlboro Library, 14730 Main St., Upper Marlboro. Free. (301) 627-9330. (ND)