12.14.2005

Laura Lippman

I can't believe I've never mentioned Laura Lippman when talking about wonderful writers you should read. LL gets better with every book and she's at her absolute fabulous best these days. I sauntered over the the Mercantile Library to stock up on books for the subway strike and picked up By A Spider's Thread.

If you write mysteries, you should study this book closely. Her characters are compelling, she uses detail to reveal character (show not tell) and she writes so cleanly it's like drinking from a Rocky Mountain stream.

One thing I noticed is that one of her police characters says of another "she's good police". Not "she's a good cop, she's a good officer, she's a good policewoman" but "she's good police". The ONLY other place I've seen that construction is The Wire, the HBO series set in..you got it...Baltimore.

Add it to your reading list. If you don't love her work, you need a tune up to get your synapses firing properly again.

17 comments:

Tribe said...

"One thing I noticed is that one of her police characters says of another "she's good police". Not "she's a good cop, she's a good officer, she's a good policewoman" but "she's good police". The ONLY other place I've seen that construction is The Wire, the HBO series set in..you got it...Baltimore."

Martin Amis sort of did it also in "Night Train:" "I am a police."

Jenny D said...

Yes, I was just going to post that Martin Amis usage, which struck me as completely off at the time but which clearly has some regional currency--I'm sure I've seen that "a police" elsewhere, maybe in Faye Kellerman? (I still don't think Amis got the voice in that novel at all right, though.)

Anonymous said...

Lippman is dating the writer of The Wire, right?

If they had a kid, it would be the crime writing messiah.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Laura's latest, TO THE POWER OF THREE, is absolutely brilliant.

I cried.

And in addition to being a terrific writer, she's a generous, intelligent person. A pleasure to interview.

Cornelia Read said...

Laura's work is stunningly good. TO THE POWER OF THREE, which came out this year, is tied for my fave of all with EVERY SECRET THING, but her Tess Monaghan series books are also excellent.

Sal said...

Lippman is good friends with David Simon, another former Baltimore Sun reporter and creator, producer and co-writer of "The Wire." Might be some cross-pollinization going on.

archer said...

Thanks, Miss Snark--just reading Lippman's blog is a pleasure.

Jenna Black said...

*Sigh.* Yet another book I have to read! Now that I'm addicted to Snark, I have even less time than I used to for pleasure reading, but how can I not read something The Greak Snark so admires? I need to get one of those cute little T-shirts that says "So many books, so little time."

I absolutely love your blog. Usually I don't get the appeal of blogs, but yours is fascinating and often side-splitting. Thanks for taking the time to inform and entertain us.

The Green Cedar said...

Off to the library to catch up on what I've been missing. Thanks, Miss Snark!

janet mcconnaughey said...

In Balmer? That's where you got one POlice, two pleece.

Anonymous said...

EVERY SECRET THING really is a fabulous book. I read it after meeting Laura at the Colorado Gold Writers Conference in Denver a couple of years ago. She taught a workshop called "The Memory Project," and it's amazing. She features the project on her website, too, for all her visitors to participate.

THRILL said...

I love Laura Lipmann's books. There is a sublime clarity of writing--no clutter.

The Gambino Crime Family said...

Just curious. If someone was a mystery fan but hadn't read her books yet, which one would be a good Christmas present?

Miss Snark said...

suck it up and buy all of the books in the Tess series in ppbk. I think there are like five or six. She also has two stand alones that are really really good.

Sal said...

She taught a workshop called "The Memory Project," and it's amazing. She features the project on her website, too, for all her visitors to participate.

The Memory Project

Could writing nudges. Current question regards Proustian moments from the 1970s. Smells of Bonne Bell or hai karate. &c.

Mama Rose said...

I heard her on NPR. She's super witty and I enjoyed the interview. She's on my "to buy" list, which is astronomical, along with my TBR pile. :)

Linda

Sal said...

For Miss Snark's amuze, if she isn't reading Laura Lippman's Memory Project.

In the comments section of the latest, Lippman reveals that she's been reading Miss Snark and the comments thread on this post.