I finished reading Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know last night. It deserved all the awards it won last year. Tightly written, well paced, with exceptional character development and a nice twist at the end.
Last fall I read Hardly Knew Her, a collection of Lippman’s short stories. It, too, was excellent, though, as with all anthologies, some stories were better than others. The stories showed great flair and style, and were a lot of fun to read, a chance to watch a master (mistress?) at work.
Fortunately, I was asked to review Hardly Knew Her, or I would likely not have read it. Why not? Because my previous exposure to Lippman’s work was through one of her Tess Monaghan books, which, quite frankly, I could have lived without. The story was fine, but to me the characters and voice were nothing special. Mainstream boilerplate, safely written.
I have a Tess tome on my bookshelf, so I’ll give her another try, but even her stories in the anthology seemed bland compared to their peers. Laura Lippman is a big deal, and deservedly so. She made her name with the Tess Monaghan series. Am I the only person who feels these stories aren’t her strongest work?
Don’t worry about offending me with your responses. I’m twice divorced.