Loving Laura Lippman by Rebecca Howard

I’ll confess--I first picked up a Laura Lippman book simply because of alliteration.  She’s got such a great name; it’s like she was destined to be a writer. And while I wouldn’t describe myself as a mystery or suspense reader, I was hooked. Lippman was a journalist for twenty years and wrote several of her Tess Monaghan novels while working full time.  She began writing full time in 2001.  Lucky for us.  And even luckier for us—Laura Lippman will be one of the featured authors at Chapters: A Casual Evening of Books, Bards, and Bites the library’s annual fundraiser for the Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service, which will be at the Hardesty Regional Library on September 7 at 6:30.. 

The runaway hit of the summer has been Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and if you enjoyed this novel, you owe it to yourself to read Laura Lippman. Like Flynn, Lippman blends suspenseful plots with astute character studies, precise prose, and a dark brand of humor.  Lippman mysteries are nail biting page turners, but not because of breakneck action.  Instead, she builds tension with an uncanny ability to dwell inside a character’s head. She particularly knows how to capture the thoughts, anxieties, and frailties of teenage girls.  Creepy, spooky, haunting, and disturbing are all words that can accurately describe the tone of a Laura Lippman novel.  And, while I absolutely love the Tess Monaghan character, her standalone novels are probably my favorites.  Consider one of these as an introduction to Laura Lippman (annotations are from NoveList): 

What the Dead Know
Interviewing a distressed and disoriented woman who has fled the scene of an accident, Baltimore County police department detective Kevin Infante is amazed when she claims to be the younger of a pair of sisters who were abducted thirty years earlier. 

I’d Know You Anywhere
Eliza Benedict's peaceful suburban life is shattered after she is contacted by Walter Bowman, the man who kidnapped and held her hostage as a teen in 1985, and who now claims to want forgiveness while on death row. 

The Most Dangerous Thing
Once the best of friends until a terrible secret tore them apart, a group of friends are suddenly brought back together under tragic circumstances and wonder if their long-ago lie is the reason for their troubles today and if someone is out to destroy them.  Note:  Tess Monaghan makes a cameo in this one!