Laura Lippman began writing the Tess Monaghan novels, a series about a young Baltimore private investigator, while working full-time as a Baltimore Sun reporter. For seven years, she got up at 6 a.m. and wrote until she had to leave for the newspaper. In that fashion, she managed to write seven books in seven years, leaving the Sun in 2001 to focus exclusively on fiction.
Lippman continued her series, but also began writing stand-alone crime novels. The first of these, Every Secret Thing (2003), was adapted for the screen and filmed last year. Overall, Lippman has published eighteen novels, a novella (first serialized in the New York Times Magazine) and a collection of short stories. Her nineteenth novel, After I’m Gone, will be published in February 2014.
Lippman has been nominated for virtually every award given to crime novelists in North America—and won most of them, starting with the Edgar for her second novel, Charm City. Critics have praised her work for its psychological nuance, with Patrick Anderson saying in 2010: “She is one of our best novelists, period.” And Daniel Mallory, writing in the New York Observer, described her as “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary fiction.” Her stories are rooted in ordinary, recognizable lives, generally avoiding graphic depictions of violence, but never shying away from the emotional consequences for all those involved, victims and perpetrators alike.
A Baltimorean since age six, she returned to the city after college and eight years in Texas, assuming she would never leave. But her family has ended up living in New Orleans part-time and she has fallen under that city’s spell as well. The consequence is that she’s mildly homesick wherever she is.
Lippman is married to David Simon, with whom she has a daughter. She is at work on her twentieth novel, which marks the return of Tess Monaghan after a six-year hiatus.
And When She Was Good (2012)
The Most Dangerous Thing (2011)
The Girl in the Green Raincoat (2011)
I’d Know You Anywhere (2010)
Life Sentences (2009)
Another Thing to Fall (2008)