Thanks to the folks who have worried about the missing chapter in the serial; it turns out the Times had a special publication this week, so there was a gap.
Meanwhile, although I haven’t been publishing the reviews of Hardly Knew Her here, I got one today so nice that I feel compelled to quote it. Bear in mind, I still believe that good reviews are probably more damaging to a writer’s mental health than bad ones. And I’m not crowing or gloating. But it’s just a really nice review that highlights the stories’ singular connection.
Readers buckle in with high anticipation as each of best-selling Lippman’s mysteries featuring the Baltimore private eye Tess Monaghan appears. But this major-prize-winning crime writer has also crafted stand-alone novels, including What the Dead Know (2007), and now reveals her great gift for whiplash short stories in this top-rate collection introduced by George Pelecanos. Here scams and murders are not the desperate acts of Baltimore’s downtrodden but, rather, the calculated moves of soccer moms, real-estate-savvy suburbanites, and nihilistic teens and college students. In an intoxicating mix of Poe-like horror and the pleasingly bitter irony of Dorothy Parker, Lippman tells deliciously vicious, topsy-turvy tales of women taking revenge for the endless insults and injuries of sexist, selfish men, and, for good measure, of guys who rid themselves of manipulative women. Tess is present, most enjoyably in a hilarious faux interview, while two particularly resonant tales portray Heloise, a sophisticated D.C. madam. Lippman is a class act and a potent storyteller in these elegant, furious, and blues-blasting dispatches from the endless war between the sexes.–Donna Seaman