Short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors A thief targets a local bookstore and it will take a bibliophile PI to save the shop
Tess Monaghan wants to like the Children’s Bookstore. It’s bright, cozy, and packed with the kinds of books that she is dying for her daughter to fall in love with. But no matter how badly she wants ...
Short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors
A thief targets a local bookstore and it will take a bibliophile PI to save the shop
Tess Monaghan wants to like the Children’s Bookstore. It’s bright, cozy, and packed with the kinds of books that she is dying for her daughter to fall in love with. But no matter how badly she wants to support this adorable local business, the owner’s attitude stops her in her tracks. What kind of children’s bookseller hates children?
What’s eating Octavia, the grouchy owner, is more than the pressures of running a small business. Each Saturday, someone steals a stack of her priciest, most beautiful children’s books, and the expense threatens to force her fledgling store out of business. Luckily, Tess is more than a book lover—she’s a private investigator who doesn’t mind working pro bono to help out an independent bookshop. Her simple act of kindness will make Octavia smile for the first time in months—and uncover a crime more suitable for the mystery aisle than the children’s section.
Laura Lippman (b. 1959) is an author of detective fiction. Born in Atlanta, she was raised in Baltimore. Her father was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, and Lippman followed in his footsteps, working at the paper until 2001. She used her journalistic experience as a foundation for her first novel, Baltimore Blues (1997), which introduced her longtime series character, Tess Monaghan, a reporter-turned-private detective. Dynamic, strong-willed, and smart, Tess was one of the early exemplars of a “tart noir” character.
Since Baltimore Blues, Lippman has published ten more titles in the series, as well as standalone books including Every Secret Thing (2003) and Life Sentences (2009). She has won nearly every major award for the genre, including the Edgar, Shamus, and Nero Wolfe prizes. Her husband, David Simon, is also a journalist-turned-crime-writer, best known for creating HBO’s The Wire. Lippman’s most recent book is And When She Was Good (2012).
Laura Lippman was a reporter for 20 years, including 12 years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about "accidental PI" Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe, and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.
Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.
Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since.
Biography from author's website.
Good To Know
In our interview, Lippman shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself:
"I can do an imitation of Ethel Merman singing ‘Satisfaction.'"
"I'm not a Baltimore native -- I arrived here about six years too late for that. But I love the fact that I've convinced the world that I am."
"Like my character, Tess Monaghan, I used to row. Unlike her, I was very, very bad at it."
"I've written eight books in my series -- one not yet published -- and a stand-alone crime novel, but my subject is always, on some level, Baltimore.
It's a problem-place, neither northern nor southern, somewhat addicted to nostalgia, yet amnesiac about the more dicey parts of its past. I used an epigraph from H. L. Mencken in one of my books: ‘A Baltimorean is not merely John Doe, an isolated individual of Homo sapiens, like every other John Doe. He is a John Doe of a certain place -- of Baltimore, of a definite home in Baltimore.' I am a person of a certain place, and that place happens to be Baltimore."