Friday, March 23, 2007

Laura Lippman Day

Declared by Jim Winter, today is Laura Lippman Appreciation Day. As with Bruen Day, I fail to see the point. Laura's friends and fans are legion.

Her first Tess Monaghan book, Baltimore Blues, was featured on DetecToday in 2002, but, at the time, I'd read mostly first-person P.I. novels. I found third-person novels harder to get into in general and thus delayed my appreciation of Laura's work a few years.

Then, two summers ago, I found my mood had changed. I read Baltimore Blues in a few days and felt the same enthusiasm for Tess and Lippman's style that I'd felt for Robert Parker, Robert Crais, Harlan Coben, and others whose work I'd zipped through like an amusement park ride. Tess was the kind of character I wouldn't mind spending eight or ten books with, but I also liked Laura's standalone novels. Precisely because she wrote in third-person, it was easier to shed Tess when I had to and appreciate another of her protags.

I'm glad my reading tastes have broadened enough to enjoy Laura's work, and with each book she continues to push her imagination and descriptive abilities the way Tess pushes herself in her rowing routine.

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