The New York Times loves Laura Lippman. But then, don't we all?

I didn't want to pile on the plaudits when Laura Lippman hit the Times best seller list because, well, Dan Brown and Ann Coulter have made the Times best seller list. So while it was worth celebrating (especially if you're Laura's agent), it didn't rise to the drink-raising-inspiration of the review by Janet Maslin.

After a few hundred words of praise Maslin says:

“What the Dead Know,” like the best books in this tradition, is doubly satisfying. You read it once just to move breathlessly toward the finale. Then you revisit it to marvel at how well Ms. Lippman pulled the wool over your eyes."

Now that's worth celebrating. Congratulations, Laura.

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I reviewed some of Laura’s Tess Monaghan novels: well, good stuff, but I gave them no extra thought after having read. To say it in the words of the great Laurie Anderson: What you read is what you eat, there’s no difference between the words in the book and the pictures they make in your mind. But then I read „Every secret thing“ and THAT made the difference. A story worth a second reading in your mind, building the story behind the story. Laura caught us with thrill and was installing that other movie: about women, about racism, about love. The only thing I didn't like was the novel's German title: Dangerous Angels (Gefährliche Engel). But that's another story and Laura's not to blame...
I'm no fan of the Times Best Seller list and never buy books according to it's content. But like the Academy Awards, once in a while the thing is deserved. That's the case here, Lippman's book does several things for the crime reader. It keeps you guessing litterally to the end, it has lovely writing and it makes you think about things as you read making it a pleasure to be taken on this ride. I have always been a fan and I really liked Every Secret Thing too but this book is the definition of she just gets better and better as she goes along.

Pretty much the whole value of earning a place on the NY Times Best Seller list is that it makes your career. From then on, your books will earn high enough advances that you're financially secure and therefore can afford to take some risks. Laura has worked hard and has more than earned her place, and I'm thrilled for her.
I am too. As I look at the opening of this piece again I realize it could be construed as something other than my absolute delight in Laura's making the list. Perhaps I was being a bit too clever for my own good.
Well that sure brought up for me that mine was a knee jerk reaction.
I'm all for whatever gets Laura a bigger audience and more money. Color
me red faced for going to my old saw about the BSL..


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