Monday, September 1, 2008

Hardly Knew Her-Laura Lippman

Hardly Knew Her
Laura Lippman
Morrow, Oct 2008, $23.95
ISBN 9780061584992

This seventeen short story collection is divided into four major headings. Part I “Girls Gone Wild” consists of seven entries all previously published over the last six years. The title of the first tale, “The Crack Cocaine Diet”, sets the tone of this Maryland based section which also includes the book title story “Hardly Knew Her”. Part II “Other Cities, Not My Own” includes four previously published tales located outside of the Baltmore area; “A Good Fuck Spoiled” affirms the theory that coitus interuptus by homicde can occur anywhere. Part III “My Baby Walks the Streets of Baltimore” contains five entries; including a new Tess Monaghan tale (“The Accidental Detective” as well as a recently published Tess thriller (“The Shoeshine Man’s Regrets”). Both Tess tales are excellent. Finally wrapping the strong anthology is Part IV the short novella “Scratch a Woman” starring self employed Helois,e an elementary school mom who makes living as a high priced prositite in DC and Baltimore (she also is the star of the entry “One True Love”) and her estrange sister Meghan as neighbors in Turner’s Grove. This is a strong compilation that includes taking the criminal mind beyond the author’s beloved Baltimore noirs.

Harriet Klausner