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The Laura Lippman Challenge

In 2009, I read What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman for my book club. I haven’t posted my review yet, but I promise, it’s nothing short of gushing!

Because I loved What the Dead Know so much, I thought it would be fun to read more books by Lippman, and what better way to do it than in a challenge! Another impetus for doing a Laura Lippman challenge is because Life Sentences is coming out in paperback on March 2, 2010, and she has a new book coming out this summer, tentatively scheduled for September.

Lippman has written 16 books, not including the book that will be released this summer. She has a Tess Monahan series, which are mysteries, but novels that she’s writing now, like Life Sentences, are stand-alone novels. Having read What the Dead Know, I think Lippman’s stand-alone books are more literary fiction than just fiction, though there is a mystery element to What the Dead Know.  So you certainly have plenty of books to choose from! And if mysteries aren’t your thing, then be sure to try some of Lippman’s stand-alone novels.

Here’s a list of Lippman’s books, as well as when they were released, awards they were nominated for and/or won, and what genre they are.

 Baltimore Blues

Released February 1997 (Hardcover released December 2006)

Nominated for a Shamus for best first novel

Genre: Mystery (this is the first Tess Monahan series)

Charm City

Released October 1997 (Hardcover released December 2007)

Winner of the Edgar and Shamus awards, nominated for the Anthony

Genre: Mystery (2nd in the Tess Monahan series)

Butchers Hill

Released July 1998 (Hardcover released October 2008)

Winner of the Agatha and Anthony awards, nominated for the Edgar, Shamus and Macavity

Genre: Mystery (3rd in the Tess Monahan series)

In Big Trouble

Released September 1999 (Hardcover released October 2009)

Winner of the Anthony and Shamus awards, nominated for the Edgar and Agatha

Genre: Mystery (4th in the Tess Monahan series)

Sugar House

Released September 2000 (Mass market released August 2001)

Nominated for best P.I. novel by the Romantic Times, cited as one of the best mystery novels of the year by the Washington Post, the London Times, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and

Genre: Mystery (5th in the Tess Monahan series)

In a Strange City

Released September 2001 (Mass market released October 2002)

Genre: Mystery (6th in the Tess Monahan series)


The Last Place

Released October 2002 (Mass market released August 2003)

Genre: Mystery (7th in the Tess Monahan series)



Every Secret Thing

Released September 2003 (Mass market released October 2004)

Winner of the Anthony and Barry awards

Genre: Mystery (stand-alone)

By a Spider’s Thread

Released July 2004 (Mass market released July 2005)

Genre: Mystery (8th in the Tess Manahan series)


To the Power of Three

Released June 2005 (Mass market released June 2006)

Genre: Mystery (stand-alone)



No Good Deeds

Mass market released February 2007

Genre: Mystery (9th in the Tess Monahan series)



What the Dead Know

Released March 2007 (Trade paperback released February 2009)

Genre: Fiction/romance/suspense


Another Thing To Fall

Released March 2008 (Mass market released February 2009)

Genre: Mystery (10th in the Tess Monahan series)



Hardly Knew Her

Released October 2008 (Trade paperback released October 2009)

Genre: Short stories, mysteries


Life Sentences

Release March 2009 (Trade paperback released March 2010)

Genre: Fiction/suspense



Here’s the rules/details:

  • The challenge goes from January 26, 2010 through December 31, 2010.
  • Anyone can participate! You do not need a blog!
  • You can use the button I’ve got at the top of this post. Please save it down to your computer and upload it to your own blog.
  • Challenge books can overlap with other challenges.
  • You do not need to pick your book in advance.
  • You can change levels mid-challenge!
  • Levels:
    • Taster – 1 book
    • Dabbler – 2 books
    • Interested Party – 3 books
    • Laura Lippman Lover – 4 books
    • Stalker – 5+ books

Have fun with me! Sign up using the Mr. Linky below.

This second Mr. Linky? This is where we can put the links to our reviews, so there’ll all in one spot. And that way we can see which books people totally loved.

| Tags: 18 comments »

18 Responses to “The Laura Lippman Challenge”

  1. Lenore

    I too was blown away by Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know so I went back and read a later book (The Power of Three) and was not as impressed. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say she has improved dramatically! Life Sentences read more like literary fiction than a thriller by the way.


  2. Molly

    Oh – I hope I can participate in this challenge. I started What the Dead Know in audio and while I loved it – I was frustrated at the pace the narrator had to read in order to be understood. I have yet to have the chance to pick up the book, though.

    Great challenge idea!


  3. Word Lily

    Well, since I have two Lippman books on my shelf, begging to be read, I’d just as well sign up for this one! Sounds like fun!


  4. April

    These look like such awesome books!! I have 2 of Laura’s books in my TBR pile including Life Sentences. I should have a go at this challenge – kick myself in gear to read them.


  5. Beth F

    Hummmmmmmm. I’ve always wanted to try Lippman, so I guess I’m in. I need to look over my challenges and decide on a level. It’ll likely be 3 to 5+ …. I am so weak.


  6. Jenn's Bookshelves

    I’m sooo tempted to join this challenge. I’ve read several of Lippman’s books but still have a few to read. I love that she’s “local” to me and writes about places that are familiar to me. Darn it…I vowed not to join any other challenges, but this one is way too tempting!


  7. Angie

    I love Laura Lippman. I’ve read the first four Tess Monaghan books and half of the 5th and I cant’ say enough about them. Such fun PI mysteries.


  8. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Oh, I love her books! I’ve read a couple, and have the short story collection on my stacks.

    But I have so many challenges already…hmm, have to think about it!


  9. Jeanne

    Lippman predicted the death-before-passing-on-the-torch of the annual Poe gravesite visitor!


  10. Elizabeth

    I “discovered” Laura Lippman about 2 years ago and have read a ton of her books since. I have the latest, as you know, to review. I don’t know if I can commit to another challenge, though. I’m feeling pretty bogged down! I’ll think about being a Dabbler, since I already have 1 anyway.


  11. Jen Forbus

    Well, I kinda already fall into the stalker category for Laura Lippman, but I have several that are in my queue to read, so count me in! 🙂


  12. Frankie

    I believe I am up to the challenge. I have not read any of her books. But then I never read Tana French til I joined this blog. You wouldn’t steer me wrong. I’m presently reading Shanghai Girls after finishing Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. So I’ll take a few deep breaths,some strecthing exercises grab more wine , Laura’s L.’s book and strecth out on the sofa to begin this challenge:)


  13. Lindy

    No ide4a how many I will read, depends on if I like them or not.


  14. zibilee

    Since I am going to be reading one of her books, I will sign up as a taster and consider going further. This sounds like a great challenge!


  15. Beth F

    I’ve finished the challenge (2 books0 but I’m not finished with Lippman! Thanks for getting me to start reading this author.


  16. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman « Word Lily

    […] awhile, which is why I jumped at the chance to read this one. I’m also signing up for the Laura Lippman reading challenge; I’ll go conservative and sign up at the two-book Dabbler […]

  17. Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman | Word Lily

    […] this book also completes the Laura Lippman reading challenge I joined, so […]

  18. Life Sentences, by Laura Lippman – Book Review – Linus's Blanket

    […] first heard about Laura Lippman when Trish from Hey Lady read What The Dead Know, and loved it so much that she started the Laura Lippman….  Since then I have read countless reviews on book blogs full of veritable plaudits on […]

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