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The Ivy is so excited to be a part of celebrating Laura Lippman's 25 years in publishing with her new novel Seasonal Work! Laura will be in conversation with John Searles. This event will take place virtually on Zoom.
Since publishing Baltimore Blues, in 1997, New York Times-bestselling novelist Laura Lippman has been widely regarded as one of the crime genre’s most distinctive voices. Her Tess Monaghan series novels, standalones and short stories have won most of the major awards for mystery fiction; her work is published in more than twenty countries. A former Baltimore Sun journalist, she is noted for the authenticity of her urban settings as well as the evolution of her socially conscious themes, which touch on race, gender, inequality, and the impact of technology and social media. Her 2019 novel, Lady in the Lake, inspired by the real-life murder of a Black woman in 1960s Baltimore, is being adapted into a series for Apple TV+, starring Academy Award winners Lupita Nyong’o and Natalie Portman.
Now, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of her debut, as well as twenty-five years with William Morrow, Lippman presents SEASONAL WORK: Stories, on sale January 4, 2022. Written from 2007 to 2021, the dozen stories in this collection highlight strong female characters and embody many of the social themes Lippman has addressed throughout her career, wrapped within ingeniously crafted tales of duplicity, homicide, family dysfunction, treacherous games, and love gone bad.
The diverse collection includes a never-before-published novella, “Just One More,” in which a young married couple gets through Covid quarantine by watching old Columbo episodes. To spice up their flagging love life, they decide to see if a popular dating app will match them, with unexpectedly deadly consequences. There are appearances by Lippman’s beloved PI Tess Monaghan, exposing a scamming stepdad and stopping theft in a children’s bookstore (“Seasonal Work” and “The Book Thing”). We also get a glimpse of Tess’s mother, Judith, who discovers that the life of “The Everyday Housewife” is the perfect cover for all sorts of questionable activities.
Lippman’s 2021 novel, Dream Girl, garnered critical raves. With a nod to Stephen King’s Misery, this suspenseful tale of an author laid up with an injury and taunted by mysterious phone calls was heralded not only for its expert storytelling but also for its handling of contemporary social issues. As Maureen Corrigan wrote in The Washington Post: “Socially conscious (the #MeToo movement makes a decisive entrance into the plot) and packed with humor, ghosts and narrative turns of the screw, Lippman’s Dream Girl is indeed a dream of a novel for suspense lovers and fans of literary satire alike.”
Lippman’s previous novel, Lady in the Lake, was called “aching, thoughtful and compulsively readable” (Vanity Fair) and “another must-read from Lippman” (PopSugar). A gripping and atmospheric novel, it addresses not only the appalling lack of attention paid to violent crimes against women of color, but also what Stephen King described in the New York Times Book Review as “the gulf that then existed between what women were expected to be and what they aspired to be.”
In addition to her twenty-five novels and two short story collections to date, Lippman has begun publishing personal essays that find universal touchstones across the decades of her unusual life. Gathered in her acclaimed 2020 essay collection, My Life as a Villainess, they have given her the opportunity to explore personal concerns and to deepen her connection with readers. One essay in particular, “Game of Crones,” which chronicles her experience of becoming a mother at the age of fifty-one, struck an unexpected chord with mothers of all ages and sparked lively public discussions.
At the quarter-century mark, Laura Lippman’s varied, prolific and extraordinary body of work is one of the most remarkable in recent publishing history. It is a fitting occasion for longtime fans to celebrate and revisit her splendid novels, stories, and essays—and a perfect opportunity for new readers to discover her.
John Searles is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of three previous novel. His new novel, HER LAST AFFAIR, will be published on March 22, 2022. His thriller Strange But True was adapted for the screen starring Brian Cox, Blythe Danner, Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear. The former book editor of Cosmopolitan, he has also appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, NPR’s Fresh Air and other shows to discuss his books and books of the season.
TIME & DATE
Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 7:00pm