Letters From Laura

The Anniversary Waltz

August 1st, 2011
Now seems like the perfect time to launch a new site. There's a new book, The Most Dangerous Thing, with several keen contests connected to it. Read More [...]

Location, Location, Location

July 28th, 2010
Over the past decade, my reputation as a writer has become inextricably linked to my hometown of Baltimore. Thirteen years, fourteen novels, and only one, In Big Trouble, is set outside Maryland. So why does the fifteenth, I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, unfold in the suburbs of Washington D.C.? Read More [...]

The Great American BOOB Tour

July 28th, 2010
I am making very few public appearances for this book -- Bethany Beach, Oxford, MD, Oxford, MS and Baltimore are pretty much it. Hence, the BOOB tour, with Memphis tacked on the very end. Although it looks like I'll make Los Angeles as well at the end of the month, and I still neeed to figure out a date in my second home, New Orleans, so -- BOOB-M-NOLA? Bubbelah? Read More [...]

The best pet I ever had…

May 20th, 2010
By my calculations, the seventeen months between the hardcover publication of Life Sentences and I'd Know You Anywhere is one of the longest in my career. So I feel I should try to provide more fresh content here on the website, old-fashioned as it feels in these Tweeting, Facebooking, blogging times. Read More [...]

ARC Giveaway

April 19th, 2010
Win an advance copy of I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE. Read More [...]

All About the Benjamin

January 14th, 2010
I've been spending a lot of time in New Orleans lately. No, I have not -- and will not -- forsake Baltimore, and I still spend more time there than anywhere else. But, for now, I have two hometowns and I am doing my best to get to know the new one, primarily by bicycle. Read More [...]

Closing Time

September 15th, 2009
In the final days of August, I met Ian Rankin at the Oxford Bar, trying to conceal my fangirl glee. The Oxford Bar! Rebus's hangout! With Rebus's creator! I'm not going to lie, I felt pretty cool, although I know that Rankin, a gracious sort, has invited many writers to his favorite bar. Read More [...]

Where are You Going? Where Have You Been?

June 15th, 2009
Over the past three months, every time I thought about updating the website, I froze. I tried and rejected various entries, for a series of reasons that sounded like a new variation on the seven dwarves: Grumpy, Silly, Bitchy, Perky, Sleepy, Melancholy and Medicated. Read More [...]

Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time?

February 14th, 2009
And what do we have when a writer who has had considerably less success than John Updike or Augusten Burroughs decides to write about a writer who has had the kind of success that Augusten Burroughs has, and opens with a chapter about said writer on book tour? Read More [...]

Serial Killer

January 14th, 2009
It was a disease peculiar to the 80s, as I recall. Reporters everywhere wanted to do what Amistad Maupin had done with Tales of the City in the San Francisco Examiner, or copy Cyra McFaddden’s The Serial. At the San Antonio Light, a coworker and I even wrote a proposal about -– I think –- a local real estate agent and, maybe, a murder, although I might be confusing our concept with what someone else actually executed in another newspaper. Read More [...]

Change You Can Really Believe In

November 15th, 2008
I'm sorry I haven't been updating the website. The reasons are prosaic. I am channeling Lily von Shtupp, I have too much to do and -- the last part might sound odd -- I enjoyed a bonanza of good news in October, so much that I cringed every time I tried to write the November entry. Read More [...]

168,307

September 15th, 2008
168,307. That's how many words of fiction I have written in the past eight months. The tally includes a novel, Life Sentences, which I sent to my editor last week; a novella, Scratch a Woman, written for the short story collection Hardly Knew Her, to be published Oct. 7; and another, much longer novella, The Girl in the Green Raincoat, which will be serialized in the New York Times Magazine starting Sunday, September 7. Read More [...]

Kill Your Darlings — Or At Least Consider Giving Them Away

August 14th, 2008
I think I first encountered "kill your darlings" in that precise coinage in Stephen King's (excellent) On Writing. But I had been given similar advice years ago. Read More [...]

Gone Writing

July 14th, 2008
I'm so busy this summer that I'm not even going to provide links for your amusement. Read More [...]

And the Winner Is . . .

June 15th, 2008
Last month, one of my early mentors asked me if I would consider donating a week of my time to teaching in a program she started several years ago. She pointed out that it's estimated only 1 percent of writers support ourselves with our pens, if you will. Frankly, I think that number is a little high. Read More [...]

The Wisdom of Mac Rebennack

May 15th, 2008
A few months ago, I made an arbitrary decision: No touring after May 1. No events of any kind, actually -- no bookstores, no library talks, no ribbon-cuttings at grocery store openings. So far, I have made exactly three exceptions to this rule. Read More [...]

Ask Google, Yahoo!

April 14th, 2008
Greetings from the road, although my travels are almost over. But while I'm traveling, I've decided to have a (decidedly odd) contest. Remember the mnemonic devices for memorizing the planets of our solar system, back before Pluto got demoted? Read More [...]

If it’s Tuesday, it must Be Brunswick… Maryland

February 14th, 2008
Behold the schedule. Four events on pub date alone. That's four events in four different zip codes, three different area codes, two states, one on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. Read More [...]

Fading Microfilm

January 14th, 2008
What happens when microfilm starts to fade? That worrisome question occurred to me when I went to the Enoch Pratt Central Library this month to find a Baltimore Sun article not available online, not even for a fee. Read More [...]

Counting Crocodiles

December 10th, 2007
I am just home from three weeks in Africa, where I went to game parks in South Africa and Botswana, toured Cape Town and stood at the Cape of Good Hope, discovered Piri Piri sauce in Maputo, felt the spray of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, stuck my feet in the Indian Ocean, and even found myself profoundly grateful for Mimmo's pizza near Sasolburg, South Africa, a place not on most travelers' wish lists. Read More [...]

Revising Myself and Others

November 15th, 2007
I have just spent a week going over the copyeditor's version of Another Thing to Fall, reading the book aloud -- the better to spot unintentional echoes, overused words and even continuity errors -- then plunging in again from the beginning with pages marked up by a Trusted Reader. Read More [...]

The White Album

October 15th, 2007
Dave White's debut novel, WHEN ONE MAN DIES, was published Sept. 25th and he's already received far more attention than most debut novelists, and who am I to resist a bandwagon? Dave is so precocious, he even has his own pseudo stalker. We spoke via IM just before his publication date. He was drinking Orange Gatorade and I was having a Fuze Slenderize Tangerine Grapefruit. Or, to paraphrase Lloyd Bridges in Airplane! -- I picked a bad afternoon to give up beer. Read More [...]

1945

September 15th, 2007
I hated the Medill School of Journalism. There, I've said it. Well, not all of it. I hated most of the teachers, middle-aged white men who had worked, or were continuing to work, for the Chicago newspapers. I hated the style of instruction, an odd combination of lecture by anecdote and improv theater. And, okay, I hated it because I sucked. Funny how that works. Loved Northwestern, hated Medill. Read More [...]

Gone Writing

August 14th, 2007
Go away, I'm writing. Amuse yourself here. Read More [...]

Michael Koryta interview

July 14th, 2007
Last month, when my Morrow publicist read to me the shortlist of Quill nominees, I laughed out loud when I heard that Michael Koryta was on the list. I wasn't surprised -- I had, in fact, blurbed the book, A Welcome Grave, for which Michael was nominated. But Mike and I have a relationship outside of the publishing/PI fiction world: He will be my assistant next January, when I return to the Writers in Paradise workshop at Eckerd College. Read More [...]

Paging Dr. Laura

June 15th, 2007
Oh brave new world -- one of my young friends has announced his engagement via his blog. Certainly, it's an efficient way to get the word out, and it's also in character for Bryon, who has always been candid about all aspects of his life, whether it's his professional ambitions or a painful break-up. Read More [...]

Spring Cleaning

May 15th, 2007
I'm going to use this month to check out the website, deal with dead links and anachronisms and even typos. In particular, the unofficial biography probably needs a little explanation/amplification. Read More [...]

March Madness

April 14th, 2007
My twelfth novel, What The Dead Know, was published March 13th. And then -- well, let's just say there was plenty of good news. Read More [...]

Philip Larkin Had a Point (Kidding!)

March 15th, 2007
When I began writing, I knew that my work would be received, by some, as autobiography, and I accepted that as a fair trade-off for being published. But I was determined to spare my family the indignity of being mistaken for fictional counterparts. Read More [...]

Back to School (aka the “Sex Devil” Challenge – with Chocolate)

February 14th, 2007
On Jan. 31st, I began my semester-long gig at Goucher College as the Kratz writer-in-residence. It's my fourth opportunity -- the word is chosen carefully -- to teach creative writing at Goucher and it follows on the heels of another amazing opportunity, the 3rd annual Writers in Paradise Conference at Eckerd College. Read More [...]

God Knows

January 14th, 2007
Remember the old Nike commercial -- Bo knows? Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson was the first athlete to be named an All-Star in two major sports, baseball and football. According to Nike, Bo knew not only the sports that provided him paychecks, but also tennis, golf, luge and auto racing. (But not hockey or blues guitar.) Read More [...]

Blonde on Blonde

November 15th, 2006
Those who know me best understand that I seldom miss journalism. I'm better suited to working alone, making stuff up. But, like Michael Corleone, just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in. Read More [...]

October Letter

October 15th, 2006
There won't be one. This is why. Read More [...]

Leftovers

September 15th, 2006
I recently re-organized the pantry and we have three unopened bottles of capers, for some mysterious reason. Also a lot of kidney beans, and I have no idea how they got there. To my knowledge, I've never made a single dish with kidney beans. Garbanzo beans? Absolutely. Kidney beans, never. Read More [...]

The Streets of Baltimore

August 14th, 2006
With the website now live and Baltimore Bouchercon a mere two years away, it seemed like a good time to answer some FAQs about Charm City. Read More [...]

Boo Radley’s Porch

July 14th, 2006
Boo Radley's porch is a good thing to shoot for as a novelist, as a person. I'm not so sure I'd go as far as Atticus Finch, who assures his daughter that most people are nice "when you finally see them." But I will say that it's hard to know if people are nice or not until you do see them. Read More [...]

How to Make an American (Hardboiled) Quilt

June 15th, 2006
t's been months, maybe years, since I've sat in front of the television and completed a square. I'm not as fond of burgundy and mauve as I used to be. Even if I were, those Laura Ashley sheets are long gone. I also have no idea how I'm going to complete the final step, the actual quilting. Read More [...]

Waiting for Lippman

May 15th, 2006
In hindsight, my only regret is that I wasn't there the night that it rained tampons. Read More [...]

Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News

April 14th, 2006
Remember the old Twilight Zone episode (and, before that, the superb short story) about the little boy who controlled everyone and everything in his town? If you angered him, he sent you to the cornfield. This story was often invoked in The (Baltimore) Sun newsroom, circa 1993-2003, where it reminded people of a certain boss. Read More [...]

Baltimore Noir

March 15th, 2006
Regrets, I have a few. Telling Bill Crider that joke about his home town. Paying a physical trainer three months in advance, only to have him disappear after our third session. I've put my foot in my mouth. I've put my money on the wrong horse, literally and figuratively. I've put things on paper that I can't recant. Read More [...]

My Kitchen Wars

February 14th, 2006
"I should have purchased a new one, shouldn't I?" "That's always a tough call," said the repairman, who was standing over my disemboweled dishwasher. It was the third visit in three weeks and I had been without a working dishwasher for five weeks. Read More [...]

I Had a Little List

January 14th, 2006
In one of my favorite novels, The Group, the eight Vassar roommates of the title are fond of a game called "Truth." Of course it involves questions that no one should ever have to answer, such as "Who is your favorite?" Read More [...]

Tessworld (Baltimore Tours)

December 14th, 2005
"One of the season's most powerful new novels is Laura Lippman's To the Power of Three, a gripping tale that is a mystery only in the same sense as To Kill a Mockingbird was. This is a brilliant, insightful, moving tale of three girls, best friends forever, whose lives crumble when a shooting at their suburban Baltimore high school leaves one injured, one dead and one dying ... The troika of teenagers who form the center of the novel are as real, as intriguing and as heartbreaking as any characters Read More [...]

The Annotated Lippman

November 15th, 2005
For years, I've told people that my favorite novel is Lolita, but that's a lie. My favorite novel is The Annotated Lolita, edited by Alfred Appel Jr. I first purchased it for Appel's class at Northwestern, but literally read it to pieces, so I recently had to pick up the "revised and updated" released by Vintage in 1991. Read More [...]

Running on Empty

October 15th, 2005
The 11th book, tentatively known as No Good Deeds, left home Sept. 26th and I feel as aimless and lost as any empty nester. Read More [...]

The Boy of Summer

September 15th, 2005
Another Harry Potter season has come and gone without any help from me. I approve of the Harry phenomenon in principle. It's a great boon to some of my favorite independent bookstores. And as a series writer, I like the idea of training young readers to follow a set group of characters as they grow and change. But I've never fallen under Harry's spell, although I read the first one, or maybe it was the second. Read More [...]

The Windmills of my Blog

August 14th, 2005
For the duration of my tour, I kept a "secret" blog - invisible to search engines, the address made available only to those friends who might notice my virtual silences over the seven-week period. It was secret because I have an acute burglary phobia, one that's not entirely unearned. Read More [...]

My Ramona

July 14th, 2005
When I'm on tour, I'm single-minded. Point me to the bookstores, steer me to my next appointment, make sure I can find a latte first thing in the morning and assure me that there's room service available at day's end, and I'm content. No sight-seeing. No shopping. I write whenever possible. If time allows, I might take a walk or work out. As jobs go, touring is about as cushy a gig as anyone can have, but I never mistake it for vacation. Read More [...]

Mildred and Me

June 15th, 2005
We label and define ourselves in many ways -- by profession, by our relationship to others. But on Thursday afternoons, from 2-4 p.m., I have an extremely precise identity: I am in charge of the yellow-chair table. Read More [...]

The Last Class

May 15th, 2005
My last class at Goucher College will be held this week. By tradition -- if one can claim tradition on the basis of doing something twice -- I'll bring pizza to class, either from Fortunato's or Matthew's. (I prefer the latter, but Fortunato's is closer to the Towson campus and will arrive hotter.) Read More [...]

A Fan’s Notes

April 14th, 2005
Yes, I was a theater nerd in high school, with all that implies. It's not a bad place in the high school hierarchy. A fun group, if a little loud, tolerant of idiosyncrasy and eccentricity. Better yet, I had the good luck to have extremely talented peers, so I understood that I was average at best. Read More [...]

Goldilocks on a Bender

March 15th, 2005
Oprah has her favorite things, so why can't I? And unlike Oprah, I won't de-favoritize those who feel they can't award my imprimatur with 300 freebies. Read More [...]

Hello, Columbus

February 14th, 2005
February 2005 "Swenson waits for his students to complete their private rituals, adjusting zippers and caps, arranging the pens and notebooks so painstakingly chosen to express their tender young selves, the fidgety ballets that signal their weekly submission and reaffirm the social compact to be stuck in this room for an hour without real food or TV. He glances around the seminar table, counts nine; good, everyone's here, then riffles through the manuscript they're scheduled to discuss, pauses and Read More [...]

There Goes the Neighborhood

January 14th, 2005
The view from Interstate 95 in Baltimore often has been compared to post-World War II Berlin. Trains approaching the city don't offer much better, flashing past industrial parks and the backyards of rundown rowhouses. If these vistas were all you knew of Baltimore, you would think it a dismal city indeed. Read More [...]

‘Seek’ and Ye Shall Find

December 24th, 2004
My three-year-old car, a joy in every other way, is on its third radio and I had to wait almost eight months to get the latest one. Read More [...]

North Dakoka Ho

November 15th, 2004
Remember when travel meant steamer trunks covered with stickers from our destinations? Neither do I, but I've read about such days. Read More [...]

10/10/10

October 15th, 2004
Oct. 1st has been my deadline for the past five years. It occurred to me that I had finished my tenth book on the eve of the tenth month and if that doesn't entitle me to the hoary cliché of a Top Ten list, I don't know what does. So - ten things to do when you finish your tenth book just before the tenth month. Read More [...]

Three Women

September 15th, 2004
Calvin Trillin once said the average trade book had a lifespan somewhere between milk and yogurt. By a Spider's Thread came out June 29th, and by mid-August, I felt I must be giving off a distinct smell. Perhaps you felt so, too. Read More [...]

Goodbye, Yellow-Brick Road

August 14th, 2004
L. Frank Baum is said to have grown so tired of Dorothy Gale and her ceaseless adventures in Oz that he tried to make the entire kingdom invisible at the end of The Emerald City of Oz. Read More [...]

Call Me Madame

July 14th, 2004
I head out next week, as you know if you've clicked on the "Tour" button to the right of this. Unlike the touring performers at The Smoking Gun, I have no special requests. I don't need white candles in my dressing room, or Pilates equipment, or a Cadillac convertible. I like the brown M&M's. A bottle of water is nice, but not essential. I'm also happy to answer the question: "Where do you get your ideas?" I have only one small request: Please don't call me sir. Read More [...]

Up the Sandbox!

June 15th, 2004
I'm a big believer in recycling -- newspapers, bottles, speeches. In fact, I recycled that joke, such as it is, from a speech, which I gave to the Mystery Writers of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter in late May. Read More [...]

Write, Memory

May 15th, 2004
A month ago, I solicited opinions from visitors to this site, asking for ideas on changes and improvements. I promised a galley of By a Spider's Thread to the best idea. Read More [...]

What’s In a Name

April 14th, 2004
If you're reading this, you should know the address -- www.lauralippman.com. I've always felt a little sheepish about owning this domain name because I'm far from the only Laura Lippman in the world. Read More [...]

Old News

March 15th, 2004
In mid-February, the Times reported that a technical glitch briefly reunited Amazon's anonymous reviewers and their true identities for all the world to see. Turns out that the policy of allowing anonymous reviews had made Amazon home to such time-honored literary hobbies as logrolling and backbiting. Read More [...]

Dig This

February 14th, 2004
Back in San Antonio, many decades ago, one of the newspapers used to rely on carrier pigeons to transmit film from big football games. Or so the story goes; it's much too good to check out, especially when one needs a pat transition. Read More [...]

Resolve

January 14th, 2004
In the summer of 1999, then-City Councilman Martin O'Malley promised to reduce the annual homicide total in Baltimore to less than 175 if he were elected mayor. At that point, the numbers had been above 300 for almost a decade and the city was perennially in the top five for per-capita homicide rates. Less than 18 months later, the city rang out 2000 -- the first year of the O'Malley administration -- with a body count of 262. Read More [...]

Dear Paige

December 14th, 2003
Dear Paige: The day you died two years ago, I was keeping several things from you. Odd thing is, it was all good news -- an award that I had won, the end of my day job, some other odds and ends. I made the mistake that so many people make every day; I assumed we had all the time in the world. Read More [...]

Repeat When Necessary

November 15th, 2003
RSI has returned to my life, signaled by mild twinges in my right arm and wrist. The problem isn't writing -- writing, as I practice it, has enough fits and starts to provide the breaks I need. However, my new passion for blogs has meant too much time clicking away, right hand poised over the mouse like a predatory bird, ready to swoop down on the next link that captures my fancy. Read More [...]

Miss Lippman Regrets…

October 15th, 2003
When Harriet the Spy first began writing her column for the Gregory School newspaper, she was entranced to overhear her father muttering about a retraction he was going to demand from the Times. She explained the term to her readers, assuring them that her column had been error-free to date. If only I could say the same about this website. Read More [...]

Oye, Isabel

September 19th, 2003
I confess that I scoffed. The television weather people were simply too excited, which always breeds skepticism. Besides, even they admitted that rainfall was expected to be only 1-3 inches in the city, and that Isabel would barely be a hurricane by the time it reached us. And my neighborhood proved to be a good bet. Read More [...]

Speak, Memory

August 14th, 2003
This is the story as it was told to me. More correctly, this is the story as I remember it being told, along with some parts I think I actually remember, but I'm probably getting at least half of it wrong. Still, it's definitely truish. Read More [...]

Bootstraps (Not as Racy as it Sounds)

July 14th, 2003
Beth, the divine webmistress -- I think it's in our contract that I have to use that modifier whenever I speak of her -- said I could take a month off. And I might, in August. But I learned an odd lesson last month: writing begets writing. Read More [...]

The Lippman Lot

June 15th, 2003
It used to be axiomatic in newsrooms that some stories were too good to check out, but I guess that joke will now go the way of the lusty schoolyard song about meeting the teacher at the door with a loaded .44. Some things are funny only until they happen. Read More [...]

Local News

May 15th, 2003
The fliers went up in the neighborhood the first week of April. A cat named Syrah, white with black spots, was missing. A pet bird had flown away. And a 33-year-old man had not been seen since he said goodbye to his brother outside a local pub, where they shared a drink after attending the Orioles' season opener. Read More [...]

Lilac Time

April 14th, 2003
I've decided to come clean about my television habits, about which I've long been furtive. To begin with -- I actually watch it, which still carries a whiff of shame in certain circles. Read More [...]

I’m a Believer

March 15th, 2003
It has been almost a year since Baltimore began the "Believe" campaign. Somber white-on-black signs and banners can be seen all over the city, advising citizens to, well, believe. Read More [...]

Three Little Words

February 14th, 2003
It took me roughly 10 months to write the 100,000-plus words that make up my 8th novel. This was followed by a month of revisions and, most recently, an intensive copy-edit, so it's closing in on a year of work, which variously strikes me as way too little and way too much. Read More [...]

Reading in Public

January 14th, 2003
I'm such a sucker for New Year's resolutions that I practice the ritual every year, every month, sometimes every Monday. Perhaps writers are particularly prone to the illusion of a fresh page, a life without mistakes. But the reality is that resolutions usually provide nothing more than another opportunity to fail. Read More [...]

How to Punt

December 14th, 2002
December 2002 Let me tell you, webmistress is a frighteningly accurate term. It's not that Beth is bossy, mind you, or anything less than charming. But, a year after escaping journalism, I now have this self-imposed tyranny of monthly deadline to meet, and it's driving me nuts. Yeah, yeah, I know - the letters on this site read like stream-of-consciousness riffs on whatever has caught my fancy at the moment deadline rears its head. The frightening truth is that I actually work at them. Sad but Read More [...]

Catching Up

November 15th, 2002
The treadmills at my health club are positioned in front of a plate glass window. From this vantage point, one has a clear view of the line at the McDonald's drive-up window, which is always four or five cars long, no matter the time of day. I like this view, not because it makes me fell holier than thou, but because it makes me feel supremely stupid. Life is short; I want a Big 'n' Tasty, even though I know I shouldn't. Read More [...]

Let’s Do the Time Warp (Again)

October 15th, 2002
Several years ago, when I was still daydreaming of a time when I might write and publish books, I read a terrific Washington Post article about Robert Crais, then on tour for Voodoo River. (Perhaps my favorite Elvis Cole.) I learned two things from the article: 1) Smart writers hoard airline peanuts and 2) It is almost impossible to write while touring. Read More [...]

The Naked Dance

September 15th, 2002
When I was a college freshman and sophomore, I had a part-time job babysitting for the daughter of a Northwestern journalism professor. The girl -- I'm not going to use her name, for reasons that will momentarily become self-evident -- was a chubby, curly-haired bundle of precocity. Read More [...]

Mistakes Were Made

July 14th, 2002
This is the season of limbo and regret, the time when my next book is out of my hands, but not yet in yours. Galleys of "The Last Place" are making their way into the world and the proofreader has made some excellent queries, which gives me the false hope that we might make this one perfect. I count myself lucky to have such insightful readers as Barbara Douglas of Houston's Murder by the Book and the incomparable Martin Meyers. Read More [...]

Play With Yourself

June 15th, 2002
I had an essay ready to go for June - in fact, I wrote it back in May. Then I decided I hated it. So I'm offering instead the Proust Questionnaire. Read More [...]

Musings and Advice

April 14th, 2002
I was trying to write an essay about "Red Dragon," which is being made into a film for the second time and is doing shooting here in Baltimore. I wanted to talk about my great affection for "Freddy Lowndes," the tabloid reporter who is nibbled by the serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy, then set on fire and sent zooming down a parking lot ramp in a wheelchair. Read More [...]

We were Haranders

March 14th, 2002
I was never anyone's protégé, so I never learned how to be a mentor. I was, however, a pretty good swim coach. For several summers, I stood on the white pier that jutted out from the small piece of beachfront owned by Harand Theatre Camp in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and taught boys and girls how to do the elementary backstroke. Read More [...]

Spying on Harriet

January 14th, 2002
In the last days of 2001, I found myself in New York City for a week, with absolutely nothing to do. It was an amazing luxury, one that even some New Yorkers envied. Read More [...]

Gone, Baby, Gone

December 14th, 2001

The Last Good Saturday Night

October 15th, 2001
Pittsburgh is a talismanic city for me, one of the places I'm determined to visit every time I publish a book. Technically, I travel to the suburb of Oakmont, the home of Mystery Lovers Bookshop. Owners Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman were early cheerleaders for my work, seeking me out upon the publication of "Baltimore Blues," giving me praise and crucial advice. Read More [...]

In a Strange Kitchen

September 14th, 2001
How many coffee cups do you own? Quick, go count. I'll wait here for you. Back already? Now that you've conducted your own coffee cup census, I'll confess how many I have: 26. Yes, 26 coffee cups and that does not include the dozen cups and saucers that came with my grandmother's china. Read More [...]

The “D” Word

July 14th, 2001
The alarm clock, a Sharper Image product that offers a selection of sounds from cock crows to church bells, goes off at 6:10 a.m. Why 6:10? Because if I can wake by 6 a.m. on my own and shut the alarm off before the bells start pealing, my early rising seems much more voluntary than it is. Time to make the doughnuts, I think to myself, a pop culture reference that dates me terribly. Read More [...]

The “D” Word

July 14th, 2001
The alarm clock, a Sharper Image product that offers a selection of sounds from cock crows to church bells, goes off at 6:10 a.m. Why 6:10? Because if I can wake by 6 a.m. on my own and shut the alarm off before the bells start pealing, my early rising seems much more voluntary than it is. Read More [...]