Hardly Knew Her is a wicked book of short stories by crime writer Laura Lippman. They are funny, sharp, and deliciously twisted, but what struck me about this book was her topic - all the stories are concerned, in some way, with the economics of female sexuality. Femme fatales litter Baltimore, it seems. Lippman is a total badass of a female writer (fun facts: she’s married to The Wire’s David Simon, also an ex-Baltimore Sun reporter, and totally seems like a gal who’d be fun to get a beer with), and she has so much fun with genre that you don’t see it coming when she writes a sentence that gets you in the heart. I really like her work. It’s a nice model of how you can use genre for nefarious, great-writing purposes.
And it’s hard not to relate to her 10 book plus Tess Monaghan series, about a former newspaper reporter turned private detective, who’s always witty and mordant. I’ve been reading them and I’m all like, Tess Monaghan, elle est moi!