Book Reviews: February 2018

The latest from Laura Lippman and Tim Kreider.

Lauren LaRocca - February 2018

Book Reviews: February 2018

The latest from Laura Lippman and Tim Kreider.

Lauren LaRocca - February 2018



Laura Lippman
(William Morrow)

A runaway wife in love with a private detective and the townsfolk of Belleville, Delaware, who don’t know what to make of either of them: These are the characters who populate the latest novel by Baltimore’s literary darling and New York Times bestselling crime fiction author Laura Lippman. To complicate matters, someone in town ends up dead, and suspicions arise. A homey tavern sets the stage for this tale of star-crossed lovers at best, murder and scandal at its darkest. The story takes place during the summer of 1995—strategic on Lippman’s part, as this was before smartphones and social media could track down Polly, an MIA wife trying to reinvent herself. Revisiting VHS, Murder, She Wrote, encyclopedias, pay phones, and other ’90s staples is simply fun, as are her references to Baltimore and the Eastern Shore. We also get to peer into the lives of secondary characters through snapshots—Bob, aka Baba, who runs the video store; Irving, the insurance broker who doesn’t normally attend synagogue—which adds color and dimension to the story, reminding us that these passersby have their own lives . . . and they are just as complicated as our own (though, admittedly, not as complicated as Polly’s). 

Laura Lippman will be at Ivy Bookshop for a reading, Q&A, and book signing at 7 p.m. Feb. 23.


I Wrote This Book Because I Love You

Tim Kreider
(Simon & Schuster)

It’s no surprise that when he’s not writing for The New York Times, Tim Kreider is also a cartoonist (many in Baltimore may know him for his dark-humor comic strip “The Pain—When Will It End?,” which ran for 12 years in City Paper). The Baltimore native’s second collection of essays is chock full of laugh-out-loud moments, mostly at his own expense, as he puts his love life on display with stark honesty. Like the time he briefly dated a prostitute (er, fetish model), or when he followed a girl to the circus and posed as her husband, or when he tracked down the psychologist who tested him as a child for the renowned Strange Situation study that’s used to predict attachment issues into adulthood. All the while, he’s discovered a thing or two along the way. But Kreider isn’t solely a humorist; he’s also part philosopher, part psychologist, part poet. Paired with his depth of insight into the human condition and startlingly sharp observations, this intimate collection is as hilarious as it is poignant, as it explores what it means to love and be loved—even if it’s love shared with your 19-year-old cat. 

Tim Kreider will talk about his book during at launch from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 9 at Atomic Books.

You May Also Like

Arts District

Culture Club: Jack Whitten, CityLit, and #RiseBmore

Our monthly roundup of openings, events, and news from the art world.

Arts & Culture

Spin City

Your handy guide to the best vinyl shops in town.

Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: April 2018

The latest from War on Women and Wye Oak.

Food & Drink

Review: Cat's Eye Pub

After more than 40 years, Cat’s Eye Pub keeps on rockin’ in Fells Point.

Arts & Culture

Legendary Artist Peter Max Creates Baltimore Magazine's April Cover

The artist, known for his depiction of 1960s counter-culture, creates colorful scene of Baltimore.

On The Town

Baltimore Rock Opera Society and The Brewer's Art Collaborate on New Beer

Chuggernaut Kolsch will be available at local liquor stores and BROS shows.

Connect With Us

Most Read

Baltimore High School Students Show Off Coding Skills to Improve City Services: Following a showcase, one student was awarded an internship with the city.

Open & Shut: The Charmery Towson; Food Network Shout Outs; Zack Mills Moves On: The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Eliminating Plastic Straws Becomes Priority at Local Bars and Restaurants: Business owners encourage recyclable alternatives made of paper, corn, and pasta.

Ready Room to Open at Old Line Spirits in Highlandtown: Opening June 8, bar will be first of its kind inside a city distillery.