Spy Chat: Writer Laura Lippman on Baltimore, Urban Values, and News


It says a lot about one of the country’s most popular crime writers that Laura Lippman decided to add Oxford on her new book tour. With most of her other events over the next few weeks booked in some of the East Coast’s largest cities, her return to the Eastern Shore last Monday evening at the invitation of our beloved Mystery Loves Company bookstore at Doc’s Sunset Grille is just one example of how fond she is of the Chesapeake region.

Another example has been Lippman’s lead character for her last three books, detective Tess Monaghan, a graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, who continues to use the Eastern Shore as a special getaway when not solving crimes on the Western Shore.

But Laura’s real love has always been Baltimore, which is the center of most of her stories, and where she has lived with her family and husband, writer David Simon, for decades. That tradition continues in her new book, “Lady in the Lake,” which tells the tale of two real-life Baltimore disappearances in the 1960s through the lens of lead character Maddie Schwartz, who probes these mysteries and the racial complexities related to these two crimes.

And Baltimore was on Laura Lippman’s mind when we met her at Doc’s. After a weekend when President Donald Trump took to Twitter to insult the city and people she loves, our conversation quickly turned to a discussion of urban life, urban values, and the role of newspapers and social media in contemporary society.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Mystery Loves Company bookstore and to purchase a copy of  “Lady in the Lake,” please go here. 

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