Thursday, December 30, 2021

Seasonal Work


Author: Laura Lippman

Publisher: William Morrow 

Year: 2022

📖 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 📖

Author Laura Lippman serves up a collection of short stories in Seasonal Work. The book’s title comes from the first story in the collection. A man runs a con in a different city every Christmas using his kids and a down on their luck story to solicit presents, money, and gift cards from kind hearted people. PI Tess Monaghan, the main character in 12 of Lippman’s novels, uncovers the con but can’t do anything about it. The man’s 14 year old stepdaughter explains to Tess that he is all they have and when she’s old enough to take care of her younger siblings, she’ll also take care of him. 

Tess also shows up in another story when she volunteers to find out who’s stealing books from a local indie bookstore. Lippman also gives Tess’s mom a starring role in one of the stories. Judith Monaghan is adjusting to life as a newlywed in Baltimore in the 1970s. She’s a little bored being home alone while her husband is at work all day. Judith entertains herself with long walks around the neighborhood observing the coming and goings of all her neighbors. Judith knows there’s something off about a crass husband and his vague wife, but she can’t quite put her finger on what’s different about them. When the husband dies suddenly, Judith knows her suspicions were correct. 

The other stories in the anthology run the gambit from a fantastical story about a girl who drowned in a pond, to a mother put out when her grown son moves back home, to a young newspaper reporter who has a close brush with death. The last story in the collection is set during last year’s pandemic lockdown. A bored wife suggests to her husband they test out how well a dating app works by creating personas to see if the app would match them. It’s a cautionary tale of be careful what you wish for. 

These are quick hits of crime fiction and Lippman is a master storyteller. Lippman’s skillful plotting and pacing gives each story a twist you may or may not see coming. Once again, Lippman proves she’s one of the best in the business. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow Books for the digital ARC. Seasonal Work publishes on January 4th.

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