Hardly Knew Her
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Hardly Knew Her

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  825 ratings  ·  131 reviews
For the first time together in one volume, a mix of award-winning short stories and a new novella from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, including the Edgar nominated Hardly Knew Her.
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published (first published 2008)
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Krok Zero
Laura Lippman is Mrs. David Simon, which makes her the First Lady of The Wire, which is almost reason enough to check out her stuff -- but she's accumulated a fair amount of buzz in her own right, her status as a member of the crime fiction elite confirmed by George Pelecanos's fawning introduction to this short story collection. I picked this up as a first Lippman simply as a little vacation from novel overload, and I definitely plan to check out some of her longformers in the future.

This wasn'...more
I've never read mystery short stories before, so this was an interesting view into a genre I don't read a lot, though I have a lot of respect for the meticulous plotting. I do love Lippman's use of Baltimore, and this was the PERFECT book for sitting in the jury duty waiting room today, but there's still something about her style that I don't quite love.

And now I shall put my finger on it: her characters all seem to speak to me in the voices of the women at my gym. They are the voices of Roland...more
I was drawn to Laura Lippman's work because I know she is married to David Simon, who helped to create some of the most compelling and complex drama that has ever been brought to the screen, in my opinion. Since Lippman had the same background, Baltimore Sun writer turned author, I figured I'd be in for more of the same. While Lippman is a talented writer, her stories all come to the same conclusion. After the first few stories it was not difficult to guess what end the characters would come to...more
Even if you are a reader that doesn’t enjoy reading short stories I think Hardly Knew Her will change your mind. The stories are so good that you will wish you were reading a book instead of just a short story.

I didn’t find even one of the stories that I didn’t like but I did have my favorites. The story of Mona who increased her income by becoming a porn star was intriguing. Mona was not young and this just didn’t seem to be the occupation to take on late in life but the bills must be paid and...more
I have always enjoyed Laura Lippman's novels--in part, I think, because they are set in Baltimore, Maryland and the city usually becomes a major character in each book. This book, however, proved that, in truth, I did hardly know her. In this collection of short stories, Lippman extends her range and her subject matter. While many of the stories are set either in Baltimore and its suburbs or at least in Maryland, some venture as far south as New Orleans and as far east as Dublin, Ireland. Some o...more
I've never been a fan of short stories--I am generally of the mind that they do not have time to have enough depth of plot or character to make them interesting. Hardly Knew Her blew that opinion completely out of the water for me--each and every one of these stories immediately engaged me with characters that left lasting impressions. Lippman introduces some seriously off-kilter people who chose to do extraordinary things in completely matter of fact ways that surprise the reader again and agai...more
Again with the half stars, GoodReads: I'd like to give this 2.5 really. It had its highs and lows. For me, I disliked the Tess Monaghan portions because I, having never read one of those books, have no vested interest in the PI. Lippman's other stories were hit or miss. I thought it started off strong, with some shining moments of comedy. Eventually though, they all became formulaic with each one containing a surprising murder of sorts. Overall, it was enjoyable to listen to--didn't pander, was...more
This was my first Laura Lippman encounter as before I found this collection of short stories in Dollar Tree, I had never even heard of her but it was a well-spent dollar.
I tend to be iffy about short stories written by women as the few I have read tended to be rushed romance and low-rung "chick-lit" so I was happily surprised with Laura's candor and grit.
I liked the fact that the three stories centering around Tess didn't leave me feeling left out since she was a new character to.me. They were f...more
Sc Fetters
I think this book was fabulous. Was a book full of weird and murderous short stories. A lot of people are turned off by short story books but, I think this one will suck you in. Think this will make people more susceptible to short story books.
They range from murder, jealousy and drugs.
My favorite has to be Dear Penthouse Forum. Where a lady writes to penthouse to try to get her true erotic stories published. It doesnt seem to be happening. But what the main character does is plays out scenarios...more
These stories are knockouts - Lippman's talent has really blossomed over the last few years, and this collection is a great introduction to her work. She proves her that she's a master at closing a story in a way that startles and leaves you a little breathless.
Tracy Robertson
I'm halfway through and liking it a lot. I'm a fan of short stories with twisted characters, and this is up my alley.
Wow, I really enjoyed this book. It made for a long commute that felt too fast! Hardly Knew Her is a collection of short crime stories, which were all really good. The stories were shocking at first, and then you sort of pick up on the formula. But this doesn't make the stories any less entertaining--you just start realizing where the story might go. I found them all really good, and some of them a little off-color in that "The Wire" sort of way. A couple of the stories feature Lippman's heronin...more
Light romps through Baltimore with quirky, cold blooded characters, where the women usually win, where cheating on spouses is de rigueur, and killing husbands for comfortable insurance policies is desirable and achievable - is how I would write my elevator pitch on this collection.

Plot is predominant in these stories which are delivered in the strong narrative voice of the author; sometimes the character voices intrude to comment on their situation or on their antogonist;sometimes whole sections...more
I got the title story as an audiobook from Audible.com and listened last week while I was in the bath since it was a nice short one (about 40 minutes). To quote Sarah Rachel Egelman's Amazon review, "In the title story, 'Hardly Knew Her,' 16-year-old Sofia wrests power from her abusive father, literally locking him out of her life. The male characters here are most often victimizers turned victim."

There's nothing light and fluffy about this story, in case you couldn't tell. It's compelling in i...more
I was a bit skeptical about this book after realizing that the author is a crime writer. I haven't read any of her other books and really haven't read any crime fiction. The thing that disappointed me about this book wasn't the writing--it was actually fairly well written and LOL in many places. The thing that disappointed me was that most of the stories end with a character being murdered. It reminded me a lot of the stories that I used to write when I was new to the story writing genre, where...more
In Laura Lippman's short story collection, we experience a variety of voices: first person narratives; stories from the perspective of women ranging from teens to aged; two from men who have been less than faithful to their wives (spousal betrayal seems to be a recurring theme); and a couple from the perspective of black men.

Another recurring theme lies in the numerous stories set in Baltimore or neighboring cities, like Washington, D.C. There are a few Tess Monaghan stories, and one of my favor...more
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This short story collection could have been subtitled “Women Who Kill”, because that is essentially what most of the stories revolve around. It’s a very strong collection, with only a few duds. Strangely, one of those duds was a Tess Monaghan story (Lippman’s most well-known character).

It’s difficult to narrow down exactly which stories were my favorites. The first story, The Crack Cocaine Diet, is fabulous just for its voice. I really enjoyed The Accidental Detective, a newspaper-style piece on...more
Laura Lippman’s Hardly Knew Her presents the reader with a medley of innovative stories about caprice, violence, prostitution, murder and the less than traditional ironies of life. Her characters are richly drawn and she deftly spins seventeen delectable tales of women caught in various predicaments. Some situations are of their own making while others are caused by happenstance or perhaps by a cruel twist of fate.

Lippman’s women are as varied as the colorful icings on a dozen donuts. Some of h...more
Mike Barresi
Lippman's collection of short stories in Hardly Knew Her, are told through a variety of voices. A suburban prostitute, a college age girl, and a sixty year old adult film actress to name a few. All have one underlying theme: murder. Lippman's diologue propels the stories, which are all rich in plot and characters. And maybe not surprisingly, I was most interested in the two stories featuring Tess Monaghan. Although I haven't ready a Lippman novel starring Tess, I could tell that Tess was a full...more
I didn't really care for the first Tess Monaghan novel when I read it a few years back, but this highly entertaining short story collection has prompted me to reassess my opinion of Laura Lippman's work. Lippman depicts Baltimore, D.C., and their surrounding suburbs with the appropriate mix of satire and social realism. The best stories in this collection are fantastically entertaining, and even the weaker entries have some perfect local detail, turn of phrase, or sociological insight that make...more
I have enjoyed the Tess Monaghan books that I have read. Lippman knows her city, Baltimore, and her characters are fun and interesting to follow. There are a couple of stories in this book about Tess and I liked them a lot.

I tend to like short stories, especially when my life is stressed and I am having trouble concentrating. Lippman knows how to write economically and so her stories were all good.

The ones that are going to stick with me were about Heloise - a madam who is raising her son in the...more
Several of these are deeply creepifying, but in a good way. I also enjoyed the Tess Monahan shorts, as I miss having new Tess stories to read.

I particularly the two about Heloise. She's very self-aware, knowing her strengths and foibles - and the cause and effect in life that are often the source of those blind spots. Her story is a particularly effect as a compare and contrast with those with whom she interacts. What's legal, what's moral, and what we're willing to rationalize for our own sake...more
Jun 04, 2014 Judith marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
Dev Singer
The women (and couple men) in this book and their complete disregard for other peoples' lives are repulsive.
Chilling stories of some of the darker sides of the human condition but extremely well-written.
I liked this short story collection. ALl but one kept my interest and it was a great train read.
Story collections are hard to rate. The first story blew me away. Not all the others did. As some reviewers have pointed out, although each story would be shocking on its own, the murders starts to seem predictable when they're all together like this.

I was thinking of Ruth Rendall, who can also write truly creepy stuff. Lippman's work is different in that her characters seem sort of normal, up to the point when they decide that murder is a reasonable option. It's a different kind of creepiness...more
Thom (T.E.)
Wish I could understand why I like short stories by mystery novelists. This collection was enjoyable but occasionally redundant. There's a great example of re-using characters herein: elements of one story are cannibalized for the climactic novella.Lippman's iconic character Tess Monaghan shows up a couple of times--but there are some other fine lead characters in this collection. Getting through this was a great midsummer breeze--it left me wanting something more substantial, and i'm not referr...more
Another car listen -- this book of short stories made my seven hours in the car over the weekend feel like half that. Alternately disturbing and hilarious, most of these stories feature unlikely murderers who find themselves on the brink after a bad breakup or betrayal. (You do have to wonder -- whatever happened to letting the air out of someone's tires or publishing nasty rumors on the internet? These people seem to jump to murder and other mortal sins pretty quickly.) I can't complain, though...more
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Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for othe...more
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