The first thing you’ll notice while reading My Life As A Villainess is the many missing letters. You’ll be reading one of Laura Lippman’s essays and you’ll see “…even if their partner is under twenty fi e.” (p. 62). Every few pages, words will be missing letters which becomes annoying.

If you can get over the missing letters, you’ll find a range of essays where Laura Lippman writes about her life and her career. Lippman worked as a reporter for 20 years so there are some great War Stories about her former profession. I was interested in Lippman’s transition from a reporter to full-time writer. I found these essays revealing and compelling. GRADE: B+


Introduction: The Accidental Essayist – 1

Part I: Game of Crones

The whole 60 — 9

Game of crones — 28

Natural selection — 48

The art of losing friends and alienating people — 67

Part II: This be the other verse

My father’s bar — 91

The thirty-first stocking — 99

Swing, interrupted — 111

Revered ware — 118

Part III: My life as a villainess

The Waco kid — 125

Tweety bird — 149

My life as a villainess — 164

Part IV: Genius

A fine bromance — 179

Saving Mrs. Banks — 202

My brilliant friend — 223

Men explain The wire to me — 243

Acknowledgments — 269

Credits –271

20 thoughts on “MY LIFE AS A VILLAINESS: ESSAYS By Laura Lippman

  1. Michael Padgett

    I’ve read and liked most of Lippman’s novels and will likely get to this eventually. Since I’ve been warned about it the missing letters probably won’t bother me too much unless they’re really outrageous. I wonder if the publisher has commented on this?

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    When I mentioned this to Patti, she immediately mentioned the missing letters too. I’ve never seen a book like that. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it a lot.

  3. Patti Abbott

    I don’t think it was a copy editor’s fault. I think it was a printing malfunction and shame on that press for allowing the books to go forward.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I’ve read recent books with copy problems–misspelled words, missing words, grammatical errors–but this is the first book I’ve encountered with multiple missing letters in words.

  4. Beth Fedyn

    This is one of those few instances where the ARC might have read better than the actual book. No missing letters there.
    I enjoyed the insight into Lippman’s life. And I REALLY need to watch The Wire. That kept coming up a lot.

  5. Jerry House

    Could the missing letters spell out a secret code? Perhaps giving the location of D. B. Cooper’s missing stolen cash? Or revealing the truth about Judge Crater’s disappearance? Or maybe it tells us the recipe for McDonald’s secret sauce, or the Colonel’s fried chicken recipe? Inquiring people with a lot of time on their hands due to the pandemic want to know!

  6. Kent Morgan

    I think the missing letters would be enough to make me give up. I read one of Lippman’s early novels and wasn’t impressed. Recently tried a book of her short stories, which were OK. Right now I am reading her 2019 novel. Lady in the Lake. Seeing that she has won several awards, can someone perhaps explain what I am missing in her work?


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