Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Short Story Wednesday "The Babysitter's Code" Laura Lippman from PLOTS WITH GUNS

I bought PLOTS WITH GUNS at the first Boucheron I attended in 2005 in Chicago. I went with Megan because it was just after her first book, DIE A LITTLE, came out and she knew no one in the mystery community. Of course, the convention would turn out to be the one where everyone's focus was on what was going on in New Orleans. 

Megan immediately made friends and I didn't see much of her after that. But I had fun wandering around the book stalls and going to panels and one of the things I did was go to an authors signing of PLOTS WITH GUNS.  "The Babysitter's Code" does feature a gun but it is not a crime story. It's the story of a teenage babysitter who enjoys dressing up in a glamorous mother's clothes and brandishing a gun. That is until the husband finds her. It's a sad little story but the writing is pure Lippman and delightful. I have read many of the stories over the years and although most of the writers are still around some have disappeared to my knowledge. 

Todd Mason

Kevin Tipple 


George Kelley 

Steve Lewis


Todd Mason said...

Was this one an original anthology, or a best from a magazine/website? Your first CF convention, as well?

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, I like Laura Lippmann's work, Patti. I hadn't come across this one before, though; I ought to look into it, as I'm not familiar with her short stories.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Don't know the book, though I have read this and many of her other stories. We were at that convention in Chicago when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast too. Our late friend Hal Rice was behind it, and they put it on in his honor after his too early death.

My story reading has slowed down - I'm still reading my one story a day but that's been about it for the last couple of weeks - though I think it is more about what I've been reading. The Ed Hoch non series stories just didn't grab me the way most of his series stories do, and the latest Patricia Highsmith collection will be the last (at least for now).

Of course, others are still arriving, including two new Crippen & Landru collections:

Stuart Palmer, HILDEGARDE WITHERS: FINAL RIDDLES? in the Lost Classics series
William Link & Richard Levinson, SHOOTING SCRIPT AND OTHER MYSTERIES, early stories of theirs from 1954-1966. I think they've had a couple of earlier collections published by Crippen & Landru, as has Stuart Palmer almost 20 years ago, with HILDEGARDE WITHERS: UNCOLLECTED STORIES.

And I just downloaded AN ELDERLY LADY MUST NOT BE CROSSED by Helene Tursten, second in this series of stories about, well, the title says it all. I liked the first collection.

pattinase (abbott) said...

This was a collection of the best of stories from the Plots With Guns website. The website was curated by Anthony Neil Smith, Hunter Hayes and Victor Gischler, all creative writing grad students at the time. The site lasted five years.

George said...

I don't know how I missed you and Megan at that 2005 BOUCHERCON! Like you and Margot, I like Laura Lippman's work a lot, too!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I didn't know anyone, George. I perhaps met Bill. But I wandered around and enjoyed the panels. And the crime fiction community was so vibrant then.

TracyK said...

I checked out the other authors featured in this anthology and there are some there I would like to try. I won't go looking for it right now because I already have enough anthologies that I have not even started yet. But it would be a good one.

I haven't read much by Lippman, but I should.