Laura Lippmann was born in Atlanta and raised in Baltimore. She is the daughter of Theo Lippman Jr., a well-known and respected Baltimore Sun writer, and Madaline Lippman, a retired school librarian for the Baltimore City Public Schools. She attended Wilde Lake High School in Columbia.
Lippman was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, as was her husband, David Simon. She is best known for her series of novels set in Baltimore and featuring Tess Monaghan, a reporter turned private investigator. Lippman teaches at Goucher College in Towson.