Customer Reviews for

The Lost Women of Lost Lake (Jane Lawless Series #19)

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  • Posted November 12, 2011

    Outstanding Intensely Engaging Novel

    It is interesting how these things come in multiples. Libby Hellmann recently released a novel with its genesis in the riotous summer and fall of 1968. The Minnesota History Center has just opened an elaborate exhibit focused on 1968, and the History Theater in Saint Paul has mounted an original play, ¿1968, The year That Rocked The World.¿ And now here we have a powerful, emotionally intense novel by that excellent Minneapolis writer, Ellen Hart. It is a story of two women who are unable to divorce themselves from that same year, 1968 and the decisions and actions they took then. The story is another event in the evolving saga of Minneapolis restaurateur, Jane Lawless. This time she and bosom chum Cordelia take what they intend to be a short vacation trip into Minnesota¿s benign northern wilderness to the Lawless family lodge on a lake north of the Twin Cities. It¿s a common enough activity, and bucolic time on placid water amid peaceful forests is expected to provide calm and rejuvenation. Jane is trying to decide whether she can commit to working with a close friend toward becoming a professional private investigator. The peaceful appearing forest, like so many lives, conceals dark doings and Jane is drawn into a maelstrom of murder, revenge, drugs and double dealing. The multiple threads of this complex story intersect, divide, and then reweave. At times the action is high with tension, the pace frantic. At other times, the story becomes thoughtful, calm, like the smooth waters of the lake itself, allowing readers moments to reflect, perhaps, on their own lives and paths not taken. The women of lost lake, must, in the end, decide for themselves, and take for themselves the heart-rending consequences of their lives. I note in passing that the author and I are friends, which has no bearing on the gist of this review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    Excellent Mystery!!

    Ellen is truly an excellent spinner of a tale- lots of interesting people are introduced and the story builds and builds into a situation that you never see coming. The ending is a true shocker- I was so surprised and the tears rained freely- there was so much emotion. This book really deals with an impossible situation and how the characters try to live and deal with it. Please read it and enlighten your soul!!
    Thanks

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great Jane Lawless amateur sleuth

    Playwright Tessa Cornell severely sprains her ankle. Her wife of twenty six years Jill Ivorsen cares for her mate at the Thunderhook Lodge she owns by Lost Lake. Minneapolis restaurant owner (of Lyme House and the Xanadu Club) Jane Lawless and her best friend the Allen Grimsby Repertoire Theater of St. Paul artist director Cordelia Thorn travel to Lost Lake to help their friends with a sundry of things like cooking.

    A man wearing a White Sox shirt arrives at the LaVasser Soda Fountain seeking information about a woman named Judy Clark who is in a Chicago photo from 1968 with the deceased Jeff Briere. Owner Lyndie LaVasser says she cannot help Steven Feigenbaumer as she has no idea who this woman he seeks is. However, she sees Judy Clark whenever she looks into a mirror. Frantic Lyndie calls Tessa accusing her of getting her in the mess over five decades ago. Jane arrives and knows something besides her ankle bothers Tessa, but the woman refuses to reveal what disturbs her. Her wife begs Jane, who has solved mysteries before (see the Cruel Ever Affair), to investigate.

    This is a great Jane Lawless amateur sleuth as what happened in riotous 1968 Chicago impacts the present with a long dead cold case returning to life haunting everyone involved. The is some teen triangular angst involving Jill's nephew and two locals, and Jane may have a new beau; both enhance the prime story line of what happened over five decades ago that haunt Lyndie and Tessa.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Love Jane Lawless - just did not love this one.

    Couldn't reconcile the ending.

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  • Posted November 29, 2012

    I love all the Jane Lawless books, but this one is Ellen Hart's

    I love all the Jane Lawless books, but this one is Ellen Hart's supreme best. The psychological story--the intertwining of a sobering youthful mistake and a beautiful present-day relationship, along with Tessa's efforts to protect her relationship from her past--is even more intriguing than the whodunit plot. The complexities of Jonah's trying to fit himself into an unraveling family add depth to a deeply moving story. It is the emotional impact of this novel that makes it more than a light mystery read.

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