By Ellen Hart
I like to read new genres and sometimes it is intentional. This time it was by accident, but I am glad that I did.
I have never read gay fiction. This is a gay mystery. Part of me wondered why it needed to be a separate genre. Isn’t a mystery, a mystery. So, I guess it is considered a sub-genre, like paranormal mystery or historical mystery and makes it easier for readers to find what they are looking for.
The Lost Women of Lost Lake is part of the Jane Lawless mystery series. Jane owns a couple of restaurants, and she is also a part-time P.I. She often helps friends in need.
A friend Tessa has sprained her ankle and Jane and another friend Cordelia decide to go help Tessa and her partner Jill out while Tessa is convalescing.
Tessa is a playwright and involved in a local play. Because Cordelia has acted and directed plays, she decides to go along with Jane to help Tessa while Jane helps Jill by cooking. Jill also owns the premier resort in the area.
When a journalist arrives in town with a photograph and asking questions about a bombing in the past that killed a Chicago police officer, a local woman and the journalist turn up dead.
Jonah, the teenage nephew of Jill and Tessa hitch hikes from St Louis to Lost Lake after running away from home. His parents had moved him away from Lost Lake and he missed his girlfriend and wanted to finish high school in Lost Lake. Jonah begs his aunts to let him stay with them. Within a couple days, he breaks his curfew and gets grounded.
Jane sees a strange man looking into Jill’s study window. Tessa has a strange paranoid reaction and Jane uses her investigative skills to help solve what is going on.
I purchased this book at a Library book sale so wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never heard of this author but the description on the jacket seemed intriguing.
I enjoyed this read immensely. The plot was interesting, and it hooked me with the strange man looking in the window. (I guess that is a personal fear of mine.)
The characters were interesting and most felt three dimensional. I loved the setting. Love small towns and a home on a lake. (A dream of mine.) The author made me care about the characters enough that I needed to know what happened to them.
The threat seemed realistic and that pulled me through to the end. The sub-plots were also well written and tied into the main story nicely.
Sometimes it’s good to browse for new-to-you books and authors. The cover attracted me originally. A chair on a deck overlooking a lake with a full moon reflecting on the water. What’s not to like? All I needed to know was that it was a mystery. I read so many series that I can’t promise to read the whole series until I finish some already on my radar but if I see more from this author, I will check them out.
I gave this book 3.5 stars and would recommend to anyone who loves mysteries set in a small town with strong female leads.
Title: The Lost Women of Lost Lake
Author: Ellen Hart
Year Published: September 27, 2011
Category: Mystery, Gay Mystery
Rating: Goodreads 3.70
Setting: Lost Lake MN
About the Author:
According to Entertainment Weekly, Ellen Hart is a novelist in the cultishly popular gay mystery genre. She is also a Lambda and Minnesota Book Award winner. Three-time winner of the Golden Crown Award. A recipient of the Alice B Medal. Official GLBT Literary Saints and Sinners Festival in New Orleans. Has a GCLS Trailblazer award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of Lesbian literature. Was named a Grand Master for the Mystery Writers of America. The author of over 30 crime novels in two different series. Ellen Hart has taught an Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery through the Loft Literary Center. Ellen lives with her partner Kathleen Kruger in Eden Prairie, MN.
I have been finding ways to buy books without overspending my budget. This is the first I have reviewed from a library book sale. I was surprised what books were available. One from an author I had hoped to read. I’ve shopped in a few thrift stores recently too. I will continue to buy new books as often as possible, and I do plan on using the library more. This was a good find. I look forward to reading more of my newfound treasures.
Where do you get your books? Do you have a favorite bookshop? I do love the library and I do like to support the authors, but I think buying used can help me find new authors without breaking the bank.
A tour of Wall of Books, a bookstore I frequent in Ankeny, IA.
I hope you enjoyed this review and hopefully I have introduced you to a new to you author.