Lady in the Lake

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

2019; William Morrow/HarperCollins Canada

I started this novel as right away I am getting Cop Town-vibe. Even though Cop Town takes place in 1970s, and Lady in the Lake is 1960s, there is the same tone of the time. You have strong women trying to right wrongs with everything being thrown at them. As I started the novel, I wasn't sure where it was going, but slowly it started building up and my curiosity turned into being hooked. While my feelings towards Maddie bounced all around, I was invested in her story and her stubbornness to find Cleo's (the lady in the lake) story. It wasn't just about what happened to her but who she was and she was loved. Cleo wasn't a throwaway. Oh, Cleo was also African-American woman which as we know did and do know get high profile status to be solved (ugh, going to stop there on that subject).

Once I get sucked into Lippman's standalone novels, I can't wait to see how it ends. She can really tell a story with characters that are realistic and that readers get invested into. I highly recommend this novel, and Lippman's backlog.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***
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One of the things that drives me crazy about the mystery/thriller genre is that readers often come into it with a set of expectations and get very upset if those expectations aren't met. Laura Lippman consistently writes novels that examine crime from a very human angle. It often means she's more interested in the why then the how, and looking at not just the victim/s, but at those around them and how everything is connected. Her books are brilliant, and so smart, and The Lady in the Lake is no exception.  Plus nobody does Baltimore better in novels  than her! An absolutely must not miss and one of the best books I've read in 2019.
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At first I thought this would be a murder mystery but it turned out to be so much more. This is a book about the 1960s in an urban setting and it delves into race, gender and politics of that time, as well as religion. It was really well written and kept me interested. The main character was flawed but still likable. 

Synopsis: Cleo Sherwood goes missing and no one but her mom and kids notice, which is in line with the racism of the time. Maddie Schwartz decides to leave her husband to pursue a life as a reporter, an ambition she's had for a while.  Maddie writes about Cleo and underestimates the amount of trouble she will cause by writing a story no one wants to tell. 

I think this book is great for a lot of different people. Part mystery, part historical fiction, part ghost story. I would recommend it. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Faber&Faber for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I was fascinated by the premise of this book and really wanted to like it. 

Set in Baltimore in the mid-1960s the story is about Maddie Schwartz, a bored housewife who leaves her husband and son. She determines to make an independent life for herself and ends up working at a newspaper. She discovers the death of a young woman, Cleo, the Lady in the Lake and  determines to find who is behind her death. 

This story has a lot going for it, murder, mystery, a fascinating insight into 1960s Baltimore and what life was like for people of different backgrounds, but I found the fairly large cast of characters and their points of view rather confusing and didn’t end up connecting with them in the way that I had hoped.

Thanks to the publisher, author and Netgalley for a review copy in return for an honest review.
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This was my first book by this author.   I did find myself lost a few times, too many pov characters.   Back in time when it blacks were just a blip on a white person's radar.  One newly single woman takes notice.  Trying to find out who the lady in the lake was and just why was she murdered.  With an unexpecting twist, one woman is determined to solve this case.
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I’ve read a few of Laura Lippmans books to know that this is a departure from her normal style. It’s set in the past, involves a ghost, has numerous POV, and yet it is still a mystery type book to me. 

Maddie recently walked away from her marriage and wants to make her make on the world and in journalism. She helps the police find a murdered girl which leads her to the local lake where Cleo was murdered. The book follows her investigation. 

While the mystery is good what made its mark with me was the examination of how the sixties was with race, class and gender. 

If you can get past the multiple POV you will be immersed within the time and the mystery of the murdered woman. It’s a great weekend type read.
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I thoroughly enjoyed Lippman's latest novel. This was not my first novel by this author, nor will it be my last.

I think this would be considered a literary mystery. It is not a whodunnit really, although that is the crux of what keeps the novel moving forward.

This was a story that illuminates a time and place in history. There were discussions about race tensions, religious differences, laws, expectations and class differences. While I found the people in this book to be mostly superficial characters, the 1960s Baltimore setting was fully alive on every page. There were so many POVs including a ghost, a waitress, a nurse, and reporters. Each of these characters showed up for a very short period of time, offered their piece of the story and vanished. But I felt that was by design, people are temporary, the city and the culture last much longer.

The investigation into a murdered black woman was in the background throughout the book, but life continued and there were other things that needed doing. The life of a reporter at the time, especially an almost 40-year old cub reporter, could be difficult and degrading. The mystery had several twists and turns and intrigued me to the end. 

The glimpse of a time I have never seen was more engaging then anything else. This may not be the perfect place for a new Lippman reader, but I enjoyed it enough to recommend it to others.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with an advanced e-copy of the book.
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This book has a little bit of everything in it so it should appeal to a wide audience. The book’s style was different than I’m used to reading from the author. Many characters Maddie meets narrate their own chapter which adds great depth to the story. I recommend this book if you like reading about the 60’s as I do.
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Very good! An intriguing story will well-thought out characters and a storyline that I really liked. Well done, Ms. Lippman! I will continue to read your books for years to come!
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This was my first book by Laura Lippman. Though I love thrillers, I have to say this one didn't wow me at all. It took a great deal of effort to focus, and what really put me off was the multiple POVs. There were so many POVs (even the ghost's POV was there) that it became so confusing. And none of the characters, including the protagonist, were likeable. Overall, it was a tough read for me.
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This is a slow burn of a literary thriller, a powerfully written suspense novel in which Lippman shows her extraordinary skill as a novelist whose work is grounded in social realism and character driven prose. Her Baltimore is a city, one whose complexities are richly evoked. The POV and temporal shifts showcase a novelist at the top of her always excellent game. This is a stunning novel whose characters leap of the pages of the novel and of history.
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Thank you Netgalley, the publisher and Laura Lippman for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and are completely unbiased.

I will give this book 3 stars. I did enjoy the story and found it interesting; there were just as many parts in the story that I disliked as I liked.
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Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman tells the story of a negro woman who is missing in 1960's Baltimore.  When a body is pulled out of a lake, people are not happy and do not want the case investigated.  This story is based on a true unsolved murder case.  I was totally intrigued with the true to life descriptions of Baltimore in the 1960's.  One of my favorite authors hits it out of the ballpark again !!!
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Laura Lippman is a "hit or miss" author for me, more often hit than miss. Lady in the Lake demonstrates why I keep coming back to her work. It is a stellar mystery set in the perfect era. She manages to capture the frustration of women in the 1960s, the racial tension of then and now and lays out an incredible mystery that keeps readers guessing until the very end. That she does all of this with a very likeable and witty character is "icing on the cake."

Lady in the Lake is actually inspired by a true story of the unsolved murder of Shirley Parker in Baltimore. Although that case remains unsolved, Lippman's indomitable character, Maddie, is on a mission to prove that she has what it takes to be an ace reporter and solve the mysterious death of Cleo aka The Woman in the Lake. The story is told from multiple points of view but Lippman seamlessly transitions through each of them as she makes each of their voices clear and understood. Lippman's past as a reporter shows in her astute descriptions of the newsroom. Add to that the nuances of racial tension that was simmering throughout America at this time and you have a winner of book. To say that this was one of my favorite books of the summer is an understatement. I loved the characters, the era and the writing immensely.
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Bravo to the author, what a way to tell a story! What an ambitious way to introduce a mysterious, vibrant, ordinary city & guarded, selfish people within its 60s landscape (most of it gone now), combining research, history, life, gender, race, politics, journalism and zip codes - with murder. I googled the places and the people (some of whom are real, or based on real people) and the distance from Pikesville to W. Mulberry Street is huge. I could not stand Madeline Morgenstern Schwartz, what an irritating wannabe she was, upstart really, who made it in the end! And I kept thinking why Eunetta's voice was not huge in the story, considering it was her murder / death that was the basis for the story, why her baby daddies didn't get a voice over or her sister or even the club owner Shell Gordon, but the reason is clear in the end. 

What a sad, ambiguous retelling of two true crimes, one of which remains unsolved to this day (and one is not even classified as a crime!) Very good book.
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I love everything Laura Lippman does. I grew up in Baltimore so I find her intimate writing of 1960's Baltimore, so nostalgic. Lippman writes her settings as if they were their own character. I also love the way Lippman alternates perspectives. One of my favorites!
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I really enjoyed Lady in the Lake! It is very different from Lippman's Tessa Monaghan series and it actually reminded me a bit of Jennifer Weiner's Mrs. Everything (another great read).

Lippman does a fantastic job creating the atmosphere of Baltimore in the 1960s and the religious and racial tensions and nuances.  I really loved her depiction of the newsroom and the newspaper culture of the time. the mystery tied things together, but for me, the focus was on what the crime meant for Baltimore and society and how we treat victims of different races (still a big issue today).

Lippman has always been a favourite author and I can't wait to read what she does next. Highly recommend Lady in the Lake and that you check out her backlist if you haven't yet.

Thank you to #netgalley and Faber & Faber for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley and publishers for an ARC of this book.

If you enjoyed Sunburn, this will be another winner. The main character is unlikeable, but I kept rooting for her. A little distant, Maddie wants to be a hero, but can't seem to stay out of others business. She is out of touch with others needs and is constantly looking to "be" something. She was annoying at points, but I couldn't get enough of Lippman's story!!

There are a lot of POVs, but I found it so interesting!!
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I found the format of this book very interesting. The first chapter really sucks you in. I enjoyed the continued back and forth between Cleo and Madeline. However, I did not care for the chapters in between with the first person perspective from any random character. It was an interesting idea, but I really didn't care for it. I don't feel that it added anything to the story.
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I grew up in this neighborhood, in this community, and remember the true story/murder this is based on. Its disturbing and enthralling and EVERYTHING you expect from Laura Lippman! Amazing!
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