The Lost Women Of Lost Lake by Ellen HartThe Lost Women of Lost Lake by Ellen Hart is the nineteenth book in the Jane Lawless Mystery Series.

Jane Lawless is looking to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation from her full-time restaurateur career. She packs up her things and her beloved dog and heads to her family’s lodge— peace and quiet reigns until Cordelia arrives and asks Jane to accompany her to Lost Lake. Cordelia wants Jane to help out their dear friends Jill and Tessa because Tessa had an unfortunate accident and she uses crutches to get around. Jill needs all the help she can get because she needs someone to help her take care of Tessa and she has to keep her business called the Thunderhook Lodge running smoothly because it is a popular tourist resort.

When Jane and Cordelia arrive at Lost Lake nothing goes according to their plans because Tessa is grumpy and she is acting as though she doesn’t want them to be there. Then a strange guy turns up and says he is a journalist but he has a very old photograph of a woman and her companion and he is asking strange questions that many people in Lost Lake have no answers for. No one in the small community of Lost Lake cares for the rude and nosy ‘so called journalist’ who is trying to stir up trouble and many of them will go above and beyond to protect one of their own. Tessa is really rattled when this stranger enters her life because she thought she outran her old life but her past deeds have caught up with her when this stranger shows up at her house late one night. Everyone is willing to rally around Tessa and help her but the numerous half-truths and bold faced lies she told are beginning to catch up with her.

Would Tessa ever be able to tell her friends and her lover the truth about her past? How far will Jane and Cordelia go in order to protect Tessa from the repercussions of her past deeds?

The Characters

Jane Lawless is a restaurateur and part time private eye who has a knack for stumbling across clues and suspects. Jane enjoys being a restaurateur but it is a very stressful career and she just wants a break so she decided to take a mini vacation at her family’s lodge until Cordelia persuades her to leave her sanctuary to help out their friends in Lost Lake. I really adore Jane because she is honest to a fault even when her honesty puts her at odds with her friends. She is the kind of friend I would love to have because I know if I got into trouble she would stand by my side no matter what.

Cordelia is Jane’s best friend and she works in theatre production. She wears many hats because she is also Jane’s investigating sidekick! I love Cordelia so much because she is a foodie just like me and she wears these weird outfits to make a statement everywhere she goes. I can’t tell you how many times I have laughed out loud whenever I tried to picture Cordelia in those clothes. I like Cordelia’s forthright ways of dealing with people—she is not afraid to tell anyone what she thinks about them and I love her sarcastic sense of humor.

The Writing Style

The author did a marvelous job of tying all of these unique characters together in an intricate web of suspense, deceit and murder. I was kept in the dark for a very long time and I spent the majority of my non-reading time at work wondering ‘who done it.’  I kept counting down the hours until I could get home to resume reading in my comfy flannel pajamas with a hot cup of tea in my hand.

The Pros

Even though I will never leave my office job to become a private eye— I must admit that I really enjoyed following Jane and Cordelia’s bizarre investigation techniques as they tried to solve puzzling murders and uncover deadly secrets.

The Cons

You won’t get any complaints from me!

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksThis book is more than just another mystery story because these awesome and flawed women of Lost Lake took a huge piece of my heart and I don’t think I’ll ever get it back. Jane and Cordelia are amazing and hilarious (I really wish these women were real because we would have been the best of friends. I’m really curious like Jane so I know I would have been a pretty good wingwoman. I am sure I would have been able to help her solve a few cases!) Even though this is the nineteenth book in the series it can be read as a stand-alone.

Excerpt from The Lost Women of Lost Lake by Ellen Hart

“Who the hell are you?” she demanded.

The man backed away and jumped over the deck railing, disappearing into the darkness.

She stood for a few seconds, eyeing the French doors, her curiosity and her better judgement fighting over whether or not she should chase after him. The longer she considered it, the less the idea of chasing him appealed. Forgetting about the file she’d been sent to find, she returned to the living room.

“The folder?” asked Cordelia, giving her a quizzical look.


“The F-O-L-D-E-R?”


“Something wrong?”

She eased down on the edge of a chair. “There was a man standing on the deck outside one of the study windows. He was looking inside.”

Jill turned away from the small kindling fire she’d managed to get going.

“He took off when he saw me.”

“It’s probably nothing,” said Jill with a shrug. “Sometimes a guest at the lodge wanders down here. Even though we posted a sign that says this is private property, they either don’t see it or they don’t care.”

Jane was relieved to hear it.

“Describe him,” said Tessa, a forced composure on her round face.

“All I remember is his cap. It was black or dark blue, had white letters on the front.”

“Did it say Sox?” asked Tessa.

“Yes, I think it did.”

“Do you know him?” asked Cordelia.

“I might,” said Tessa, her lips barely moving.

“A friend?” asked Jill, twisting all the way around.

“Not exactly.”

“You’re not going to tell us anything about him, are you,” said Cordelia, adopting a bored tone to hide her impatience.

“I don’t know much, except that I don’t want him anywhere near this cottage.”

“Should we call the police?” asked Jane.

Tessa gave her head a stiff shake. “No. Here’s what we do. I want all the doors and windows locked and every shade pulled.” She clapped her hands. “Come on, folks. I can’t do it, so you have to.”

“Is that really necessary?” asked Jill.

“And someone go get my Mossberg twenty gauge. It’s in the closet in my study.”

“Aren’t we being a wee bit melodramatic?” asked Cordelia.

We may be,” said Tessa, pulling her shawl more closely around her shoulders. “But just in case we happen to be right, why don’t you all pitch in and humor me.”

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Jane Lawless Mystery Series

Hallowed Murder, 

Vital Lies, 

Stage Fright, 

A Killing Cure, 

A Small Sacrifice, 

Faint Praise, 

Robber’s Wine, 

Wicked Games, 

Hunting the Witch, 

The Merchant of Venus

Immaculate Midnight, 

An Intimate Ghost

The Iron Girl, 

Night Vision

The Mortal Groove

Sweet Poison

The Mirror and the Mask

The Cruel Ever After

The Lost Women of Lost Lake,

Rest for the Wicked

Taken by the Wind

The Old Deep and Dark

The Grave Soul

Fever in the Dark

A Whisper of Bones  

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781612940519
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books

Ellen Hart Online

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About the author

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My name is April Adams and I am an accountant at a civil service office. Even though I read a wide variety of lesbian fiction, I enjoy mystery and thriller books the most because I love the state of suspense the stories have me in until the end and I find out “who’s done it.”