Lady in the Lake
The revered New York Times bestselling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore that combines modern psychological insights with elements of classic noir, about a middle-aged housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman. In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know--everyone, that is, except Madeline "Maddie" Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she's bolted from her marriage of almost twenty years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life.Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl--assistance that leads to a job at the city's afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake.Cleo Sherwood was a young African-American woman who liked to have a good time. No one seems to know or care why she was killed except Maddie--and the dead woman herself. Maddie's going to find the truth about Cleo's life and death. Cleo's ghost, privy to Maddie's poking and prying, wants to be left alone.Maddie's investigation brings her into contact with people that used to be on the periphery of her life--a jewelery store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore Orioles, a patrol cop, a hardened female reporter, a lonely man in a movie theater. But for all her ambition and drive, Maddie often fails to see the people right in front of her. Her inability to look beyond her own needs will lead to tragedy and turmoil for all sorts of people--including the man who shares her bed, a black police officer who cares for Maddie more than she knows.

Lady in the Lake Details

TitleLady in the Lake
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherWilliam Morrow
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Adult, Audiobook

Lady in the Lake Review

  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Cold, Dark, and Distant Lady in the Lake is a mystery about a want-to-be journalist who inserts herself into murder investigations in 1960's Baltimore. Maddie Schwartz, married to Milton for 18 years and mother to 16-year-old Seth, decides she needs to do more. She makes a drastic change and leaves Milton and Seth to start over. She lucks her way into a job at a newspaper and goes to extremes to move up on the ladder. In order to succeed, she will cross boundaries and put herself into dangerous Cold, Dark, and Distant Lady in the Lake is a mystery about a want-to-be journalist who inserts herself into murder investigations in 1960's Baltimore. Maddie Schwartz, married to Milton for 18 years and mother to 16-year-old Seth, decides she needs to do more. She makes a drastic change and leaves Milton and Seth to start over. She lucks her way into a job at a newspaper and goes to extremes to move up on the ladder. In order to succeed, she will cross boundaries and put herself into dangerous situations all to get the story--even if it means hurting those she is closest to. This is one of those books that I had to constantly coax myself into reading. Once I had it in my hands, I was fine but when I put it down I was reluctant to go back to it. I enjoyed the historical elements and Lippman’s portrayal of Baltimore in the 1960s, but I had a hard time connecting to Maddie. I appreciated her drive, but her character lacked emotion and seemed almost robotic. I honestly didn’t care what happened to her, which is why I could never fully immerse myself in the narrative. She left me feeling cold. I also struggled with the narrative structure, as there were multiple chapters told from the POV of side characters, including a dead girl, a waitress, a psychic, a cop, etc. These are the people who touched Maddie’s new life, but they are not the main players. In order to better understand Maddie, I was more interested in hearing the thoughts of her lover, her son, ex-husband, mother, etc. Instead, we get narratives about the people who make up Baltimore. I found their stories more interesting than Maddy’s and was sad when I realized I would only get short glimpses of their characters, never to see them again. I wanted to hear more about them and less about Maddie.This wasn't a complete fail, as I enjoyed reading about the racial tensions, religious divides, gender dynamics, and class differences in 19060's Baltimore. The plot is compelling, but the MC is lacking. Perhaps, I would have enjoyed it more had the story been told from a different voice. I won an ARC of this book from a GoodReads giveaway!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars, rounded upI’ve read almost all of Laura Lippman’s books. This one is a departure from her typical style. For starters, it takes place in the past, the sixties to be precise. It also involves a ghost. Yet, it’s still a mystery at heart. Maddie Schwatz is recently separated and looking finally to become something other than a wife and mother. Through a fluke, she finds the body of a missing 11 year old girl. Playing off that and what follows, she manages to get a job at a newspaper. As 4.5 stars, rounded upI’ve read almost all of Laura Lippman’s books. This one is a departure from her typical style. For starters, it takes place in the past, the sixties to be precise. It also involves a ghost. Yet, it’s still a mystery at heart. Maddie Schwatz is recently separated and looking finally to become something other than a wife and mother. Through a fluke, she finds the body of a missing 11 year old girl. Playing off that and what follows, she manages to get a job at a newspaper. As the story goes on, she becomes interested in the murder of a young black woman whose body was found in the Druid Hill Park fountain. Each chapter is told from a different viewpoint, including the ghost’s. And I mean, a lot of different POVs. If that bothers you, you won’t like this book, especially because we are given everyone’s background and thoughts. It reminded me a little of Olive Kitteridge, the way each character moves the story forward. As always, Baltimore is as much a character in the book as any of the people. Maybe because I lived there for decades, I’m always fascinated by how I know exactly the neighborhoods and locations Lippman is describing and what a great job she does doing it. And the language. Oh, she’s got the language. Does any other city say “a police” when referring to a policeman? Lippman also totally nails the times. When Tessie Fine laments that as an 11 year old girl, she’s told she can’t be a rabbi or even a cantor, it took me right back to the times I was told all the things I couldn’t be. “They gave me the same speech about modesty, tzniut. If I had a dollar for every time someone quoted “all is vanity” to me, I could buy five new bras,one for each school day. Modesty is for people who aren’t lucky enough to have things about which to be conceited.”I truly enjoyed this book, although the format is one that would normally bother me. It’s all down to the writing, characters and the plot. Lippman does a great job of nailing all three. In a weird stroke of luck, I had searched google looking for a picture of the fountain, only to discover the story is based on a true event, right down to the nickname given the deceased. Actually, both murders are based on real cases, and Lippman acknowledges this in her author’s Note. My thanks to netgalley and Faber & Faber for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    I've been wanting to read a book by this author for awhile now and the synopsis for this one sounded good. so I finally took the plunge. While this book can be classified as historical fiction, it also fits in the mystery and women's fiction genres. I ended up really enjoying this novel and look forward to reading other books by Laura Lippman.It's 1966 and Madeline "Maddie" Schwartz. lives in Baltimore with her husband and teenage son. It might seem like she has it all but she wants more than ju I've been wanting to read a book by this author for awhile now and the synopsis for this one sounded good. so I finally took the plunge. While this book can be classified as historical fiction, it also fits in the mystery and women's fiction genres. I ended up really enjoying this novel and look forward to reading other books by Laura Lippman.It's 1966 and Madeline "Maddie" Schwartz. lives in Baltimore with her husband and teenage son. It might seem like she has it all but she wants more than just playing the role of dutiful housewife. In search of living a more meaningful life, she leaves her husband and eventually finds work at a local newspaper. She is on the low end of the totem pole there but she thinks the right story will get her some attention. Maddie is particularly interested in finding out what exactly happened to Cleo Sherwood, a young African American woman who was found dead in the fountain of a city park lake. However her eagerness to find out the truth could come at an awful price for some. I was surprised at how many different things the story was able to touch on such as race, religion, women in the workforce, the newspaper industry, and politics to name a few. For me what really drove the story was the mystery of Cleo Sherwood more so than the Maddie "finding herself" storyline. While Maddie's perspective was predominately featured, other characters, including Cleo gave their spin on events throughout the book. For the most part I liked this method of telling the story especially as it really demonstrated how Maddie's actions affected other people. However, a few characters really had nothing much to do with advancing the plot so even though the appearances were brief, they just felt unnecessary. This is the type of book in which there is a little bit of something for everyone and what each reader takes away from it might be different. Definitely recommend especially if the 1960s Baltimore setting peaks your interest like it did for me.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    4 very enthusiastic stars!!! This was my first book of Laura Lippman's and it definitely won't be my last. I can't think of anything I didn't like about this book. It's Baltimore in 1966 and Maddie Schwartz has decided she is done playing by the rules and wants to start living her life. She leaves her husband and moves to an apartment downtown. She finds herself in the middle of a police investigation and from that point on she gains a focus of what she wants to do with her life. She begins work 4 very enthusiastic stars!!! This was my first book of Laura Lippman's and it definitely won't be my last. I can't think of anything I didn't like about this book. It's Baltimore in 1966 and Maddie Schwartz has decided she is done playing by the rules and wants to start living her life. She leaves her husband and moves to an apartment downtown. She finds herself in the middle of a police investigation and from that point on she gains a focus of what she wants to do with her life. She begins working for the Star, one of Baltimore's newspapers and immediately decides that she is not going to settle for being someone's assistant. She wants her own column and she does almost anything she can (sometimes consequences be damned!) to research a murder that no one seems to care about. A young, black woman was found dead in a nearby lake. The community has moved on from this, but Maddie refuses to let go. It is through this investigation that we follow Maddie, and many other POV from the various people she meets by way of her investigation. I can see why some people had trouble with the way this book was laid out. We hear from almost everyone Maddie encounters (even if for only a brief chapter), which in my opinion, helps flesh out the story even more than if we had read it all from Maddie's perspective. I thought it was also a good avenue into the insight of the time and place - not only did we see the world through Maddie's eyes, we saw it through different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, professions, genders, etc. So this aspect of the book was a total win for me. I also found the story extremely interesting and inspiring. Was Maddie my favorite character in the world? No. But who cares? She had a dream and she chased it. I highly recommend giving this a chance it you have any interest in newsroom/reporting, mystery, the 60's, or women's fiction. I want to thank Netgalley, Faber & Faber and Laura Lippman for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book. I was particularly touched by Ms. Lippman's author's note.Review Date: 7/21/19Publication Date: 7/23/19
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    LaurA Lippman swept me away to 1960s Baltimore with this atmospheric and riveting tale. This book perfectly wove together mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. maddie is a 1960s housewife who after 18 years of marriage decide she wants more to life than just being a wife. While I didn’t always agree with Maddie’s methods, I completely understood her plightt. Maddie leaves her husband finds herself a job at a newspaper and is determined to be the best reporter ever. She will do what i LaurA Lippman swept me away to 1960s Baltimore with this atmospheric and riveting tale. This book perfectly wove together mystery, historical fiction, and women’s fiction. maddie is a 1960s housewife who after 18 years of marriage decide she wants more to life than just being a wife. While I didn’t always agree with Maddie’s methods, I completely understood her plightt. Maddie leaves her husband finds herself a job at a newspaper and is determined to be the best reporter ever. She will do what it takes, climb over people, and stomp on their loyalties. The structure and vibe of the story was unique and well executed. Not only did we get the point of view of Maddie but that of so many others. Including a ghost, a police officer, a baseball player, a psychic, and so much more. I loved the little vignettes sprinkled throughout the story about seemingly inconsequential characters. I thought it really added to and propel the story along. Even though this was more of a slow burn I was completely compelled from first page to last. The descriptive writing and dialogue gave me such an incredible sense of time and place. There is a lot packed into this novel, a mystery, women’s rights, race relations, religious implications, and politics. I think Miss Lippman did a marvelous job of bringing it all together and keeping it fresh and interesting. If you are a fan of the 1960s, Mystery, or women’s fiction I’d definitely recommend adding this one to your summer TBR!*** Big thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***
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  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Maddie Schwartz has been a housewife for almost twenty years.  She thought she'd resigned herself to this life as soon as she married Milton and became a mother to their son Seth.  It's a guest from her past at a small dinner party that reminds Maddie of her ambitions and she leaves Milton to begin a life of her own.  She assumed Seth would want to live with her and she's hurt when he decides to stay and finish high school at home with his father.When young Tessie Fine goes missing near Maddie's Maddie Schwartz has been a housewife for almost twenty years.  She thought she'd resigned herself to this life as soon as she married Milton and became a mother to their son Seth.  It's a guest from her past at a small dinner party that reminds Maddie of her ambitions and she leaves Milton to begin a life of her own.  She assumed Seth would want to live with her and she's hurt when he decides to stay and finish high school at home with his father.When young Tessie Fine goes missing near Maddie's new Baltimore neighborhood, Maddie and another young woman form their own search party and as she follows streets that remind her of her past, she finds the body of the young girl.  This leads to a job at the afternoon newspaper the Star, where Maddie hopes to work her way up and eventually have her own byline.  Unfortunately she's relegated to sorting and answering questions from the public for a help column.Maddie believes her big break is the case of missing woman Cleo Sherwood, whose body is found in the fountain of a park lake.  She works on her own time to learn more about Cleo's life and discover how she died.But what if there's something Cleo doesn't want Maddie to uncover?Lady in the Lake is a slow burning noir novel that uncovers the secrets of Maddie Schwartz's past and present while she works a case no one else seems to care about.  Maddie understands what it's like to have secrets and yearn for a fresh start, just like Cleo; learning Cleo's secrets will be the key to solving her death.  During her investigation, Maddie comes in contact with a string of people, both related and unrelated to case, who each have a brief chance to narrate the story to share a truth with readers.  The resounding voice that returns continuously is that of the ghost of Cleo Sherwood herself and she wants Maddie to stop searching for answers.  What is it that Cleo doesn't want Maddie to uncover?Maddie's determination stems from her own selfish ambition and causes her to miss clues that ultimately lead to devastating consequences for herself and those connected with her investigation.Lippman's writing is subtle; her stories are not about action but the character perspectives that move the story to its eventual conclusion.  I was never on the edge of my seat but I was compelled to follow Maddie around the streets of Baltimore to see what she would find.  I had a couple of theories on Cleo's death and just when the least dramatic one seemed to tie up Maddie's investigation, Lippman threw in a curveball that ultimately solves the mystery while giving us more questions than answers!  While that certainly could've been more frustrating than satisfying, I appreciate that the ending has me considering the possibilities long after I've finished reading.Mixing noir with hints of hard-boiled fiction, Lady in the Lake gives readers unlikeable but entertaining characters surrounding a mystery loosely based on actual events of the time period.If you love a slow burn mystery with noir and detective fiction vibes, Lady in the Lake is worthy of adding to your TBR stack.Thanks to William Morrow for sending me an advance copy and Goodreads for hosting the giveaway!  Lady in the Lake is scheduled for release on July 23, 2019.For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
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  • Lindsey Gandhi
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first book by Laura Lippman and I am so glad I was introduced to this author's writing. Lady in the Lake is a simply captivating book. I absolutely loved the author's writing style and prose. The storyline itself is really intriguing. And the best part for me is there was a big unexpected twist I did not see coming from a million miles away. I thought I was reading about Maddie on her hunt for the truth about how Cleo was killed and then BAM you are hit with this twist. It's absolutel This is my first book by Laura Lippman and I am so glad I was introduced to this author's writing. Lady in the Lake is a simply captivating book. I absolutely loved the author's writing style and prose. The storyline itself is really intriguing. And the best part for me is there was a big unexpected twist I did not see coming from a million miles away. I thought I was reading about Maddie on her hunt for the truth about how Cleo was killed and then BAM you are hit with this twist. It's absolutely brilliant!!! The book is structured by each chapter being from a different characters perspective. You would think this structure would be confusing to follow. However, Lipman's writing does just the opposite. It flows seamlessly. From a writing viewpoint it's beautiful, clever and masterful!! That is no easy feat and the author does this effortlessly. From a reader's position it makes the book so enjoyable, satisfying and hard to put down. This book has elements of love, mystery, desire, ambition, independence, and finding your own way all wrapped up together. The character development is strong and the author is spot on with the rich history of Baltimore and the time period. It's a solid and powerful read. I can see this as a great beach read or Bookclub pick. This book offers the platform for some engaging discussions on how life has changed from the 60's, especially the role of women and the extents people will go to for love. And you can guarantee that not only will I be recommending this book, but also checking out the author's other books. My thanks to Laura Lippman, Farber & Farber Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI liked the feel of Lady in the Lake, but there was something a bit disjointed about it at times. The story is set in 1966 Baltimore and focuses on Maddie Schwartz. Maddie is somewhat at odds with the times. She is restless in her marriage, has a healthy sexual appetite, is itching to work at something engaging and is willing to take risks. But she’s no hero. She gets a job with a newspaper and starts meddling in the murder of Cleo Sherwood, and things become complicated for Maddie and 3.5 starsI liked the feel of Lady in the Lake, but there was something a bit disjointed about it at times. The story is set in 1966 Baltimore and focuses on Maddie Schwartz. Maddie is somewhat at odds with the times. She is restless in her marriage, has a healthy sexual appetite, is itching to work at something engaging and is willing to take risks. But she’s no hero. She gets a job with a newspaper and starts meddling in the murder of Cleo Sherwood, and things become complicated for Maddie and people around her. The story is told mostly from Maddie’s point of few, with the occasional perspective of the people she comes in contact with. I liked the writing. I liked the perspective on the 1960s in the US. And I mostly liked the story, but I thought it didn’t always hold together as well as it could. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Laura Lippman is not a new author, known for books such as “Sunburn" and “After I'm Gone”. For me though, “Lady in the Lake” was my first experience with this author. Maddie Schwartz is trying to start over, a recent divorcee with an estranged teenage son, living in 1960s Baltimore. Desperate to support herself, she gets a job at “The Star” newspaper as an assistant Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Laura Lippman is not a new author, known for books such as “Sunburn" and “After I'm Gone”. For me though, “Lady in the Lake” was my first experience with this author. Maddie Schwartz is trying to start over, a recent divorcee with an estranged teenage son, living in 1960s Baltimore. Desperate to support herself, she gets a job at “The Star” newspaper as an assistant. When she hears about the body of an unidentified young woman being pulled from a local lake, Maddie seizes her oppourtunity to finally get her own byline and make something of herself. However, as she investigates and reports, lives are turned upside down, including her own, and Maddie is soon involved in the deep underbelly of politics, racial segregation and romantic entanglements that run the risk of revealing some powerful secrets, secrets that most people believe should stay hidden. This was a difficult review to write. The way the novel is written took me awhile to adjust to. Maddy is the primary protagonist of the story, of course, but as she continues through her investigation, we are also made privy to some minor characters that Maddy interacts with. Each minor character is given a few paragraphs to detail their involvement in the story, and then never heard from again. (For example, Maddy interviews a psychic that the parents of the dead girl had met with after her disappearance; we hear how that interaction went from the psychic’s standpoint. Also, Maddy attends a baseball game and we hear from one of the players on the team). None of these bit characters had any part in the deaths in the novel, and they seemed to be mentioned merely as space fillers. However, at the end of the novel Maddy tells us that, as a newspaper reporter, everyone has a story if we just care enough to listen to it. It is not until the very last pages when we realize that there was a point to the inane and seemingly meaningless (and brief) narrations. Maddy herself is a gung-ho character, full of gumption and bravado that would make any woman in the 1960s stand up and cheer. She fights for what is right and she takes on all sorts of obstacles, regardless of others’ opinions. She battles personal demons through her flawed relationships, and still manages to achieve her own personal level of success (completely different from society’s view of “success”, both at the time and now). This novel is well told and creative, and fans of “Dear Mrs. Bird” will find a kindred spirit. As Maddy takes on racism, the mostly male-operated newspaper world, and her own personal relationships, a young girl is murdered and a young woman is pulled from the lake, providing the right amount of mystery and whodunit to the already entertaining plot. “Lady in the Lake” is provocative and enjoyable, with a reassuring and satisfying ending. Full of intrigue and the underbelly of newspaper reporting (back when newspaper reporting was pen-to-paper, ink-stained newsprint), it is definitely a powerful and creative read, that has me curious to check out Lippman’s other works.
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  • Bkwmlee
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis was an interesting read, one that I felt was quite a departure from the traditional thrillers I’m used to reading. Right off the bat, we know that a death has occurred, a woman’s body found at the bottom of a fountain, the titular “lady in the lake” from whose first person perspective it seems the story will be told. But then, the story switches to that of another woman, Madeleine “Maddie” Schwartz, a housewife who seemingly has the perfect life, but is actually restless and bored 3.5 starsThis was an interesting read, one that I felt was quite a departure from the traditional thrillers I’m used to reading. Right off the bat, we know that a death has occurred, a woman’s body found at the bottom of a fountain, the titular “lady in the lake” from whose first person perspective it seems the story will be told. But then, the story switches to that of another woman, Madeleine “Maddie” Schwartz, a housewife who seemingly has the perfect life, but is actually restless and bored and is thinking about leaving her marriage. Determined to be a reporter, Maddie takes up a job at the local newspaper, but because she is a woman with no media experience to speak of, she is assigned to do menial, seemingly unimportant tasks. At first, it is hard to figure out what the connection is between Maddie’s story and that of the dead woman — a connection made more difficult to understand as alternating chapters are narrated by each of the different characters that Maddie encounters throughout the story. Some of the characters who “speak” seem to have nothing to do with the story, while others actually provide insight into the life — and death — of the woman in the fountain, whom we learn is an African-American woman named Cleo Sherwood. In a slow-burning but well-written narrative, we bear witness to Maddie’s journey of “self-discovery” as she grows to understand what it is she truly wants in life and, in her attempts to achieve her goals, how her actions impact those around her. Along the way, more of the mystery surrounding Cleo’s death is revealed bit by bit, culminating in us (as readers) eventually learning the truth as the two story arcs converge. Overall, I enjoyed this book well enough, though the structure of the story did take some time to get into, not just because of the many characters that shared in the narration of the story, but also the general slow pace of the plot, which, for me at least, made it not work too well as a mystery / thriller. In a way, this book would also fit into other genres such as historical fiction, as the story actually took place in the 1960s and in addition to addressing some of the societal issues prevalent during that time period (such as segregation and racial prejudice against African-Americans as well as women’s rights and their roles in society), some of the events in the story were also based on real-life events (which the author talks about in her author’s note at the end of the book). While the story did sustain my interest throughout (for the most part), some sections did drag a little — given these aspects, plus the “unique” format of the narrative, I can understand why the reviews for this book have been a mixed bag. For me, this is my first time reading one of Laura Lippman’s works and I ended up liking this one enough that I would definitely consider reading her other works, whether new or backlist.Received ARC from Faber and Faber via NetGalley.
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  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    Whew, Lady in the Lake was a dizzying ride!The basics of the plot do have a lot of potential--the "lady in the lake" and her killer have to be identified, and recently separated Maddie Schwartz is on the case. However, the rotating cast of narrators made my head spin. Nearly every minor character Maddie meets ends up narrating a chapter. These narrators are often one-dimensional, and they tend to ramble, sending the storyline off on tangents that aren't central to the narrative. It's 1966, and M Whew, Lady in the Lake was a dizzying ride!The basics of the plot do have a lot of potential--the "lady in the lake" and her killer have to be identified, and recently separated Maddie Schwartz is on the case. However, the rotating cast of narrators made my head spin. Nearly every minor character Maddie meets ends up narrating a chapter. These narrators are often one-dimensional, and they tend to ramble, sending the storyline off on tangents that aren't central to the narrative. It's 1966, and Maddie is a white Jewish woman who is regularly sleeping with a black police officer. Why don't we hear a lot more from him? I'd love to cut most of the minor narrators in exchange for more insight into his perspective.Lady in the Lake would be a lot more cohesive with fewer narrators and significant cuts to the manuscript. (It's roughly 350 pages, but it could easily be cut to 250.) Three stars--the premise is interesting, but the execution has its flaws.Thanks to NetGalley and Faber and Faber for providing me with a DRC of this novel.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, I didn’t like this. It started off promising, the voice of the Lady in the Lake beginning the story. Then we get the voice of Maddie, the housewife who has ambitions beyond being a married woman. Then we have another voice, then another, then another, then another.....get the picture? My interest was waning. There were two murders but I couldn't have cared less about how or who or what happened. I read the whole book but I didn’t like the story nor the characters, & definitely Unfortunately, I didn’t like this. It started off promising, the voice of the Lady in the Lake beginning the story. Then we get the voice of Maddie, the housewife who has ambitions beyond being a married woman. Then we have another voice, then another, then another, then another.....get the picture? My interest was waning. There were two murders but I couldn't have cared less about how or who or what happened. I read the whole book but I didn’t like the story nor the characters, & definitely not how the book was written. Some will like this but,I for one, did not.*Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    Well I almost gave this 5 full stars. Until the last 30 or 40 pages, I would have. And be warned before I truly begin the reaction. It could go long.Lippman, you are a sister in and under the skin to me. Not only are you peer in age and "eyes" but you have the most excellent ability to grab the core. And you REMEMBER how it was. Oh, I'm sure 100,000's of other women do too- but are not able to express it AS IT WAS and as it IS- for those who are selfish enough to want a CAREER. If you are under Well I almost gave this 5 full stars. Until the last 30 or 40 pages, I would have. And be warned before I truly begin the reaction. It could go long.Lippman, you are a sister in and under the skin to me. Not only are you peer in age and "eyes" but you have the most excellent ability to grab the core. And you REMEMBER how it was. Oh, I'm sure 100,000's of other women do too- but are not able to express it AS IT WAS and as it IS- for those who are selfish enough to want a CAREER. If you are under 65, you probably will not understand that last sentence.First the language. It's 5 star. She has the cadence, the context, the minutia, the outfits colloquialisms, the parlance of interview or flirting or just neighboring within 1966. I must be in a dream that someone actually knows how it was. And how women who were star lookers really were. Maddie is it. Laura Lippman got it perfect. And her prose flows with the counterpoint and connective gaps superbly too. All that switching and you only notice it about 4 or 5 times when the character is NOT the "other" one in the conversation or placement you just finished. MASTERFUL. Rarely do I read an author who can do this, despite 100's and 100's of them trying constantly this switching narrators epidemic. Maybe 4 or 5 other authors I can think of have capacity to bridge the switching without losing the tension and continuity of/for the plot. Do I like Maddie, the main character who is forging a "new life" at 37? NO. In fact I nearly ditched the book at the beginning. I picked up the pieces myself for too many Maddies in very real life as a room Mother or 100 other functions. And also had too many of their offspring (some I got too attached to having around so much and often) either eating or staying over (one time the Mom did not return for over 2 weeks and did not communicate with her daughter either- I just saw this girl/woman this last year, she will be 50 this fall) for me to read about her "full life" plans. Or the methods for her plans to be a CAREER SOMEONE. One who is NOT a nurse or a teacher. LOL!Well, the mysteries (who did the killing deed) are duo in this book. Two murders are being fact and placement chased by our perky tiny-waisted newspaper copy underling who has recently emancipated herself. The one that has all the men's eyes eternally following her when she isn't looking. But she is looking. Who will like this book? I'd have to go too long to explain the "can't put it down" factor. Some who hate reading sex scenes might not be pleased. But the language is not foul in any sense- and it's placed in solid 1966 dual morality. "Me Too" meant something entirely different and toxic masculinity was advertisement catnip. That worked.She knows what people were thinking about then. Also what they read, watched on tv- how they evaluated clothes. And "stuff". Yes, some people didn't even have telephones in their house/ rental. And she also gets the politics of then and of "now" (2019). Fully Lippman is not the author living in a coastal bubble of affront and victim hood that runs constantly in fiction print now. For this age and every age she gets the working pleb. Lippman understands how the service populace and union people (loved her old lady politico/ cop/ labor reporter character and the waitress "eyes") have evolved. I realize so many of you will most likely not know what I'm posting about at all. I'd be willing to bet she is a "deplorable", but one of those deplorables who never mentions it in company aloud or answers the poll questioners the other (opposite) way to further mess their minds. Regardless, her politico races in this Baltimore book hold full "understanding" for association (related to her inquisitions). They are exactly the same in Chicago- so I know that she knows. Also about how all that century or two long corruption goes down under "different" names and faces. And how neighborhoods change and what happens to homeowner equity. Baltimore is a Chicago with warmer/ kinder weather (oh yes, despite the humidity) and on a quarter or a sixth of the scale for people and mean. Biggest difference is the number of occupants because Baltimore's can know one another (by name if not personally) almost across the boards if either a mover or shaker. Happenstance too, if only a real "player"- the pecking order is entirely similar.What kept me from giving the book a full 5 was the Cleo reveal. I LOVED that character, far more than Maddie. Although all her narrative sections were written in italics, which I dislike intensely. It's very difficult for me to read. My eyes are not going to outlast me.Well, if you know who Lakey from "The Group" is- you might get about 200 other asides in this one too. Very subtle and extremely there for the "change" of the late 1960's. Even today, there are remnants of Maddie's around me (usually they have perfectly coiffed light hair now and botox lineless faces). Women who don't like and refuse to help other women (only for chit-chat) and just know they can in some ways, control and /or master the man met or known universal. In order to opt the situation for themselves. It is something, oftentimes, that the young females of today, with all their hook ups and experience aftermaths of hook ups, hardly know anything at all about in comparison. I was surprised that Lippman gave that ending. I know she wants to keep her audience. AND SHE WILL. But really- in actual life it would have been BAD for Maddie asking too many questions in the wrong places. She wasn't a fraction as savvy as she thought she was.
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  • Perry
    January 1, 1970
    Reminiscent of '70s Blaxploitation Filmmaybe, 'Mandingo' Masters the Middle-Aged, Sex-Craved MavenSet in Baltimore in 1966, 37-year-old Jewish mother decides to ditch family to go out on her own, with no plans. She makes a false police report of her stolen wedding ring to an African-American cop, and they immediately begin having sex without even making it to the bedroom. And, they continue to do so daily, repeatedly nightly, with often-times gratuitous graphics, throughout the novel, each and e Reminiscent of '70s Blaxploitation Filmmaybe, 'Mandingo' Masters the Middle-Aged, Sex-Craved MavenSet in Baltimore in 1966, 37-year-old Jewish mother decides to ditch family to go out on her own, with no plans. She makes a false police report of her stolen wedding ring to an African-American cop, and they immediately begin having sex without even making it to the bedroom. And, they continue to do so daily, repeatedly nightly, with often-times gratuitous graphics, throughout the novel, each and every time the cop appears in the story. For example, whenever she wants to change the conversation--though discourse is rare--she goes down and Pop! Goes the Weasel.I would not have a problem with this aspect if the novel's few black men, including her lover, were not conveyed so stereotypically--as oversexed, unfaithful and/or unseemly men, always up for a good lay, but lousy in the long-run. miscegenation was illegal in Baltimore in the 60s, so the Man's position in law enforcement made going out nearly impossible. Given that he and Mrs. Maven rarely converse however, he is relegated to a sexual object--purely a pipe layer, so to speak--and literary mechanism as Maven's inside source with the police department to give her leads to write crime stories in her new job with the Baltimore newspaper.All in all, it's a good yarn with an interesting twist, and a protagonist who is largely unlikable.
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  • Roman Clodia
    January 1, 1970
    The world kept telling her to look away, to pay no attention to an age-old system, in which men thrived and inconvenient women disappeared. One of my holy grails of off-duty reading is the book that is engrossing without being silly, and packed with good storytelling without looking over its shoulder to make sure we understand how 'literary' it is: Lippman pulls it off. There are two murders but this is not really a crime novel, however interesting the solutions are. Instead it's a compelling r The world kept telling her to look away, to pay no attention to an age-old system, in which men thrived and inconvenient women disappeared. One of my holy grails of off-duty reading is the book that is engrossing without being silly, and packed with good storytelling without looking over its shoulder to make sure we understand how 'literary' it is: Lippman pulls it off. There are two murders but this is not really a crime novel, however interesting the solutions are. Instead it's a compelling recreation of mid-1960s Baltimore, a time when race was fraught as segregation was being dismantled but when mixed-race relationships were still troubled, whether they involved black, white or Jewish participants. Maddie leaves her wealthy, conventional Jewish husband and comfortable lifestyle, wanting something more, wanting a career as a reporter, wanting to be a woman in her own right rather than an appendage to her husband. Her involvement in two murders is intertwined with her attempts to be taken seriously by the newspaper office for which she works, and conduct a relationship on her own terms - whatever rules society might lay down.The storytelling is intelligent, the characters deeper than stock traits, and there's an interesting mode of writing that swaps unevenly between Maddie in the 3rd person, Cleo in the 1st person, and assorted characters with whom Maddie comes into contact, telling their own stories to give a wider perspective on both the overarching tale and attitudes and values of the time. Lippman's attention to issues of race and gender, power and transgressiveness makes this feel modern while having its feet firmly in the 1960s. Satisfying and clever, with a sense of how the 1960s looked forward to the future.Many thanks to Faber & Faber for an ARC via NetGalley
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  • Craig Sisterson
    January 1, 1970
    There are many different ways an author can grab readers from the very first page. Sometimes it's an intriguing first line that draws you in, sometimes it's a stark incident or piece of action that tractor-beams you straight into a propulsive narrative. And sometimes its something subtler but even more powerful (in the right hands): just the pure, mesmerising quality of the writing, the voice. LADY IN THE LAKE, the latest standalone from the superb Laura Lippman, is a pretty great example of the There are many different ways an author can grab readers from the very first page. Sometimes it's an intriguing first line that draws you in, sometimes it's a stark incident or piece of action that tractor-beams you straight into a propulsive narrative. And sometimes its something subtler but even more powerful (in the right hands): just the pure, mesmerising quality of the writing, the voice. LADY IN THE LAKE, the latest standalone from the superb Laura Lippman, is a pretty great example of the latter. From the first lines we know we're in the hands of a master storyteller as we're enticed deep into 1960s Baltimore by the voice of Cleo Sherwood, a poor young black woman who's recalling the first time time she saw Maddie Schwartz, then a finely dressed Jewish housewife. Maddie Schartz would go on to create a whole host of problems for a lot of people, including Cleo, who might have preferred to have been forgotten, despite all the tragedies in her young life. Cleo and Maggie, two mothers in 1960s Baltimore, different in many ways but both shackled by prejudice. Both woman also hungered for more in their lives, and would risk a lot to chase it. Perhaps too much. Unlike Cleo, who goes missing and is rather forgotten and becomes the 'Lady in the Lake' when a body finally emerges from a fountain, Maddie Schwartz gets a chance to be more. LADY IN THE LAKE follows a pivotal year in Maddie’s life as she flees her stable but stale marriage, trading affluence for independence, domesticity for a search for passion and meaning. After helping the police find a missing white girl whose story filled the newspapers, Maddie is looking for another story to help her get a foothold in the male-dominated field of journalism, and turns her attention to Cleo, a black woman whose story has been left untold by the white press. Lippman intercuts Maddie's narrative with rich vignettes, first-person perspectives from a variety of people that Maddie encounters along the way. These chapters really texture the novel and weave together to form a stunning portrait of Baltimore life in that era - the place and the people living in it. The multiple perspectives also give the reader differing views on how Maddie and her efforts are seen by herself and others. Readers themselves may have mixed feelings about Maddie, and some of the decisions she makes. She is a complex, fascinating character, and has an interesting arc from bored and rather repressed housewife to independent, ambitious career woman unafraid of breaking rules. Throughout it all, Cleo lingers as a contemptful specter as Maddie throws stones into several ponds, oblivious to the dangerous ripples she may be creating in her pursuit of a story to make her name. Overall, Lippman has forged a sublime, suspenseful tale that flows along so wonderfully that it perhaps obscures its own genius. I was reminded of watching a brilliant musician onstage, or perhaps a particularly special athlete on the field - in each case they can make things that are incredibly difficult look deceptively simple. There's a flow and ease because of their mastery, and we're so entranced but what we see or hear that it's easy to overlook the skill involved. Lippman is that level. This is a stylish, rich tale from one of the crime genre's very best.
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  • Alison Hardtmann
    January 1, 1970
    When her husband invites home for dinner a man she knew in high school, 37 year old Maddie is jolted out of her comfortable world of being a Jewish housewife and mother to a teenage son. It's 1966, Baltimore is changing and Maddie wants to be out in the world, living. She moves out, gets an apartment and a secret lover and decides that she wants to become a journalist. But she's too old and the wrong gender to get a job at a newspaper the traditional way, so when the disappearance of a little gi When her husband invites home for dinner a man she knew in high school, 37 year old Maddie is jolted out of her comfortable world of being a Jewish housewife and mother to a teenage son. It's 1966, Baltimore is changing and Maddie wants to be out in the world, living. She moves out, gets an apartment and a secret lover and decides that she wants to become a journalist. But she's too old and the wrong gender to get a job at a newspaper the traditional way, so when the disappearance of a little girl gives her an opportunity, she grabs it. But when her dream job turns into her being a glorified secretary, she finds another missing persons case to dig into, a woman whose body is found dumped in a public fountain. But Maddie is an outsider just learning her job there are people who have a vested interest in keeping her quiet.Maddie is a fantastic character. She's by turns yearning and manipulative, honest and willing to do what it takes to get what she wants, independent and insecure. I'm not sure I'd like her if I met her, but she is a fascinating person to follow around. Laura Lippman is that rare kind of bestseller writer, the kind that is constantly improving their work. She's always been good at putting together a suspenseful plot and paired that with solid writing, but she's been expanding her reach. Yes, this is set in Baltimore, as most of Lippman's books are, but this one deals with both Civil Rights issues and political corruption. There's a lot more depth here than usual and Lippman is up for it, writing a crime novel that works well in its genre, while also providing a novel rich in historical detail and nuanced characters.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1964 when Cleo Sherwood disappears. It's been eight months and no one is looking for her. Cleo was out to find a better life for her and her sons. Cleo wishes Maddie would stop looking for her. There was a voice for every character. I wasn't sure at first if Cleo was the Lady in the Lake. New characters kept showing up and got their own chapters. It was confusing.The story centers around Cleo's voice and Maddie's voice. Maddie is married to a rich man. She has a lot of secrets and while she It's 1964 when Cleo Sherwood disappears. It's been eight months and no one is looking for her. Cleo was out to find a better life for her and her sons. Cleo wishes Maddie would stop looking for her. There was a voice for every character. I wasn't sure at first if Cleo was the Lady in the Lake. New characters kept showing up and got their own chapters. It was confusing.The story centers around Cleo's voice and Maddie's voice. Maddie is married to a rich man. She has a lot of secrets and while she talks a lot to herself, we have no idea what is behind her character. I got bored about halfway through. There was nothing to like or dislike. It was just boring. And that is not what I would expect from the author. I will definitely be reading more of her.NetGalley/ July 23rd, 2019 by Faber & Faber
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  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Married for nearly twenty years, Maddie Schwartz up and leaves her husband Milton to pursue a different path in life. No longer content with being a housewife, Maddie’s ambitions lead her to work for The Star, an afternoon newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. It isn’t long before she finds herself working as a reporter tackling the case of a murdered black woman, Cleo Sherwood, who had been found decomposing in a lake. Because of her ethnicity, her death isn’t seen as worthy of a story, but Maddie Married for nearly twenty years, Maddie Schwartz up and leaves her husband Milton to pursue a different path in life. No longer content with being a housewife, Maddie’s ambitions lead her to work for The Star, an afternoon newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland. It isn’t long before she finds herself working as a reporter tackling the case of a murdered black woman, Cleo Sherwood, who had been found decomposing in a lake. Because of her ethnicity, her death isn’t seen as worthy of a story, but Maddie feels a personal connection with Cleo and vows to find her killer.I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for review.This is my second Laura Lippman experience after reading her 2017 novel, Sunburn. I loved that one and when I was done with it, I promptly kicked myself for not taking the time to speak with her at Bouchercon a few years back outside of the very brief meeting we shared amidst the chaos of a Harper-Collins book signing.Lady in the Lake takes place way back in the 1960s when things like divorce and interracial relationships were frowned upon (OK, interracial relationships still aren’t in the best spot, but it is certainly a hell of a lot better today than in the era of the civil rights movement), so Lippman has a lot of themes to play with while the mystery carries the bulk of the load for plot progression.While most chapters follow Maddie through a third person narration, there are alternating chapters that take place from the viewpoint of several peripheral characters including what appears to be the ghost of Cleo Sherwood. I thought this was an extremely effective way to tell the story. Lippman gives the reader a view into the lives and minds of those that both make up the city of Baltimore as well as those that have a connection to Cleo’s death. It takes a very talented mystery writer to be willing to show her hand like that and have the confidence to be able to keep her audience guessing until the end.Maddie herself is a complex character – I can see a lot of people labeling her “unlikeable” and taking issues with some of the decisions she makes. While they weren’t always what I would consider the right choices, I don’t feel that Lippman had Maddie stray outside of her character given her personal progression from bored housewife to an ambitious, independent working woman. After a lifetime of putting others first, it’s time she concentrate on herself and make use of her own desire to be more than she was.Laura Lippman has produced an excellent story about Baltimore and the social structure of the time all framed within a murder-mystery. I can see this being a big success with readers this summer – a good novel to bring to the beach or carry with you on vacation.Side note: I could easily see Lady in the Lake transitioning into an award winning film. It seems to hit all the tent poles of those period dramas Hollywood just loves.Lady in the Lake is scheduled for release on July 23, 2019
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Lady in the Lake takes us back to 1960s Baltimore where we come face to face with the blatant unfairness of societal norms. Your race, religious beliefs, and gender, ultimately decided what doors were open to you and what doors you wouldn't even consider trying to open. Maddie Schwarz is a typical housewife and mother, who decides to push the boundaries by leaving her husband and son and her safe, secure, and boring life behind. She hopes to discover who she is as a person, one not defined by he Lady in the Lake takes us back to 1960s Baltimore where we come face to face with the blatant unfairness of societal norms. Your race, religious beliefs, and gender, ultimately decided what doors were open to you and what doors you wouldn't even consider trying to open. Maddie Schwarz is a typical housewife and mother, who decides to push the boundaries by leaving her husband and son and her safe, secure, and boring life behind. She hopes to discover who she is as a person, one not defined by her parents, or friends, or family, but rather by her hopes and dreams.Two events are central to Maddie's story, Cleo Sherwood( the Lady in the Lake), and Tessie Fine( a missing young girl from a good family). Maddie finds one body and becomes obsessed with discovering the truth behind what happened to the other. Fate or luck or sheer determination land Maddie a job at a newspaper and she is determined to be more than an office girl. In her quest to secure her dream job, she interviews many people about Cleo. No one seems to care about a murdered black woman(except Maddie), though her investigation uncovers more than Cleo might have wanted to be known about her life.Many different POVs are used to tell the story. If Maddie talks to a bartender, the following chapter will be told from his POV and I found it a very clever way to move the plot forward. I certainly learned more through these encounters, since what was held back from Maddie was explained in greater detail( can I say I especially enjoyed what the ghost had to say). What can I possibly say about Baltimore other than Laura Lippman's words bring the town to life, and honestly, you could certainly classify it as another character in the story. There was nothing about Lady in the Lake that made me furiously flip pages, but that was a huge part of its charm. I am a huge psychological mystery/thriller reader, but sometimes, you just want to slow down and inhale the details from a well-crafted tale. A great beach read and the author( who I have to say, I read all of her books with pleasure) outdid herself. Highly recommended. July 25, 2019, is the US publication date. 4.5 stars.I received a DRC from Faber and Faber Ltd through NetGalley.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsLaura Lippman deviates from her usual style at bit in Lady in the Lake with the main narrators being a dead woman and a woman who wants to become a newspaper reporter - the two narratives combine when Maddie, the reporter, starts digging into the death of Cleo Sherwood. Lippman mentions in the acknowledgments that the newspaper reporter plot is in honor of her friend Rob Hiaasen who was killed in the Annapolis newspaper shooting. There were small perspectives sliced in as well, making t 3.5 starsLaura Lippman deviates from her usual style at bit in Lady in the Lake with the main narrators being a dead woman and a woman who wants to become a newspaper reporter - the two narratives combine when Maddie, the reporter, starts digging into the death of Cleo Sherwood. Lippman mentions in the acknowledgments that the newspaper reporter plot is in honor of her friend Rob Hiaasen who was killed in the Annapolis newspaper shooting. There were small perspectives sliced in as well, making the plot a bit hard to follow at times when you unsure of who the person is that is speaking. Eventually, the plot does all come together really well and has a strong ending - however, the pacing of the book was a bit slow for me. I'll continue reading Lippman in the future but this one was not my favorite.Thank you to William Morrow for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Rhi G
    January 1, 1970
    The intro hooked me right in, I wanted to know more, I think it was smart starting the book with Cleo's point of view. I didn't know at first that we would get multiple perspectives throughout, for the most part I welcomed it, though towards the end, I wanted it to be more than one Maddie chapter at a time, which eventually happened.*Spoiler-ish* I can understand wanting to find yourself and enjoy freedom but Maddie did not go about it the right way. She was a bit presumptuous thinking her son w The intro hooked me right in, I wanted to know more, I think it was smart starting the book with Cleo's point of view. I didn't know at first that we would get multiple perspectives throughout, for the most part I welcomed it, though towards the end, I wanted it to be more than one Maddie chapter at a time, which eventually happened.*Spoiler-ish* I can understand wanting to find yourself and enjoy freedom but Maddie did not go about it the right way. She was a bit presumptuous thinking her son would want to start over somewhere else, in a way I feel she got what she deserved(less money, not the best neighborhood), if she had planned better she would have been better off(saving money here and there in preparation). I don't want to give too much away but I will say I did not like how she treated Ferdie near the end, she was selfish and self serving, I didn't dislike her as much as some reviewers but then bam, she screws him over and that was the last straw for me haha. I like the twist near the end as well(had to reread that page I was so surprised lol) and the prologue, I love when books give you a flash forward.
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  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    Laura Lippman is a masterful writer, she delivered a thought-provoking, highly enjoyable, standout murder mystery with Lady in the Lake. This book was so much more than a murder mystery though. It was also an exploration of gender and racial issues during 1960s. The story is told in multiple POVs. We have two main ones: Cleo, an African-American woman, who was found dead in the lake, and Maddie, a newly divorced Jewish woman, who takes interest in Cleo's story and wants to investigate the murder Laura Lippman is a masterful writer, she delivered a thought-provoking, highly enjoyable, standout murder mystery with Lady in the Lake. This book was so much more than a murder mystery though. It was also an exploration of gender and racial issues during 1960s. The story is told in multiple POVs. We have two main ones: Cleo, an African-American woman, who was found dead in the lake, and Maddie, a newly divorced Jewish woman, who takes interest in Cleo's story and wants to investigate the murder. At first glance, Cleo and Maddie are very different, they come from different words, but they both struggle against the gender expectations of the era and are not satisfied with the narrow roles they were assigned to fulfill as women. We also have multiple chapters told from minor characters' POVs, that added interesting layers to the story. It can be tricky to have so many POVs in the book, but Laura Lippman made it work perfectly. The book is a slow-burn but it's still very engaging, I was never bored by the story. Also, there are some great twists toward the end that surprised me and made my reading experience even better. If you are looking for a clever, well-written murder mystery, don't miss Lady in the Lake. *ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Maddie Schwartz decides at a dinner party one night in 1965 that she no longer loves her husband, Milton, and will divorce him. She moves out almost immediately without any real firm plans and no money arrangements with her wealthy husband and is surprised when her teen-age son, Seth, doesn't want to move with her. She moves into a neighborhood that is "Changing" from white to black as her income is erratic. She starts a passionate relationship with a black policeman and discovers a dead body o Maddie Schwartz decides at a dinner party one night in 1965 that she no longer loves her husband, Milton, and will divorce him. She moves out almost immediately without any real firm plans and no money arrangements with her wealthy husband and is surprised when her teen-age son, Seth, doesn't want to move with her. She moves into a neighborhood that is "Changing" from white to black as her income is erratic. She starts a passionate relationship with a black policeman and discovers a dead body of a black girl in a fountain. She decides to investigate the body and wrangles her way onto a job at one of the newspapers. She works her way up through hard work and diligence. The unique, annoying to me, aspect to this novel is that it branches out. When Maddie meets people you get a chapter on their life. From the waitress to the bartender to the parents of murdered victims there is a small story in their voice. I didn't like it. I don't care enough about the people and it interrupted up the flow of the story. It was a gimmick that didn't work for me. The story ties up the mystery of the dead black girl in the fountain that nobody cared about it and it had an interesting twist. It would have been a better book without the gimmick. Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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  • 3 no 7
    January 1, 1970
    “Lady in the Lake” by Laura Lippman opens with an unusual narrative that sets up the story in a compelling way. “1964 God knows, my death has changed me. Alive, I was Cleo Sherwood. Dead, I became the Lady in the Lake, a nasty broken thing, dragged from the fountain after steeping there for months,”This book is not really the story of “The lady in the lake,” but of Maddie Schwartz, the woman who found her and gave her that name. Maddie lived in Baltimore, embracing the Jewish family traditions a “Lady in the Lake” by Laura Lippman opens with an unusual narrative that sets up the story in a compelling way. “1964 God knows, my death has changed me. Alive, I was Cleo Sherwood. Dead, I became the Lady in the Lake, a nasty broken thing, dragged from the fountain after steeping there for months,”This book is not really the story of “The lady in the lake,” but of Maddie Schwartz, the woman who found her and gave her that name. Maddie lived in Baltimore, embracing the Jewish family traditions and cultural norms of the time. She was good at entertaining and took particular pride in her ability to throw together a dinner party with almost no warning. Every day, Maddie was a little less beautiful than she had been the day before. Every moment she lived, she also was dying. Maddie was a woman in search of an identity. She had a brain, but it had almost atrophied from lack of use, and she wanted to use it. Readers follow her struggle for identity, growth, and self-assurance for just over one year, from October 1965 through November 1966. Feelings, comments, and attitudes reflect the societal norms of the times. This is the foundation of the book, but there is more, much more to this story. Maddie’s acquaintances saw a peculiarity. “I don’t know what it is about you and dead people, Maddie, but it’s getting out of hand. Can’t you find another way to get ahead?”Alternate chapters set this story apart from a traditional narrative, and each chapter identifies the speaker. Maddie Schwartz ties all these people together; they all fall within her sphere of influence. They interact with her; they have some connection to her. These chapters tell the story in the first person present tense, as if characters are speaking to an unseen interrogator, speaking directly to the reader, and telling their version of events. Readers get to know the participants, what they think and how they feel about themselves and others. The exceptions, of course, are the conversations of “The lady in the Lake” herself; she speaks to readers but she mostly talks to Maddie Schwartz. I will not give away plot details, but Mattie exemplifies motivation for writers of mysteries, “How many larger crimes lurked in the city’s petty complaints?” I received a copy of “Lady in the Lake” from Laura Lippman and Harper Collins Publishers. Its exceptional narrative organization and plot structure make it a favorite for readers. It captured my attention of and drew me into the story until the very unusual and surprising end. “I’m painting a picture of myself painting a picture of myself painting a picture of myself. The picture goes on and on, the words go on and on, until they make no sense, until the picture is so tiny that you can’t see anything at all."
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  • Alyssa Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC. This was my second attempt reading something from Laura Lippman. I’m thinking that maybe her style isn’t what I am into. Her writing was beautiful, I will say that for sure. She truly has a way with words, a way with making them flow like honey, and really bring you back to the era she is writing in. But what threw me a little about this book was the ever changing narrator. Sometimes, she’d throw in a voice and a storyline from s Thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC. This was my second attempt reading something from Laura Lippman. I’m thinking that maybe her style isn’t what I am into. Her writing was beautiful, I will say that for sure. She truly has a way with words, a way with making them flow like honey, and really bring you back to the era she is writing in. But what threw me a little about this book was the ever changing narrator. Sometimes, she’d throw in a voice and a storyline from someone - in my opinion - whose POV we didn’t need to know about. But that’s not to say this wasn’t a decent read. It took me a little longer to get through because of the changing view points, I got lost sometimes, but overall it wasn’t bad. In a previous ARC I read, I took a piece of wisdom with me: “There weren’t bad books. They were just books you didn’t enjoy.” And that really put a lot into perspective. It’s absolutely true. This book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t something I enjoyed. But I encourage anyone who loves Lippman (there seem to be many people!) to give this a read.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting narrative structure and a lot of historical texture. I've been a Laura Lippman fan for a very long time and I always enjoy her books. To me the strength of this was the historical fiction aspect - it's the story of a married white woman in the 1960s who leaves her marriage because she wants something more - a career, a challenge, the right to make her own decisions. It is a mystery, but for me the mystery elements sort of took a backseat, and that was okay with me as a reader. While Interesting narrative structure and a lot of historical texture. I've been a Laura Lippman fan for a very long time and I always enjoy her books. To me the strength of this was the historical fiction aspect - it's the story of a married white woman in the 1960s who leaves her marriage because she wants something more - a career, a challenge, the right to make her own decisions. It is a mystery, but for me the mystery elements sort of took a backseat, and that was okay with me as a reader. While this was mostly Maddie's story, every character, from major to minor, got a POV (if you've read The Sun is Also a Star, it was structured much like that.) Entwined with Maddie's story is the unraveling of a murder, (the murder victim - a black woman - also gets a POV, which was a little bit Lovely Bones, and I liked it.)This kind of narrative structure won't be for every mystery reader. I do love the more linear structure and limited POVs of most mysteries, and I usually am not a huge fan of more than 3 POVs, but I think the structure did added to the atmosphere and poignancy of the story.Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Dipika
    January 1, 1970
    I haven’t read many Laura Lippman’s books but this one hooked me in completely. It’s a slow burn noir novel and I loved the world and the characters. I enjoyed how every time a new character was introduced the following chapter would be in the voice of that character which not only ended up giving insight into the thoughts of the character but also giving an insight into the minds and atmosphere of the time making for compelling storytelling!There are some interesting twists especially at the en I haven’t read many Laura Lippman’s books but this one hooked me in completely. It’s a slow burn noir novel and I loved the world and the characters. I enjoyed how every time a new character was introduced the following chapter would be in the voice of that character which not only ended up giving insight into the thoughts of the character but also giving an insight into the minds and atmosphere of the time making for compelling storytelling!There are some interesting twists especially at the end which left me thinking and appreciating the story more. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    This is probably my new favorite Laura Lippman book. (I don't know how each book gets better but they do.)This is a stunning achievement; there are multiple narrators (although two of them are the main ones and then various secondary characters show up for a chapter to give their own perspectives). I can't even imagine how difficult it was to do, but it seems effortless here.It's impossible to discuss without spoilers, so I just want to add that Laura Lippman's recent tendency of updating noir i This is probably my new favorite Laura Lippman book. (I don't know how each book gets better but they do.)This is a stunning achievement; there are multiple narrators (although two of them are the main ones and then various secondary characters show up for a chapter to give their own perspectives). I can't even imagine how difficult it was to do, but it seems effortless here.It's impossible to discuss without spoilers, so I just want to add that Laura Lippman's recent tendency of updating noir is my actual favorite. It's incredibly fun.Highly recommended.
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  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    January 1, 1970
    Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman is a very highly recommended standalone mysterySet in Baltimore, Lady in the Lake follows Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz for a little over a year from 1965 to 1966. Maddie is a 37-year-old Jewish housewife who has separated from her husband of almost twenty year after a dinner party forces her to remember that as a young woman she aspired to live a meaningful life. When an 11-year-old girl is missing, presumed dead, Maddie joins the search for her and ends up findin Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman is a very highly recommended standalone mysterySet in Baltimore, Lady in the Lake follows Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz for a little over a year from 1965 to 1966. Maddie is a 37-year-old Jewish housewife who has separated from her husband of almost twenty year after a dinner party forces her to remember that as a young woman she aspired to live a meaningful life. When an 11-year-old girl is missing, presumed dead, Maddie joins the search for her and ends up finding the body and helping the police. Maddie parlays this and some correspondence she had with the suspected killer into a job at the Star, one of the cities local newspapers.Cleo Sherwood was a young black woman whose body is discovered in the Druid Hill Park fountain. While discovering what happened to her murder seems less pressing to the police, Maddie is determined to discover what happened to Cleo. Cleo's ghost, whose voice is an ongoing part of the narrative, wants Maddie to leave it alone. Maddie is sure this is the story that can start her career as a reporter, but Maddie's determination will cause problems for many other people.Everyone expects exceptional writing from Lippman and Lady in the Lake makes good on that expectation and gives even more. The narrative is mainly told through Maddie's voice, but there is also consistent commentary from Cleo (in italics) as well as first person vignettes from a whole host of other characters that Maddie encounters along the way. For me, these accounts provide a richness and depth to the plot that would have otherwise been an excellent story presented in a more typical style. I applaud Lippman for this choice and appreciated the "Our Town" presentation style. I felt it helped set Lady in the Lake apart and created a more complete picture of the time, place, and people in the novel.Maddie is a complicated character living in a time when her choices were limited by societal expectations and the men around her. This atmosphere is captured perfectly in Lippman's newspaper noir novel. Maddie is a very well developed character. She may not always know what reactions her actions will result in, but she is determined to uncover the truth behind the two mysteries in the novel. It is to her credit that she seemingly cares more than the police about getting answers. The answers are both there, but getting them comes via a surprising, unexpected twist.Lady in the Lake is a rich nuanced novel with well-drawn characters, depth, and style. While it is not the adrenaline packed thriller than some fans might have been expecting, I was engrossed in this complex, interesting story from start to finish and give it my highest recommendation.Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2019/0...
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