Lady in the Lake

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...

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Title:Lady in the Lake
Author:Laura Lippman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Lady in the Lake Reviews

  • j e w e l s

    Welcome to the 60's! woo-hoo-hoo-wooooh.GOOD MORNING, BALTIMORE!

    Thank GOD, this novel has restored my faith in the literary mystery thriller genre! HOORAY!

    As we all know by now... the 60's were a turbulent, exciting time of change in our country. Racial tensions, the feminist movement, and freedom of the press were spotlighted every night on local televisions across the nation. How sad that not much has changed some fifty years later.

    Okay, forget for a moment about

    Welcome to the 60's! woo-hoo-hoo-wooooh.🎶🎵🎶GOOD MORNING, BALTIMORE!

    Thank GOD, this novel has restored my faith in the literary mystery thriller genre! HOORAY!

    As we all know by now... the 60's were a turbulent, exciting time of change in our country. Racial tensions, the feminist movement, and freedom of the press were spotlighted every night on local televisions across the nation. How sad that not much has changed some fifty years later.

    Okay, forget for a moment about politics and history, this is a FAB-U-LOUS novel by the uber talented

    ! There are mysteries to solve, stereotypes to crush and a spunky main character named Maddie that is willing and able to accept the charge.

    Maddie is not what you expect as a young intrepid reporter. Nope! She is a pampered, good Jewish housewife who bolted from her marriage one day and left all the suburban comforts behind to pursue her own brand of happiness. Some people would call her selfish, she flat out doesn't care anymore. Maddie wants to leave her mark on the world and she eventually succeeds. She doesn't know where to begin after jumping the old traditional ship, but she's resourceful, brave and has a few secrets of her own. She also possesses an innate understanding of love, men, women and what drives people to do things.

    Aside from Maddie, our other main character is a ghost- yes! Cleo Sherwood, a young African American woman whose body was found in a Baltimore park's fountain. Maddie accidentally discovered Cleo's body and now feels responsible for finding out what really happened to Cleo. She wants to write about Cleo's life/death/family. The ghost of Cleo is annoyed and not happy with Maddie. Hmmmm wonder why? She wants Maddie to leave her alone and although she is dead, she is a forceful, strong character that had me completely riveted.

    Aside from Cleo, there is another murder--this time a smart and sassy little girl is mysteriously killed. Maddie helps to solve this crime in a chilling, genius--albeit, dangerously, naive manner. Both of the murders mentioned in

    are true crimes from Baltimore history.

    The last few pages of this novel are deliciously satisfying.

    🎧

  • Liz

    4.5 stars, rounded up

    I’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 up

    I’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.

  • Michelle

    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

    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: 7/21/19

    Publication Date: 7/23/19

  • Katie B

    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

    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!

  • Berit☀️✨

    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

    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 ***

  • JanB

    4.5 stars

    I love the 1960’s as a setting in a novel and this was no exception. It’s 1960s Baltimore, women’s roles are changing and racial tensions are high. The author nails time and place expertly and makes them come to life.

    Maddie Schwartz wants more than her privileged life as the housewife of a successful businessman and mother to her teenage son. She decides to leaves her family and start over. This is a risky choice for an author as it doesn’t make Maddie the most likable of characters.

    4.5 stars

    I love the 1960’s as a setting in a novel and this was no exception. It’s 1960s Baltimore, women’s roles are changing and racial tensions are high. The author nails time and place expertly and makes them come to life.

    Maddie Schwartz wants more than her privileged life as the housewife of a successful businessman and mother to her teenage son. She decides to leaves her family and start over. This is a risky choice for an author as it doesn’t make Maddie the most likable of characters. However, even though I would make different choices than Maddie, I grew to understand her.

    After finding the body of a murdered 11-year-old girl, Maddie pursues a career as a crime reporter at a local newspaper where she learns of a missing young black woman. She decides to pursue leads and do some investigating on her own. The juxtaposition of the public and police interest in the murder of the young white girl vs their complete disinterest in the black woman highlights the injustices of the times. But make no mistake, this is not a book written solely to highlight a hot button social issue, it’s a well-written book that happens to have a social issue within its pages. The difference is important as I tend to detest ‘big important issue books’.

    Each chapter is told from a different POV, including that of the missing black woman. I loved this unique format. Like a puzzle with interlocking pieces, we are given information from all the supporting characters who are connected to the crimes.

    Lippman herself worked as a reporter and this book was inspired by true events that happened in Baltimore in 1969, which accounts for the authenticity of the story.

    I love Laura Lippman’s writing style which is smart and engaging. I loved last year’s

    and will be anxiously awaiting next year’s release.

    • Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Set in 1960s Baltimore, Marie Schwartz is reflecting on her once happy life as a housewife. That was only one year ago. Now she’s walked away from her marriage and is looking for true happiness.

    Maddie wants to make her mark, and she helps the police find a girl who was murdered, which then leads her to a job at the local newspaper.

    Her first story? About a missing woman whose body was found in a local lake. It turns out she’s the

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    Set in 1960s Baltimore, Marie Schwartz is reflecting on her once happy life as a housewife. That was only one year ago. Now she’s walked away from her marriage and is looking for true happiness.

    Maddie wants to make her mark, and she helps the police find a girl who was murdered, which then leads her to a job at the local newspaper.

    Her first story? About a missing woman whose body was found in a local lake. It turns out she’s the only one who seems to care why Cleo. Sherwood was murdered. Maddie begins her investigation.

    Maddie’s story is about so much more than an unsolved mystery. It’s about the push and pull between genders, racial tensions, class, and religion. The story is told from multiple points of view panning around Maddie and her investigation. There’s also a ghost. The sense of time and place is so strong and steadfast, I was easily transported.

    Overall, I found this an interesting historical mystery. I loved the crime aspects, the writing is strong, and the premise is consuming!

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Meredith

    Cold, Dark, and Distant

    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

    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.

    I enjoyed the historical elements and Lippman’s portrayal of Baltimore in the 1960s, but I had a hard time connecting to Maddie.

    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.

    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!

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Three too many POVs flying over my head and I began to confuse, a thriller story shouldn’t be told more than three sides, right? By the way did I have to trouble to connect with characters or are they really so distant, awkward, unlikable to empathize, and where are those mind bending, nerve bending thriller element, did writer save them for another book and used the leftovers for that one stars!

    I mostly enjoy Laura Lippman’s books and her slow burn but giving warnings that something ominous

    Three too many POVs flying over my head and I began to confuse, a thriller story shouldn’t be told more than three sides, right? By the way did I have to trouble to connect with characters or are they really so distant, awkward, unlikable to empathize, and where are those mind bending, nerve bending thriller element, did writer save them for another book and used the leftovers for that one stars!

    I mostly enjoy Laura Lippman’s books and her slow burn but giving warnings that something ominous and creepy is about to come and the story will get twist style story-telling. If this book is published as a fiction rather than a thriller I could understand the way of telling story from too many perspectives. (At least she didn’t add postman gives letters to Maddy or truck man passing through radio station or Maddy’s favorite milkman’s POVs :) Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw their narrations on the book, too)

    So here is my solution to give this book full 5 stars:

    KILL THE HEROINE

    FIND BETTER HEROINE

    CHANGE ALL THE CHARACTERISTICS HEROINE HAD

    EDIT 50 PAGES TO FASTEN THE PAST

    GET RID OFF AT LEAST 2 POVS TO HEAL MY CONFUSING BRAIN CELLS

    Or other solution: Turn this book into different genre:

    Slow-burn story-telling and depictions about 60’s Baltimore, religious and racial discriminations, gender equality issues, never stopping everybody knows everybody kind of small town gossips are the best parts of the book. If Maddy’s character has been emitted and the story continues with the other characters, this can be considered as a hell of a real good historical fiction.

    But UNLIKABLE HEROIN, TOO SLOW PACE, TOO MANY DIFFERENT POVS made me lost my interest. Too many times I wanted to give up and write big and bold letters “DNF” and put down but I kept going and fantasized thousand different ways to kill Maddy on my mind. (I hate the guts of the heroine. Did I mention? Of course, at least 10 times, right? So how can you accept me to love her story?)

    So in my opinion; let’s stick to the detailed and educated historical definitions of 60’s Baltimore and decrease the POVs number, fasten the pace, add more chilling parts about lady in the water. And VOILA, we have an incredible, lovable book with great potential.

    UNFORTUNATELY this version didn’t work for me. First Lisa Jewell and now Laura Lipmann disappointed. What happened to my favorite writers? I think I have to meet new talented ones. But I’m still hopeful that their next books will be better.

  • Holly

    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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