Ellen Hart was named the 2017 MWA Grand Master, the most distinguished lifetime achievement award offered in the mystery community.
Restaurateur and part-time P.I. Jane Lawless is taking some much-needed time off at her family's lodge when her best friend, Cordelia, arrives with news that Tess, one of their good friends, has taken a nasty fall and needs their help with rehearsals for a play that is set to open in a week. When Tess isn't on crutches, she helps run the Thunderhook Lodge, the premier resort on Lost Lake. And while she clearly needs Jane and Cordelia's assistance, she isn't exactly acting all that grateful.
A man who claims to be a journalist has arrived in Lost Lake with an old photograph and some questions for Tess that go back decades. His questions have put her on edge, and when he shows up peeking through her kitchen window, everyone else is right there with her. As beloved as Tess is, there are plenty of people who don't care about any so-called journalist and are happy to protect her, but how far are they willing to take it? And when will they need answers to questions that that only Tess can provide?
In The Lost Women of Lost Lake—the most engrossing mystery yet from Lambda and Minnesota Book Award–winning, MWA Grand Master author Ellen Hart—Jane's only hope of protecting her friends from the secrets that are surfacing all around them is to uncover the whole truth before anyone else can.
In Hart's engaging 19th Jane Lawless mystery (after 2010's The Cruel Ever After), the lesbian restaurateur, who's taking a well-earned vacation at the family cabin in northern Minnesota, tries to decide once and for all whether to partner with longtime friend PI A.J. Nolan, who recently took a bullet in the stomach meant for her. Meanwhile, Jane's drama diva BFF, Cordelia Thorn, recruits her to babysit playwright Tessa Cornell, a mutual friend in Lost Lake, Minn., who's sidelined by a sprained ankle. , The Ayckbourn farce Tessa's directing can't go on without her, but Cornelia plans to step in as backup while Jane plays nursemaid. What neither Jane nor Cornelia can fix is Tessa's frantic distress over the appearance in Lost Lake of a mysterious man in a Chicago White Sox cap, who claims to be looking for a woman he calls Judy Clark. Guns get passed around, and, lickety-split, somebody's found shot to death. Jane, temporary amateur sleuth, comes to the rescue in this sometimes bittersweet effort.