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The Mirror and the Mask (Jane Lawless #17)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  188 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is at crossroads. The rough economy has put her plans for a third restaurant on hold, and her long distance romance is on the rocks and quite possibly unsalvageable. Unsure of what to do next, she takes her good friend A. J. Nolan up on his standing offer to take her on as a private investigator.

While still in training, her first job s
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 10th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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Carl Brookins
Nov 12, 2011 Carl Brookins rated it really liked it
This novel is an important achievement in the arc of the Jane Lawless series. In it’s most fundamental construction, the author has brought together an interesting collection of characters; some. like Jane and Cordelia, well-known with whom we are familiar. At least we thought so.

Author Hart has spent a good deal of time considering psychological motivations of human kind and apparently now feels comfortable making a few judgment calls. “Their hearts were also solitary, a mystery to others, and
Kathleen Hagen
The Mirror and the Mask, by Ellen Hart, a-minus, Narrated by Aimee Jolson, Produced by audible inc. and downloaded from

Jane has contemplated opening a new restaurant, her third, but plans are put on hold because of the economy. A young woman showed up one day at one of her restaurants looking for a job. Jane likes her on sight and agrees to give her part-time work whenever the restaurants need more people. The young woman, Annie, has her own agenda. She tells Jane she is trying to f
Gail Cooke
Dec 02, 2009 Gail Cooke rated it really liked it
With this, the 17th in Ellen Hart's highly successful Jane Lawless mystery series, we first meet 13-year-old Annie Andrews who lives in Traverse City, Michigan with her resort manager mom. Annie was happy, loved her school, and thought she and her mom were all that was needed after Annie's dad died. Apparently, mom didn't feel quite the same way because she's been corresponding with Johnny Archer, a prisoner who has just been released and is about to knock on their apartment door.

Flash forward
Ryan Mishap
Dec 21, 2009 Ryan Mishap rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
Jane Lawless is 44, her plans to open a new restaurant in the Twin Cities are on hold because of the economy, and she has just lost her current partner, Kenzie, due to the difficulties of a long distance relationship and Jane's busy lifestyle. Which, by the way, includes some sleuthing on the side.

The latest mystery from Hart provides a typically troubled protagonist ready to be sucked into someone's else's problem. That's were Annie comes into Jane's place looking for work and Jane offers to he
May 28, 2015 Cab rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, crime, e-books
Well I definitely read this out of order, which this time around I found myself trying to place the characters in relation to "The Cruel Ever After." Initially, I felt that the story got a slow start and I found that I disliked Curt enough that every time he came up in the story I mentally tagged him as a whiner and I could have easily done without him. Interestingly, I also found Jane to be a bit weak in this story as well, and by that I mean needy.

Regardless, the story picked up pace and I was
Oct 24, 2015 Deborah rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, lgtbq
I enjoy Hart's books - I always enjoy Cordelia and wish Jane was little more sympathetic - I'm often disturbed by the other "cast of characters" - perhaps it's because her portrayals are 2 dimensional ...or at least, not fleshed out.

Note: this represents ALL of her Jane Lawless books (as with J.D. Robb)

I agree completely with this comment from another "good reader":
"My problem with this one, unfortunately significant, was that I detested almost all of the participants, including the folks I bel
Nov 27, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it
Not as dark as the last two, although plenty of dysfunction and family violence/abuse explored here. It was interesting that this one focused so much on the outside characters--that is, the ones the serve as the premise of the mystery, rather than Jane, Cordelia, and the various Lawless family members. I was glad Cordelia made several appearances here, and even got important information for Jane at one point, but of course, I could always do with more of her. Jane's still messed up about relatio ...more
Nov 29, 2009 John rated it liked it
Shelves: library_books, lgbt
Hart is a very good writer, clearly shown here. After the last couple of episodes featuring Jane's father and brother, she plays a glorified cameo role in the lives of an incredibly dysfunctional extended family; Cordelia has more "airtime" than she does. My problem with this one, unfortunately significant, was that I detested almost all of the participants, including the folks I believe were intended as sympathetic. Resolution of the various plot threads seemed a bit neat.

I'm still interested i
Bhanu Marley
Jul 18, 2014 Bhanu Marley rated it it was ok
This book was amazing but a little draggy.I wish Jane Lawless was straight.
Freyja Vanadis
Mar 28, 2012 Freyja Vanadis rated it it was ok
Marginally better, but not by much. And the ending, where Cordelia gets her niece Hattie back, is no more likely to happen than a unicorn is to show up at my bedroom window.
It's obvious Ms. Hart doesn't understand men very well; she writes them from a women's point of view, which is as unrealistic as the way male authors write their female characters.
I'll just be glad when I'm done reading all the Hart books I've purchased, and I won't buy any more after this.
Nov 25, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
Annie arrives in Minneapolis-St. Paul, looking for answers about her long-absent father. She meets restaurant owner and amateur detective Jane Lawless, who offers her a job and help. Jane and her friend Cordelia identify Annie's father, but Jane is sure that the attractive Annie is keeping secrets from her. As Annie gets involved with her father's new family, she finds herself in increasing danger.
May 01, 2013 A rated it it was ok
This mystery was okay but I expected more. Jane Lawless has a lot to deal with, her ex-husband arrives with trouble following right behind him, an ex girlfriend wanting her back, mysterious figures following her around, and a huge surprise. For much of the story Jane really wasn't involve that much in solving this mystery it was mostly other characters.
Apr 04, 2010 Grey853 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, gay
I really enjoyed this book much more than I expected. Despite the fact that Jane Lawless is really almost like a secondary character, Hart leads the reader through a whole maze of relationships and connections. I found it very compelling.
Daphne Birchfield
Mar 20, 2013 Daphne Birchfield rated it liked it
jane needs to invest in a gun instead of going head-first into a dangerous situation. not everyone can be negotiated with or talked down from the brink of committing murder. Didn't see much of nolan. missed hattie a lot.
Jun 08, 2010 TJ rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Probably the last of the series I will read. While a fast read more disappointing than anything else. Focused on other characters who weren't just interesting enough. Overall a waste of good money
Nov 29, 2009 E.A. rated it really liked it
Not as much Jane and Cordelia interaction as the other books, but still a well crafted mystery. Though it would be nice to see the heroine get to keep the girl for a change.
Staci Schoenfeld
Apr 16, 2010 Staci Schoenfeld rated it really liked it
Another fun mystery from Ellen Hart. I've missed a few of them over the years because of school, but picking up a Jane Lawless mystery was like being reunited with old friends.
Melissa Hilton
Jan 09, 2010 Melissa Hilton rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
I only read half of the book, it got into some subjects I didn't feel like reading about. Other than that, I am sure the plot was great, but wouldn't know how it ended.
Jan 24, 2011 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this and have the latest to go on with. Enjoyed the characters in all their glory, a great variety of likeable and less likeable personlities.
Leslie Angel
Mar 21, 2011 Leslie Angel rated it liked it
good read; I like Jane and Cordelia, but I wish Jane would find true love.
Oct 05, 2011 Helen rated it liked it
It was okay but I wouldn't rush out to read another in the series.
Sep 10, 2011 Lila rated it really liked it
very good
Liz added it
May 22, 2016
Trish Payne
Trish Payne marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
Laura Rymer
Laura Rymer rated it it was amazing
Apr 12, 2016
shanay marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Patti rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2016
Siân rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2016
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Ellen Hart is the author of twenty-eight crime novels in two different series. She is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award in several categories, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Sa ...more
More about Ellen Hart...

Other Books in the Series

Jane Lawless (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Hallowed Murder (Jane Lawless, #1)
  • Vital Lies (Jane Lawless, #2)
  • Stage Fright (Jane Lawless, #3)
  • A Killing Cure (Jane Lawless, #4)
  • A Small Sacrifice (Jane Lawless, #5)
  • Faint Praise (Jane Lawless, #6)
  • Robber's Wine (Jane Lawless, #7)
  • Wicked Games (Jane Lawless, #8)
  • Hunting the Witch (Jane Lawless, #9)
  • The Merchant of Venus (Jane Lawless, #10)

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