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Lake on the Mountain (Dan Sharp Mystery, #1)
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Lake on the Mountain

(Dan Sharp Mystery #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  273 ratings  ·  59 reviews
2013 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Mystery — Winner

When missing persons investigator Dan Sharp attends a wedding, he finds himself investigating more than one murder.

Dan Sharp, a gay father and missing persons investigator, accepts an invitation to a wedding on a yacht in Ontario’s Prince Edward County. It seems just the thing to bring Dan closer to his noncommittal partne
Paperback, 488 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Dundurn
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  273 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Start your review of Lake on the Mountain (Dan Sharp Mystery, #1)
Audiobook – 5 stars

Story - 3.85 stars

“I don’t think that’s — am I really that complex?”
“No, you’re that simple.”

This was some good messy shit.


Our main MC is Dan Sharp. Dan is a P.I, he specializes in Missing Persons cases. I loved Dan from the moment I started this book. Dan is one complex character. He is an amazing single Dad, he acts without thinking sometimes, he is funny, and sometimes he needs to be spanked for his stupid decisions. I freaking love him. He got issues on top of issues.

4.5 stars

Do you know what I am thinking? That Steve Cumyn IS in love with Jeffrey Round. Otherwise I can't explain why Steve Cumyn, a fantastic natural borned narrator (and a handsome man), who made this brilliantly written novel even better (that is what a great narrator normally can do), hasn't narrated more books. He is for sure VERY expensive (I can totally understand why) and not every author could afford his services - actually it seems like NOBODY can, except...😊- (it is why he didn't do
3.5 Stars

Hardcore mystery fans, this is not for you.

This story is really about Dan Sharp much in the way a Stephanie Plum story has a mystery to support an exploration of her life and its tribulations. Yes, there is a missing person's case that Dan is investigating that intersects with his real life. The mystery itself isn't terribly engaging, but it does set that stage for meeting a host of interesting characters. I'd say entertaining since the scenes are set almost like a stage play.

The chara
Richard Derus
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.9* of five

My review is up now at Shelf Inflicted.

Very very dark noir coming out of Canada these days....
Ije the Devourer of Books
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well this was simply brilliant and edgy!!

There is just so much in this story:
a complicated and intriguing mystery,
a difficult relationship,
a lovely son,
an interesting job,
an irritating therapist,
a best and truthful buddy,
a difficult childhood and painful past,
a hope of new love,
a dog that keeps pooing in the house!!

Dan Sharp, a private investigator and single parent is invited by his boyfriend to attend a wedding. Dan decides to attend even though his relationship with Bill is not a smooth
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
A good start to a promising mystery series! 4.5 stars!

Drat GR and AMZN! They will not let readers give ratings that include half-stars. I rounded down because the "who-done-it" aspect was not as compelling as I would have liked.

However, I loved the author's writing, characterization, supporting characters, and subplots.

Also the book was well-researched. I'm a bit of a stickler for accurate details.

The MC was an interesting and fun (for me) character. He was a single gay dad. He is possibly depre
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed it!

It’s hard to really know how to describe this book...
it’s not really a mystery, though there is a good mystery plot here.
It wasn’t a romance either, though there is a relationship story here. And a romantic storyline that is just starting and very promising 🤞🏼

I would say it a great characters driven story, and what characters...
I loved our main character Dan, with all his complicities.
I loved Ked, his teenager son.
And I most definitely LOVED Donny, Dan’s best friend ❤️

I liste
I enjoyed the writing in this book far more than the content. I know this, because even as the plot was getting pretty random, I still had to stop now and then to admire a phrase. It tells the story of Dan, a gay private investigator with a difficult past, a teenaged son and chip on his shoulder. I liked Dan, he was suitably complex. I did, however, have an issue with the 'mystery'. The premise of a mysterious death on a yacht during a gay wedding is kind of awesome. It has that claustrophobic, ...more
Ulysses Dietz
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Lake on the Mountain (Dan Sharp 1)
By Jeffrey Round
Published by Dundurn (Toronto), 2012
Five stars

How odd to read a book set in Toronto in which the “hero” (more on that) hates Toronto—one of my favorite cities. Then again, as a USA American, all Canadian cities seem nicer to me.

This is a fairly long, almost stately, but definitely quiet and thoughtful mystery. Very well written, but also deeply written, particularly in terms of Dan Sharp, the smart, kind, rather profoundly messed-up missing
Gavin Stephenson-Jackman
Vicious females and learning to come to terms with personal realities and solving mysteries at the same time. What more could you ask for?

Lake on the Mountain introduces us to a very complex character, Dan Sharp. As a missing persons investigator numerous interesting cases cross his desk. Many are routine and do not end well for the families that have requested them. As well as being an investigator Dan is a single father raising a son, Ked, who was conceived in his college years. Dan shares cus
Matt Rohweder

I have rather conflicting feelings about this book - on the one hand, I quite enjoyed the mystery it sets up and plays with throughout; however, on the other hand, I could not stand the grandiose and over the top philosophizing tone it took over and over again. Even more, I found so much in the book that I disliked that I found myself reading purely because I wanted something to redeem the book for more - and I hoped throughout that the resolution of the mystery would do that.

Thomas George Phillips
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of the Dan Sharp Mysteries I have read to date, this is the most complex. It was full of twists and turns that leave the reader in total suspense. An excellent read.
Adam Dunn
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
More please!
The next book in the series comes out spring 2014. How the hell can I wait that long???? More and faster please!

Loved this book. A good mystery, set in Toronto in places I recognize with a likeable and flawed hero. Fantastic, far reaching story. It maybe even reached a little too far sometimes in scope, it was a lot to tie back together at the end. I was expecting it to be more simple and was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the book.

Another thing I enjoyed is that the author had
Brian Williams
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm having difficulty deciding whether I liked this book. It starts out as an interesting crime fiction story with an interesting hook, a suspicious death at a gay wedding. It soon morphs into a too-long life story of Dan Sharp -- a tortured soul if there ever was one. He's not a terribly sympathetic character for much of the book: he's even abusive to a dog. He's got anger management issues, substance abuse issues and the list goes on. His teenage son is the stronger of the two by far!

It would
Christian Baines
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I always love a story driven by well-developed, memorable characters. Even more so when they're thrust into a genre novel. Dan Sharp is one of the most engaging protagonists I've encountered in a long time. Engaging, tough and likeable, with just a little bit of a temper to keep him interesting.

Jeffrey Round delivers a cracking mystery, yes. But he also weaves a background complex and real enough to let the reader dive straight in. There's a real sense of knowing Dan and the people in his life,
Shonna Froebel
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
This is a Dan Sharp mystery, the first one I've read. Dan is a private investigator specializing in missing persons. He has a great track record on finding people. Dan is also gay, and this plays a big role in his book. He's been dating Bill, a doctor, for around a year, but still doesn't feel part of Bill's life. A trip for the two of them to a wedding in Eastern Ontario marks the first real public outing for the two of them. Dan's best friend Donny tries to get him to see that Bill isn't a rea ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the writing here, but the mystery involving the person who went overboard got lost in the shuffle. There was too much going on here and I think Round lost focus. Aside from the main murder you have a missing father who vanished twenty years ago, and a missing teen PI Dan Sharp has been hired to find. And, on top of all of this, Dan is dealing with a bad relationship with a surgeon (which was actually something I would have enjoyed reading more about), problems with his teenage son, a dri ...more
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Averin by: Nancy from Queereaders
Real strong first entry of a series about a private missing persons detective. Reminiscent of Michael Nava's Henry Rios, in that both men are gay alcoholics, have issues with dead fathers, and made something of themselves from nothing.

Round has a lovely turn of phrase and is a great observer, but sometimes, the reader is left gasping for air. The mystery part was a little clunky but I can live with that because the characters are terrific, especially Dan's son Ked and best friend Donny.

Will defi
Kay Sachse
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Single dad father with emotional issues and a drinking problem. And with a boyfriend who is completely self-absorbed. That sounds as if it were a bit too much for a detective story, but this is much more than just a detective plot as Round needs more than 500 pages to tell us about Dan, his life, his son, his parents, his friend, his boyfriend and - o yes - about the little detective story that's connected. So, if you're looking for an exciting read, skip this one, but if you want more of a stor ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I don’t like Dan, he’s mean to a dog, not once, but everytime they are in the same room. DNF and won’t try next book. Or other books by this author.
Mona Harrison
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I like to shop, eat, and read local. Sometimes I regret these choices.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I did not know better, I would say this book was written by two different people. One person could write. The other person could not. Around the 35% mark I came across some of the most awkward, pretentious and nonsensical writing I've ever read. A couple of examples:

"They turned to watch and her expression transformed: shyness to modesty betrayed. Now she was Julia Roberts spotted buying tampons and toothpaste in a common pharmacy. She tipped her glass at them and her expression changed again
Tex Reader
3.5 of 5 - Even Balance of Sound Mystery, Characterization & Setting

I love gay mysteries, yet really appreciated how in this one the mystery did not predominate, but the story of the characters interwove just as much with the mystery behind the investigations. The people, investigations, and Canadian settings all added a good splash of color and drama.

I appreciated that Jeffrey Round did not give me a typical mystery structure, in two ways. First, there were actually several mysteries/investigat
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed, mm, z-11-utc
I'm so torn about this book, because for what it was, it was fairly successful. There was a murder that needed to be solved (though it wasn't), however, it brought up an older missing persons investigation that was ultimately solved (kinda...there wasn't really a great wrap-up scene). I knew going in it wasn't really a romance, though there are relationships. However, I just couldn't get over how self-destructive Dan's character was. He has a stable job, a wonderful son and a great best friend. ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suze by: Review at Books and More by Kathy
Definitely on the grittier side of life, with references to Dan’s youth and current run aways, mental abuse, murder, drug addiction, alcoholism - you name, we had it here.
Dan is borderline not functioning - alcohol dependency, anger issues, bad family memories. So this is as much about him starting to claw his way out of his depression as it is about the murders on the lake.
I did enjoy the Toronto and surrounds descriptions as I have family there, lots of googling.
The two murders were kind of un
Nick Smith
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This one tested my usual indifference to unlikable characters - I couldn't really find a single character to give a damn about here, from the protagonist on down. There is a mystery here, I suppose, but it's buried under some meandering and at times clunky character work and a number of subplots that don't really add up to a cohesive novel. The one interesting note - that the protagonist is a gay dad - got too short shrift, but we sure got to learn about how strapping and manly he was multiple t ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has been on my to read list for a couple years and I’m glad I finally read it!

Interesting characters and mystery. Once I met all the players I had a idea what happened and I was right.

I like that Dan isn’t perfect or pretty. I’m looking forward to seeing how Dan navigates his decisions at the end of the book and maintains his relationship with Ked. Hopefully Ked and Donny don’t disappear in the next book.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of a "stream of consciousness" novel in many ways, having waded my way though 7 chapters it didn't appear to be getting anywhere and the writing style itself was less than I personally could deal with. The story seemed to meander around and I wondered if the actual story that reviewers here have noted was ever going to begin. However I decided that my time could be better spent so gave it up as a bad choice.
#DNF - not recommended
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really fantastic book, though not because it's a mystery. The main character, Dan Sharp, it really interesting and gives the reader a glimpse at a well-rounded person. His son is another character who is fully there with a range of attitudes and viewpoints as any teen should. This is really more of a novel than a mystery, though at its heart there is a mystery and a murder. Highly recommended. ...more
Huh. This one is between two and three stars for me, but i) it is the first book of a new series (though not the first book for this author) and first-of-series books are often clunky; and ii) I am reluctant to give two stars to the last novel I am likely to read in 2020, especially since it is the end of 2020.

I just finished reading this book and a huge part of me still thinks that I was tricked into reading a chick-lit book pretending to be a mystery novel. I HATE chick-lit (I also hate that n
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Jeffrey Round is best known as the Lambda Award-winning author of two mystery series, the gritty DAN SHARP books, and the comic BRADFORD FAIRFAX books. He is also an award-winning filmmaker, television producer and song-writer.

SHADOW PUPPET, sixth in the Dan Sharp series, was published in 2019. Margaret Cannon of the Globe and Mail said, "...this is as good a whodunit as we will see this year." (2

Other books in the series

Dan Sharp Mystery (7 books)
  • Pumpkin Eater (Dan Sharp Mystery, #2)
  • The Jade Butterfly (Dan Sharp Mystery, #3)
  • After the Horses (Dan Sharp Mystery, #4)
  • The God Game: A Dan Sharp Mystery
  • Shadow Puppet (Dan Sharp Mystery , #6)
  • Lion's Head Revisited (Dan Sharp mystery, #7)

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