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Lady in the Lake

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  16,893 ratings  ·  2,414 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by William Morrow
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june3 On the hardcover edition - I believe the woman in front is meant to be Madeline and the women behind, actually in reflection under the water, is Cleo …moreOn the hardcover edition - I believe the woman in front is meant to be Madeline and the women behind, actually in reflection under the water, is Cleo (aka Eunetta). The cover may be implying that Cleo is a reflection of Madeline and vice versa. Both are willing to take chances to get what they think that they want, albeit with different outcomes. (NB: understood that the story has a fully different outcome, but didn't want to include spoilers here :-))(less)

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Average rating 3.54  · 
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Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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 dangero
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
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 a
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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
j e w e l s
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent-faves, audio

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 a
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 ju
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
My first Laura Lippman review was a big success! I loved it! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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 sh
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it

The story opens in 1966, when thirty-seven year old Maddie Morgenstern Schwartz is a beautiful Jewish housewife with an attorney husband named Milton, a teenage son called Seth, and a lovely home in a toney Baltimore neighborhood.

Many women of Maddie's generation would be happy with this life, but Maddie has ambitions for a career, so she moves out to follow her dreams.

Living in a small apartment - and barely making ends meet - Maddie decides to report her diamond ring stolen for the insurance
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was... not what I expected. I listened to the audiobook and there were too many perspectives for me to keep everything/everyone straight. Also there was just something about the writing style that really rubbed me wrong and tbh this clearly was just very much not for me
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019-reads
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. H
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Baltimore 1966 – a/k/a “The good ole days.” (For some people.)

Madeline Schwartz has been a wife and mother for almost two decades when she suddenly decides to turn her back on the boring comforts of the upper middle class. It isn’t easy for a woman in her late ‘30s to start over, but she begins pulling together a new life, including a secret relationship with an African-American cop. When Maddie discovers the body of a murder victim she manages to eventually leverage that into an entry level job
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Laura Lippman’s first novel, Baltimore Blue. I enjoyed Laura Lippman’s second novel, Charm City, but I worried that she might become a formula novelist. You know the one whose book you could open and by the time you have finished chapter three you could predict what was going to happen and by the end of the book have your predictions affirmed.
Thankfully I can say Lippman is not a “formula writer.” She is a skilled mystery writer who sets forth developed characters facing complex situat
DJ Sakata
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favorite Quotes:

It was like that first great work of art that transfixes you, that novel that stays with you the rest of your life, even if you go on to read much better ones.

Within a year, she was engaged to Milton Schwartz, big and hairy and older, twenty-two to her eighteen, his first year of law school already behind him. I went to their wedding. It was like watching Alice Faye run away with King Kong.

The detectives, who seemed to find everything about her mildly hilarious, had shrugged, to
Stephanie Nicholas
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Too much going on here in this noir fusion thriller by Lippman. There are points of view galore going on here, a reminiscing ghost who haunts both the reader and the main character, and a somewhat selfish yet bland protagonist I simply couldn't connect with.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 surprise stars

This was such a surprising book! I loved the way that Laura Lippman wrote this with so many different voices. Here’s one example: there would be a scene of two characters talking at a diner and the next voice we would hear would be from the waitress. I thought this was so clever and a great way to make the story multi-dimensional. There’s a baseball player, a ghost, and a policeman just to name a few of the voices that contribute to the overall story.

Set in the mid-1960s Baltimor
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
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
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an engaging murder mystery, which I picked up after seeing a rave review from Stephen King.

The story is set in Baltimore in the 1960s, and our heroine is Maddie Schwartz. After being married for nearly 20 years, Maddie realizes she no longer loves her husband and decides to leave him. She moves into her own apartment, starts dating a police officer, and gets an entry-level job at a city newspaper. Soon she finds herself involved in the case of a murdered woman whose body was found in a
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Laura Lippman’s first novel, Baltimore Blue. I enjoyed Laura Lippman’s second novel, Charm City, but I worried that she might become a formula novelist. You know the one whose book you could open and by the time you have finished chapter three you could predict what was going to happen and by the end of the book have your predictions affirmed.
Thankfully I can say Lippman is not a “formula writer.” She is a skilled mystery writer who sets forth developed characters facing complex situat
Lindsey Gandhi
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 ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Have y’all read Laura Lippman yet????

After discovering her last year with Sunburn I knew I wanted more and immediately requested the library to purchase this after being denied the ARC. I didn’t know anything about The Lady in the Lake going in aside from the author (and also that I hated the cover, but I’ll bitch about face covers on a review for another book). The story here is about a couple of murders. Bored upper-middleclass h
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

I 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
Rating: 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 CLEVER stars

What a trippy mystery that takes you on a ride in the Way Back machine to Baltimore circa 1964. This is the first Laura Lippman book that I’ve read. After reading other reviews, I understand this this book doesn’t follow her typical style. That being said, I loved the style of this book! I was intrigued when hearing from many of the bit players and observers in the story. The multiple points of view, some only a page or two in length, added to the co
3.5 stars

This 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
Erin Clemence
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, first-reads
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 assista
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I need to read more novels by Laura Lippman. In her newest, “Lady in the Lake”, Lippman, who always writes novels inspired by true crime, bases her story on two murders that happened in Baltimore in the 1960’s. In her NPR interview she is clear that she doesn’t base her novels on facts of the crime, just the crime itself. She was 10 years old when 11 year-old Esther Lebowitz went missing, and then her body was found a few days later. This impacted a young Lippman, who couldn’t fathom a girl her ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lippman combines historical fiction with her love of Baltimore in her latest crime thriller. [In June of 1969, the body of Shirley Lee Wigeon Parker, a black 35-year-old divorcee, was found in a fountain. In September, Esther Lebowitz, an 11-year-old Jewish girl, was beaten to death inside a fish store.] Lippman wraps her story around the deaths of two women that mimic these two, but she also adds the conflicting emotions surrounding women in 1965-66. How do women satisfy their need for accompli ...more
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Laura Lippman is a New York Times bestselling novelist who has won more than twenty awards for her fiction, including the Edgar Award—and been nominated for thirty more. Since her debut in 1997, she has published twenty-one novels, a novella, a children’s book, and a collection of short stories. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. LitHub named her one of the “essential” fema ...more

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