Mystery Monday: The Lake House by Kate Morton

MysteryMondayMeme02This week’s mystery is the first book I’ve read by Australian author Kate Morton and I really enjoyed it once I got used to the way it weaved back and forth between different times in the lives of the characters.  The Lake House shouldn’t be confused with the romantic, time-shifting movie of the same name; nor, once you realize it at first has some similarities with the kidnapping and death of the Lindbergh baby, should you think it will just be a same old thing with a foregone conclusion — this book kept surprising me right up to the end.

The-Lake-House-A-Novel-by-Kate-MortonThe story begins in Cornwall, England, in 1933.  A girl we later come to know as Alice Edevane is behaving strangely in a wooded area on the family’s summer estate, The Lake House, in the middle of a dark, stormy night burying some mysterious package that is clearly burdening her.  As the story unfolds and we learn more of Alice, we see her as part of a large, seemingly carefree family.  Backstory is filled in about her parents’ meeting — Eleanor and the dashing young student Anthony Edevane — and their courtship in 1911, preparations for a marvellous party being hosted at the Lake House, complete with fireworks, in the summer of 1933, and we meet Alice again as the prolific author of mystery stories in 2003.

It was in the summer of 1933 that Alice had a romantic crush on a handsome young worker on the land named Ben Munro, her father spent much time locked away in his attic study working on an important project, and, on the evening of June 23rd, Mr. Llewellyn, a family friend and painter, died in the woods as the fireworks exploded over the night sky, and Alice’s little brother, Theo, disappeared from his crib.

Despite a thorough and exhaustive investigation, no trace of Theo was ever found.  The Lake House was closed up and abandoned.  Years later, Alice and her sister Deborah begin to share information and piece together the fact of their father’s post traumatic stress disorder from the Great War that caused their mother to lock him in the attic workshop when he felt violent spells coming on.  A young detective, Sarah Sparrow, lying low to avoid a scandal caused by her leaking to a reporter her doubts about the conclusion of a recent case, visits her grandfather in Cornwall, discovers the abandoned Lake House, and begins to investigate the cold case of Theo’s mysterious loss.  A letter she sends to the reclusive Alice, brings her back to the home of her seeming idyllic childhood to unravel the mystery of what really happened that tragic June night in 1933.

KateMortonThis is a many layered story that is exquisitely told as Morton reveals hidden clues, lost motives, secret relationships, and finally, the truth.  There were many surprises as the past is slowly revealed, eventually assuaging Alice’s belief that she was responsible for her brother’s disappearance and that things sometimes do work out for the best.  While I found it a bit confusing at first with the leaps to the different time periods, I soon caught on to Morton’s style and the method in her madness, as it were, and thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns as the characters developed.  When I turn the last page and am sorry the novel is over, you know it was a terrific book.  I will definitely be reading more novels by Kate Morton. * * * * *

To read the opening paragraph and a teaser follow this link.

If you, too, are a fan of mysteries, I hope you’ll not only enjoy my Monday posts but will contribute by publishing your own Monday Mystery, mentioning my meme.  Then come to my blog, comment on your mystery (or mine) briefly, and include the link directly to your mystery review.  You can also copy my MMM badge to your post.  Thanks for stopping by.


About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
This entry was posted in Adult Book, Author, fiction, Historical Fiction, Meme, Mystery, Opinion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mystery Monday: The Lake House by Kate Morton

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year! | Ms M's Bookshelf

  2. This book has been on my reading list for sometime. Here is a link to a historical novel set in England. I really enjoyed. The second one is on mycTBR list.


  3. I’ve always wanted to read Morton, but never got around to it. Maybe I should… Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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