Review: Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn

Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn

Series: Detective Gemma Monroe #3

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Setting: Colorado

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: 2018

320 pages

Synopsis: On a bright Saturday in early spring, Detective Gemma Monroe responds to a missing person call at Lost Lake, near the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. With its sapphire waters and abundance of wildflowers, the lake is a popular camping destination in the summer. But for now, ice still grips the lake and snow buries the flowers.

When Gemma arrives at the shore, she meets three friends who have been camping there: the fourth of their group, Sari Chesney, has disappeared in the night without a trace. Sari is an assistant curator at the local museum, which is set to host a gala that night–a project she’s worked on for months and would never intentionally miss. As Gemma begins to understand the complex dynamics of the supposedly close-knit friendship group, she realizes that more than one person is lying to her–and that the beautiful, still waters of Lost Lake may hide more terrible secrets . . .

My thoughts

Even though this is the third book this is the first book I’ve read in this series and I liked it. I did have a few things which bothered me, but they weren’t enough to stop my enjoyment. I probably would have understood a little more about the dynamics of the relationships between characters in the books if I had started with book 1, but I think it works okay as a standalone. I do plan to read books 1 and 2.

I like Detective Gemma Monroe. She seems very real. She’s not perfect and she has doubts sometimes about her personal life as a working woman and new mom engaged to the father of her child. She lives in the town where her grandparents raised her after her parents were killed in a car accident. So she has friends and family and I always like to find out more about the characters I read about. I especially like the dynamics of a working police department as the detectives try to solve the mysteries in this book. And Gemma’s relationship with her grandparents as they all navigate her grandmother’s growing problems with dementia.

The book begins with a missing person at a beautiful mountain lake. It’s late spring and though the lake is popular in the summer now it’s still cold with patches of snow so the four friends camping there don’t meet anyone else. When they wake up the next morning they discover that one person in their group has disappeared. Gemma responds to the scene to take their statements. She knows most missing persons are usually found safe and reassures the group that they’ll probably discover Sari at home after they all hike out from Lost Lake. However, Sari isn’t at home and there’s no sign that she returned to her home. The fact that Sari has a gala that night at the museum where she works is troubling to Gemma. I was surprised that a search in the area of the lake didn’t happen after Sari doesn’t show up for the museum gala.

Gemma is called to the museum before the gala by the museum director who has discovered that an irreplaceable diary from the 1800’s is missing. It was recently restored and was supposed to be the centerpiece for that night’s gala. Gemma wonders if Sari’s disappearance is related to the diary’s disappearance. The next morning Gemma is called out early when a body is discovered. Soon Gemma and the police department have more mysteries to deal with. Are they all connected?

It seemed to me that Gemma and the rest of the police should have investigated several things earlier than they did. I realize it’s a small department, but I was surprised help didn’t come from the state police if the department was so small. The police do solve all the mysteries by the end of the book, but not before more people are hurt. I also realize that mysteries in books solve the mysteries and crimes and that doesn’t always happen in real life.

Anyway, I look forward to reading the first two books in the series and finding out more about Gemma, her life and the police department she works for. This was the first book I read in 2019 and was a good start to the year. I’m also getting it reviewed during the month I read it! Two wins!

My Rating: B-

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

  • Library Love Challenge hosted by the Angel’s Guilty Pleasures blog
  • Review Writing Challenge hosted by Shari @ Delighted Reader blog

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

3 thoughts on “Review: Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn”

  1. I like this kind of story and will have to look into the series. Like you, I do disklike it when the characters seem to not do enough or the right things or don’t seem smart enough. Yes, we are spoiled by tv shows but this is also fiction so they could also have a bit more than real life, right? Great review!
    (Since this one is 2018 wouldn’t it count for the Backlist Challenge also?)

    Anne – Books of My Heart

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