Jane reluctantly agrees to accompany her good friend Cordelia Thorn on a peculiar holiday trip: Cordelia's estranged sister, Broadway star Octavia Thorn, has asked them to attend her wedding. Octavia getting married is no surprise, but her candidate for hubby #4 certainly is. Roland Lester is a reclusive 83-year-old retired Hollywood director. No one can understand how the two met. When the bodies start to drop, Jane realizes it might not be love at all that brought the young diva and the aged director together, but something much deeper, and perhaps more sinister.
"Sloid mystery , Lesbean slueth"
When Cordelia Thorn ventures to Summer Green, Wisconsin, for a reunion with some old college friends, she finds trouble in paradise. Twenty-plus years have definitely changed things. Soap opera star Diana has become an alcoholic. Curt and Annie's marriage is falling apart. Orson is hostile and surly. And Theo, the most passionate of them all, suddenly dies - of an apparent heart attack. Alarmed, Cordelia sends for her old friend Jane Lawless to do some quiet snooping. Together they follow their hunches - into the not-so-carefree past and back to the troubled present, where they find a single match could blow up all their lives....
An anthology of mystery stories set in Minnesota and written by Minnesota authors. All of the mysteries have at least one element in common: each tale takes place at a fictional, but perhaps hauntingly familiar, Minnesota resort.
Minneapolis restaurateur and amateur sleuth Jane Lawless is in the middle of ringing in the New Year the best way she knows how - with her family, friends, and some excellent champagne - when the biggest financial backers in Minnesota politics break up the party with a little backroom proposition for her father: How'd he like to be the state's next governor? Flattered, Ray Lawless, a retired defense attorney, agrees to run, and the latecomer's sprint to the state capital is going great until reporters and opponents start digging up the kind of dirt that is more valuable than gold out on the campaign trail.
Jane Lawless is at her wit’s end, keeping her Minneapolis restaurants running while volunteering on her father’s campaign for governor. With an eleven-point lead, the race is Ray Lawless’s to lose, but all that changes when his rival posts a list of violent criminals that are back on the streets early, thanks to Ray’s work during his career as a defense lawyer.
After 75 years of high-minded respectability, the Amelia Gower Women's Club is in trouble. One distinguished director has been strangled. Another has taken a fatal plunge down the club's elegant staircase.
As soon as restaurateur-sleuth Jane Lawless begins investigating these murders, wheels within wheels start to turn, meshing private lives with the club's inner workings. Even Jane's new lover, Dorrie, is somehow involved in the diabolical proceedings....
Jane, a Minneapolis restaurateur, is invited to spend the week at Fothergill Inn, a Victorian house-turned B&B. Jane's old friend Leigh has spent years renovating the house and reopening it as an inn and restaurant. The inn has become so successful that people drive the 50 miles from Minneapolis just for dinner. But when Jane and her best friend, Cordelia, arrive for a week of relaxation, they find that the weekend's guests are anything but pleased, and that relaxing is the furthest thing from their minds. Broken glass litters the parking lot, dead animals turn up in the bedrooms, a bomb scare threatens the lives of the inn's guests. Then the pranks turn deadly....
With no one to help her ring in the new year, Jane Lawless reluctantly agrees to accompany her good friend Cordelia Thorn to the wedding of Cordelias' estranged sister, Broadway star Octavia Thorn. Octavia getting married is no surprise - but her candidate for hubby number four certainly is. Roland Lester is a reclusive 83-year-old retired Hollywood director. No one can understand how the two met. When the bodies start to drop, Jane realizes it might not be love at all that brought the young diva and the aged director together, but something more sinister.
The shock that Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is in for when Chester Garrity, her ex-husband, returns to a city that he swore he'd never see again is nothing compared to Chester's own. After their divorce many years ago, he took off with his inheritance to travel the world, leaving Jane with enough seed money to open her first restaurant, which worked out well for Jane but less so for Chester.
Aging theater actor Torald Werness' last curtain call is as a corpse. Murdered after his last performance in his last theatrical production, Minneapolis restaurateur-sleuth Jane Lawless finds his body onstage, impaled on a part of the set. Before long, a series of coincidences places Jane in the role of prime suspect. Determined to clear her name, Jane turns to her best friend, Cordelia, for help. Together, their intuition leads them to the dead man's family, a glamorous - and appropriately melodramatic - Midwestern theatrical dynasty. Jane and Cordelia must separate the theatrics from reality before Jane takes the blame for someone else's crime.
"Not the best narrator"
Joanna Kasimir, an old friend of Jane Lawless, left Minneapolis years ago to make it big in Hollywood and, unlike so many others, she succeeded. Unfortunately, her stardom came at a price. Early in her career, Joanna was involved with a man who quickly went from being an idle interest to a dangerous stalker. Nearly a decade has passed since she sent him to prison, but just as she is about to leave for her hometown to star in her friend Cordelia Thorn's production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, she receives one of his ominous calling cards.
Jane Lawless has worked hard to make her Minneapolis restaurant a success, and she's finally reaping the financial rewards. Yet even the demands and excitement of being a popular restauranteurs and living the good life don't bring the same satisfaction they once did. Jane needs a bigger challenge. A mystery to solve. The thrill of the chase... When Jane rents her quaint third-story apartment to a new tenant, children's book author Elliot Beauman, she unwittingly opens the door to a sinister, decades-old mystery that has been waiting patiently to unfold - in her own house.
After years spent mourning the death of her partner, Christine Kane, Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless thinks she's ready to move on. That is, until she finds a gun among Christine's belongings. The night before Christine died of cancer, three members of the Simoneau family, Christine's real estate clients, were murdered. The timing of their deaths appeared coincidental and Jane always assumed Christine knew nothing of the family's secrets. But as she searches for clues to understand what really happened all those many years ago, the gun and a few other discoveries begin to convince Jane otherwise.
The first of the dead is wealthy Belle Dumont, who vanished from her home in the Minnesota woods only hours before she was to reveal startling news to her three grown children. The kids and Belle's lover deny any knowledge of this mysterious bombshell, but amateur sleuth Jane Lawless, Belle's old friend, suspects these charming folk of being less than forthright. In fact, Jane suspects coldhearted murder....
DeAndre Moore came to Minneapolis from St. Louis with a purpose, but things aren't going as he planned. When it becomes clear he's in way over his head, DeAndre can think of only one person to call for help - his Uncle Nolan’s business partner, newly licensed private investigator Jane Lawless. However, by the time Jane listens to his voice mail, she’s hearing a voice from beyond the grave - DeAndre left the message only minutes before he was knifed to death outside a gentleman's club. Soon his murder isn't the only one.
Jane Lawless has a knack for cooking and a talent for detection. A case gone bad has left her with a serious head injury and vulnerable enough to accept help from former lover Dr. Julia Martinsen. The TLC is welcome, if only Jane didn’t suspect the jittery Julia of hiding something. Disquieted, Jane’s check into the doctor’s past turns up chilling details. Then a shocking death and swirling danger disrupt what’s left of Jane’s recovery, and being in love with Julia doesn’t protect either of them from a killer out for more blood.
Ray Lawless, prominent defense attorney and father of Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless, tries his biggest case yet defending an accused serial murderer and arsonist whom the media has dubbed "The Fireman." Ray's client is eventually convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, though he proclaims his innocence to the end, and a few days later, he kills himself in his cell. But someone in The Fireman's life can't let go, and, blaming Ray for the man's death, plots a meticulous revenge.
Everyone knows Arno Heywood. He's been a Minneapolis TV personality for years. So when he jumps to his death from a downtown high-rise, it's a shocker--especially since he dies wearing women's clothes, a suicide in drag.
It doesn’t take Jane long to figure out that someone has spiked the food at the party, most likely with hallucinogenic mushrooms. As the police arrive, the groom takes an unfortunate dive off a diving board and Jane realizes that if she can’t figure out exactly what has happened the blame will fall squarely on her own shoulders.
A man who claims to be a journalist has arrived in Lost Lake with an old photograph and some questions for Tess that go back decades. His questions have put her on edge, and when he shows up peeking through her kitchen window, everyone else is right there with her. As beloved as Tess is, there are plenty of people who don't care about any so-called journalist and are happy to protect her, but how far are they willing to take it? And when will they need answers to questions that that only Tess can provide?