Review Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

The ghosts of the past come calling in a spellbinding heart-stopper from the “Queen of the Northern Gothic.”

After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…

One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.

As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.


A Liz & Lisa Best Book of the Month

“Simultaneously melancholy and sweet at its core.” Kirkus Reviews

“Well-delineated characters and a suspenseful plot make this a winner.” Publishers Weekly

“…Perfect for anyone who loves a good ghost story that bleeds into the present day.” Health

“In Wendy Webb’s entrancing Daughters of the Lake, dreams open a door between the dead and the living, a lake spirit calls to a family of gifted women, and a century-old murder is solved under the cover of fog. This northern gothic gem is everything that is delicious, spooky, and impossible to put down.” —Emily Carpenter, author of Burying the Honeysuckle GirlsThe Weight of Lies, and Every Single Secret

“The tentacles of the past reach out to threaten Kate Granger in this atmospheric tale, set on the shores of Lake Superior. Filled with all the intrigue of old houses and their long-buried secrets, this gothic tale will make you shiver.” —Elizabeth Hall, bestselling author of Miramont’s Ghost

“Wendy Webb’s deftly woven tale hits all the right notes. A lost legacy of lake spirits, restless ghostly figures, and a past shrouded in fog and regret blend in delicious harmony in Daughters of the Lake. The queen of northern gothic does it again with this quintessential ghost story [that’s] every bit as compelling and evocative as her fans have come to expect.” —Eliza Maxwell, bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl

About the Author

Wendy Webb knew from the minute she read A Wrinkle in Time at age eleven that she was destined to be a writer. After two decades as a journalist, writing for varied publications including USA Today, the Huffington Post, the Star TribuneMidwest Living, and others, Wendy wrote her first novel, The Tale of Halcyon Crane. When it won the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction, she started writing fiction full-time. Her second and third novels, The Fate of Mercy Alban and The Vanishing, established her as a leading suspense novelist, whom reviewers are calling the Queen of the Northern Gothic. She lives in Minneapolis and is at work on her next novel. Visit her online at and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as wendywebbauthor.

Customer reviews


Super natural/gothic suspense is not a genre of choice for me. However I had already read one of the other books in the Kindle First list as an ARC and wanted something different. This supernatural thriller from the talented Helen Webb created an eerie feeling from the beginning that kept me swiping all day (lucky it is a public holiday in Sydney, Australia)…. I literally read it in one sitting as I was thoroughly captivated.

It begins dramatically, as in the first few pages a body is discovered. Kate Granger our heroine, returns to her childhood home on Lake Superior after discovering that her husband has been cheating on her. When Kate’s father is walking their dog he finds the body of a woman holding a baby’s corpse on the shore of the lake, Kate is distraught as she realises she has been dreaming about this woman she doesn’t know for some time.

‘It was finally time for the lake to give her up. And so, one morning in late summer, her body washed gently into the shallows, as though it, she, had simply been floating in a peaceful, watery slumber.’ … ‘Her appearance was all the more remarkable since she had died nearly a century earlier.’

Hence the story begins, moving Between Kate’s investigation in present time and Great Bay in 1889 and the early life of Addie Cassatt and her friend Jess Stewart. Little snippets are revealed and the reader feels as desperate as Kate to find the truth…

With the support of friends Kate tries to learn from her dreams and believe the impossible, even if it means connecting the body to a centuries-old mystery entangled with Kate’s own family history…
“This is a police matter, Kate. It’s not up to you to solve this crime.” “I don’t agree!” she said, louder than she intended. She pushed herself to her feet and walked over to the fireplace. “I’m the one who’s dreaming about her. She washed up on the beach in front of my parents’ home. This feels really personal to me. And, forgive me, but there’s no way you are going to find a living, breathing person who is responsible for her death. If her murder is going to be solved, it is up to me.” “But why, Kate? Just for the sake of argument, say everything we’ve been talking about today is true. Say the woman lying in the morgue right now is the very same woman in this photograph. She died more than a century ago! As you said, there is no living, breathing person to bring to justice, to pay for this crime.”

‘Daughters of the Lake’ has everything from buried family secrets, scandal, Murder, super natural saga, love – lost and found and more… all at the bottom of an eerie lake. Coupled with a deep melancholy, plus a final twist that was so unexpected that I had to just stop… this is a very clever mystery that I did not put down. Highly recommended.
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jcatTop Contributor: Pets

I have been on the waters of both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior many times. And while on those Great Lakes, sometimes I could almost believe that there was some sort of powerful spirit inhabiting the waters–because the waves felt so very alive and angry. I think the myths and stories surrounding that locale made it a great setting for this Gothic Mystery.

I wouldn’t consider this solely a romance, although there was (clean) romance. I wouldn’t consider this solely a Ghost story, although there were some ghosts. I wouldn’t consider this solely a murder mystery, although there was a murder. And yes, there was a Haunted House. But this story (although it had all of the above ingredients) spanned decades, told of love and betrayal, and uncovered surprising family secrets along the way.

I am not a fan of jumping from past to present to tell a story, but in this case it worked reasonably well. I liked the characters, I enjoyed the plot, and I admit that I’m guilty of putting everything aside today in order to finish it. And… what an unexpected surprise to have more than one suspenseful “finish” to the story. I am also grateful that this was a complete story and not simply the first book in a series. That’s getting increasingly rare these days; and I, for one, would appreciate more standalones.

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