The Mirror and the Mask

Jane Lawless Mysteries (Volume 17)

Ellen Hart

Minotaur Books

Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is at crossroads. The rough economy has put her plans for a third restaurant on hold, and her long distance romance is on the rocks and quite possibly unsalvageable. Unsure of what to do next, she takes her good friend A. J. Nolan up on his standing offer to take her on as a private investigator.

While still in training, her first job seems simple enough. All she had to do is find Annie Archer’s stepfather. Jane tracks down a likely match—a man who has made a small fortune in real estate. While she’s happy to close her first case, she finds it hard to reconcile the difference between PI work—finding what people pay you to find—and uncovering the truth, the whole truth, especially when clues in this seemingly simple case point to more threatening family secrets than where Annie’s father has been hiding out.

Ellen Hart’s The Mirror and the Mask is another engrossing mystery filled with the deceit and psychological intrigue that fans have come to expect from this Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning author.


Read an Excerpt

Traverse City, Michigan
Summer 1990 For the third time in less than ten minutes, Annie’s mom rushed into the bathroom to redo her makeup. It was definitely weird be­havior. Her mom had a routine that never varied. She was the assis­tant manager of one of the big resorts near Traverse City and always looked perfect when she left for work late in the afternoons. Today was her day off, so Annie figured something was up. On days like this, her mom usually dressed pretty grungy. Sweats. Tank tops. Old T-shirts. But this afternoon, she was so incredibly wired, rocketing back and forth


Praise for The Mirror and the Mask

Praise for Ellen Hart

 “Ellen Hart, one of Minnesota’s bestselling mystery writers, weaves a net of complex relationships.… Sweet Poison is as much a psychological thriller about unrequited love as a mystery.”
---St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sweet Poison

“Juicy…Hart fans will enjoy the many twists, both personal and criminal.”
---Publishers Weekly on Sweet Poison

“A solidly satisfying sixteenth title in this popular lesbian murder-mystery series…as she plumbs deeper into the convoluted hearts and minds of her fascinating characters.”
---Booklist on Sweet Poison

“Hart is at the top of her game.”
---Curve Magazine on The Mortal Groove

“Hart masterfully whips these intrigues together with her sleuths’ interesting nonmystery lives…to add a fine sauce to a hearty, Minneapolis-flavored mystery dish.”
---Rocky Mountain News on The Iron Girl

“Jane Lawless and her trusty sidekick, Cordelia Thorn, are the most refreshing, entertaining, and cerebrally stimulating duo since Rex Stout’s unbeatable combo of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.”
---Baltimore Alternative

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Ellen Hart

  • ELLEN HART, “a top novelist in the cultishly popular gay mystery genre” (Entertainment Weekly), is also a Lambda and Minnesota Book Award winner. The author of sixteen previous mysteries featuring Jane Lawless, she lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • Ellen Hart Photo: Amber Procaccini Photography


Available Formats and Book Details

The Mirror and the Mask

Jane Lawless Mysteries

Ellen Hart

  • e-Book



Minotaur Books