Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully (TLC Book Tour)

Hotel on Shadow Lake is a mystery with its roots set during World War II.  Martha Weisberg starts as the narrator in 1990 when she receives a mysterious letter that was sent to her by her twin brother during WWII, but she is just now receiving due to a post office error. The book then flashes back to 1938 with her brother Wolfgang swept up by the Nazi movement while Martha has her serious doubts.  

The novel then flashes to 2017 to Martha’s granddaughter Maya.  Maya always wondered why her grandmother disappeared in 1990.  When her and her father get a call from America that her Grandmother’s body has been discovered and she was murdered, Maya takes a trip to America to see where her grandmother died and to try to help solve the murder.  She stays at the mysterious Montgomery Hotel next to Shadow Lake.  It is beautiful, but it holds many secrets.  Why was Martha in America?  Why was she murdered?  Will romance bloom between Maya and the mysterious Ben who is staying at the Montgomery Hotel?

Hotel on Shadow Lake was slow at first, but then I got into the mystery and read it quickly to its conclusion.  I enjoyed the WWII setting and learning about the terrible times in Germany.  That story read very well and was very disturbing.  It was a page turner, but I had some problems suspending my belief over a few of the plot lines which involved many of the main characters living to be over 100 years old.  The romance was supposed to be on for Maya and Ben, but Ben was acting very inconsistent and like an idiot during the last part of the novel.  I was not feeling the love between the two and it was key to the story.  Probably worst of all, the story hinged on a “wonderful” fairy tale that Martha and Hans shared and passed down to their descendants. I could barely read the fairy tale – it was odd and didn’t make much sense – and I love fairy tales!  The story was very readable and interesting, but I had to not think about some things too much.

I loved learning in the acknowledgements at the end of the book that this story was based on the author’s real grandmother and letters between her and her brother Wolfgang.  I wanted more on this real story – what was real and what was fiction on the WWII story?

Overall, Hotel on Shadow Lake was a page turning historical fiction / contemporary novel with a very interesting plot.  There are a few key points toward the end where the story was disjointed and requires a suspension of belief.

Book Source:  Review Copy for being a part of the TLC Book Tour.  Find more stops on the tour at this link.  Thank-you for allowing me to be a part of the tour!


  1. Sounds kind of like a 3-star read to me, good but not great.

  2. Laura, I appreciate your honest review.It sounds like you enjoyed this historical novel overall.

  3. Lark - you hit the nail on the head. It was good, but not great. I enjoyed reading it, but the suspension of belief to go with the narrative annoyed me.