"Daughters of the Lake" by Wendy Webb; Lake Union Publishing (339 pages, $24.95). (Courtesy Amazon)

Minneapolis author Wendy Webb develops several intriguing and lasting characters in her latest Northern Gothic mystery, but nothing is as central to the plot as the roiling waters of Lake Superior.

“Daughters of the Lake” splits readers’ attentions between a turn-of-the-century romance and present day, where Kate Granger has taken refuge on the great lake after a failed marriage. Kate has long been troubled by dreams — visions of early times and people she’s never known. She shares these visions with other women in her lineage, branded in earlier generations as witches or seers.

Kate barely has time to unpack her bags before the body of a murdered young mother washes up from the mystical lake, a macabre sight in a flowing vintage gown, an infant cradled in the folds of her dress. It’s as if the two perfect bodies have been frozen in time until Kate’s unhappiness somehow summoned the icy lake to give them up.

This mother is a woman of Kate’s most intimate dreams, and with the help of her colorful cousin Simon, proprietor of a family mansion where Kate takes up refuge, she soon learns that secrets indeed cross through time in search of truth and justice.

In the course of the investigation, Kate meets handsome detective Nick Stone (Gothic romance, remember?). With Nick working on the case’s facts and Kate’s visions ferrying her into the buried secrets of the past, the two work together to solve the mystery of a 1900s romance that went tragically awry.

“Daughters of the Lake” is gothic to its core, a story of ghostly revenge, of wronged parties setting history right.

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