Headed to a lake anytime soon? Then you must read one of these lake books!
Listen, there are lots of thrillers set at the lake! In fact, more than half of our lake books are mysteries and thrillers!
In addition to those, we’ve got historical fiction and romance books set at the lake. Every Summer After is even on our list of best books of 2022!
*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.
Best Lake Books
Will and Fern spent one amazing, adventure-filled day together in their early 20s with a promise to meet up again one year later. When Fern shows up and Will doesn’t, she is heartbroken.
Now, nine years later, Fern has inherited the lakeside resort that she never wanted to run, her ex-boyfriend is the resort manager, and she needs help. When Will shows up at the resort with an offer to help get things back in order, she doesn’t know if she can get over her old feelings and trust him again.
I absolutely loved this lake book. Set between Muskoka and Toronto, it reminded me of my childhood and teenage years! This is an absolute must-read romance novel! You can also find this book in our list of Hotel Novels to Indulge in on Vacation, and of course on our Ultimate Beach Reads 2023! If you are looking for books for summer, this one is for you.
Thrilling Lake Books
Casey Fletcher is an actress who is fleeing bad press after the death of her beloved husband. She retreats to the family’s lake house, despite the fact that this is where he husband drowned.
Casey spends her days drinking and spying on the house across the lake. When she saves former supermodel, Katherine Royce from drowning, the two strike up a friendship. It becomes clear that Katherine and her husband are having some serious issues
Some points in the story moved slowly for me and at one point, the story nearly lost me. But, I am so glad that I kept reading this pick from Lake Books. There were definitely surprises that I did not see coming.
We LOVE Riley Sager. Be sure to check out The Best Riley Sager Books Ranked by Super Fans. This haunted house book is such a great pick from our ultimate beach reads 2023 and is a perfect pick from paranormal books.
The Lady Killer murders have haunted Clare Lake Oregon since 1977 when two men with no connection to each other were murdered. They had no enemies, were murdered with the same gun, and the only witness saw a woman’s hair under the cloak. Beth Greer seemed to fit the bill- rich and beautiful- but she was acquitted.
Years later, Shea Collins, a survivor of an attempted abduction as a child spends her days as a receptionist and her nights running a website called the Book of Cold Cases. When she meets Beth and asks for an interview, everything changes.
There is so much to this story- it is unexpected, scary and unputdownable. What is it about lake books being perfect thrillers?
I did not see this ending coming. I was so freaked out that I finished this thriller in 2 days, maybe because I visited my own overnight camp while reading this summer camp book.
I just needed to know how it ended! Other people have told me they were shocked at the twists and turns too. It’s a truly excellent popular thriller and a perfect pick for lake books.
I love a good thriller, but I’ve found that they become predictable after a while. I adored Pretty Things because it kept me on my toes!
I loved that it is a dual narrative that switches between the grifter and the heiress she is trying to rob. The twists kept coming until I wasn’t sure what was going to happen or who was the person actually being conned.
I listened to this one, so I can tell you that the audiobook was one of my favorites of the year. This book about thieves takes place on the shores of Lake Tahoe which made it a perfect pick for our lake books post.
Historical Fiction Lake Books
Kate Morton’s sweeping novel is set a bit later than Downton Abbey, but the large home and noble family depicted could easily be the Crawleys in the near future. This story takes place in 1933 on the night of a Midsummer Eve party when a child goes missing.
Devastated by the loss, the Edevane family pack up their country estate and never return. 70 years in the future, a local detective stumbles upon the case and figures out exactly what happened that fateful night.
As always, Morton’s descriptions transport you into the story and the Edevanes and their estate come alive. This one is on our list of books about Downton Abbey and as lake books go, this one is a must-read.
This is a fairy tale retelling of the story of King Arthur, featuring the Lady of the Lake, Paganism vs. Christianity, and an epic struggle for power.
Merlin and the Lady of the Lake practice pagan witchcraft, as they try to keep the old ways alive against the new religion gaining popularity, the choices they make for Arthur’s kingdom inspire the tale we know so well.
The mini-series adaptation of this adult fantasy book is wonderful too and well worth the watch! It’s perfect for our list of Cornwall Books. If you love witch books, you will love this pick.
Romantic Lake Books
I absolutely adored this charming second-chance romance set at a lake house. It was one of the most popular books on Instagram this summer and for good reason.
Sam is the teenage boy we all needed in our lives growing up, and he gets better with age! Meanwhile, I was rooting for Percy to get her happily ever after with Sam the whole time. I was swept away by their summer love story and you will be too!
This is a must-read if you are looking for the best summer reads for 2023.
Do you love this list of lake books as much as we do?
Carley Fortune knows lake books! Check out our post about her!