Friday, January 29, 2016

A cupcake Queen with a sketchy past makes for 4 star reading!

Lie In Plain Sight by Maggie Barbiei

She’s the cupcake queen with a sketchy past, a dramatic present and a future it’s quite ossible she’ll never see…Yep. That is Maeve Conlon’s life.

Lie in Plain Sight is the suspenseful mystery disappearance of Taylor Dvorak – a sketchy kid in her own right, abused by her peers, and obvious product of her environment.

And oh, what a tangled web she weaves. This author wound three mysterious story lines into points of connection that made me want a road map and scorecard. And that is NOT a bad thing.

I do feel as though I might have missed a few things by not reading the previous books in the series—I have a few questions—but nothing so pressing it detracted from this book and if anything, made me intrigued enough to add those to my TBR list.

As for the characters…

Maeve is complex and fearless—the hard-ass who finds her way into trouble. She navigates crime solving with analytical ease, but in her personal relationships she can’t seem to figure out how to stay afloat and not push away everyone she loves. She is the over-protective mother of two daughters (one an angel, the other difficult), the ex-wife of the town womanizer/cheat, and girlfriend of the too-sweet-for-his-job town sheriff…like I said, complex.

Trish Dvorak is the mother of the missing girl. She has her own complexities and secrets which scandalize her daughter and make college the ultimate get-away—if only they could afford it.

Chris is the aforementioned boyfriend and town detective. He has a big heart, but is in way over his head dealing with missing persons, dead bodies and all the things he’d never thought he would see in such a small town. He isn’t completely aware of the secrets and fibs Maeve is piling up, but he is willing to hang into a point.

Cal is Maeve’s ex-husband who simmers on the petulant child side of life as a retired lawyer who left Maeve for a former friend and proceeded to have a child – at his age! He loves Maeve in the passive aggressive way he knows how, and he continues to be an active (if active means check-writing) parent, but is quite happy to use the kids against Maeve at every turn of the screw.

Heather is the sixteen year-old daughter Maeve and Cal produced during their marriage. Sullen, moody, typical, she gets her spunk from her mom and that makes for a rocky relationship.

Poole is Maeve’s old friend /cop who knows her secrets and has first-hand knowledge of the danger she willingly steps into. He is quite happy to whisper pertinent info in her ear as she investigates the missing girl and most of her neighbors, quite to Poole’s amusement, behind her BFs back.

Each character (except for Trish, these are the main and probably recurring characters in the series) has a special role in Maeve’s life and in her super-sleuthing. This series is reminiscent of Stephanie Plum or Amanda Pepper (without the slap stick quirks and comedic tryings) and is one I will continue to enjoy.