Title: Lie in Plain Sight by Maggie Barbieri
Maeve Conlon Series Book Three
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 335 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
It’s a busy day at the bakery Maeve Conlon owns when she receives a phone call from the high school saying Maeve’s employee’s daughter, Taylor Dvorak, is ill. Taylor’s mom is out on a delivery and Taylor has her own car, so harried Maeve gives the school nurse permission to send Taylor home on her own. But Taylor never makes it: Somewhere between the school and her house, she just vanishes.
Not only does Maeve feel responsible, but she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Taylor’s disappearance than meets the eye. So Maeve decides to take matters into her own capable hands. She finds that Farringville has a lot more to hide than most small towns, from the secretive high school girls’ soccer coach to Taylor’s estranged father and her troubled mother, and she gets to work shining a light on all these mysteries.
Balancing this dark undertaking and her relationship with a local policeman, Maeve will have to walk the fine line between justice and revenge carefully if she hopes to prevail in the next suspenseful novel from Maggie Barbieri.
Lie in Plain Sight, the third installment in Maggie Barbieri’s series featuring baker (and amateur sleuth) Maeve Conlon, is another perplexing and complex mystery.
When Taylor, the daughter of her newly hired employee Trish Dvorak, goes missing, Maeve cannot help but feel responsible. Although Maeve’s boyfriend, Detective Chris Larsson, is on the case, she knows both Chris and the small town police department are out of their depth so she begins investigating the disappearance on her own. When she discovers another teenage girl from a neighboring town vanished without a trace under eerily similar circumstances the previous year, Maeve is convinced there is a connection between the two cases.
Maeve is still a little impulsive and it does not take long for her to become obsessed with trying to find Taylor. She often acts without thinking and while most of the time this is not a problem, she occasionally ends up some rather dangerous situations. Determined, intelligent and headstrong, Maeve does not hesitate to act on her suspicions which often results in some rather unpleasant confrontations with the town’s residents. Despite her slightly off center moral compass, Maeve has the best of intentions when she begins her investigation into Taylor’s disappearance and it is impossible to find fault with her reaction when she uncovers the truth.
Maeve’s personal life remains a bit of a mess and her relationships with daughter Heather, ex-husband Cal and boyfriend Chris continue to be complicated. She and Heather are often at odds and their moments of closeness are fleeting since it does not take much for their interactions to rapidly deteriorate. Ex-husband Cal’s current marriage unexpectedly hits a rough patch and Maeve’s somewhat turbulent relationship with him becomes even more awkward and tense. Her romance with Chris begins to falter under the weight of her dark secrets and her inability to completely honest with him about certain aspects of her life. Throw in Maeve’s lack of confidence in Chris as a detective and their relationship becomes even more rocky.
Fast-paced with an intriguing storyline, Lie in Plain Sight is a riveting mystery that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy. With a long list of suspects and plenty of small town secrets, Maggie Barbieri brilliantly obscures the truth about Taylor’s disappearance until the novel’s dramatic conclusion. It is another wonderful (and quite possibly, last 🙁 ) installment in the Maeve Conlon series that I absolutely loved and highly recommend.