Updated: Feb 15, 2020
Big Lies in a Small Town
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February 8, 2020
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Big Lies in a Small Town
From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel.
North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold―until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.
What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?
Big Lies in a Small Town
"Chamberlain’s depictions of creative beauty and perseverance across time and in the face of inevitable obstacles will keep readers turning the pages." -Publishers Weekly
"Chamberlain’s writing is reminiscent of a quilt made up of pieces from different people, places, and times, stitched together into a single, emotional story." -Booklist
"An engaging, well-researched, and sometimes thought-provoking art mystery." -Kirkus
"Vaguely reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, this is a good fit for mystery lovers and the crossover among art, history, and mental health is multifaceted and intriguing." -Library Journal
"The complex but thrilling story of two women in two different centuries, with only a mural as a link between them, is outstanding reading. The characters are vivid, the plot is exciting, and the “reveal” is something readers do not want to miss." -Suspense Magazine
"[The] vividly detailed plotlines and multifaceted characters bring you inside the story . . . Chamberlain shares a dual narrative as well as a past and present timeline with ease . . . a great book." -Genthebookworm.com
"Diane Chamberlain has done it again. Big Lies in a Small Town is full of surprises, mystery and emotion. Add this one to your list." -Bookishdevices.com
"This chilling story of betrayal, murder, vindication and hope will keep readers turning pages until its very satisfying conclusion." -ShouldIreaditornot.wordpress.com
". . . super solid read and [a] great page turner . . . a unique book with a beautiful message." -Booksbrewsandbarks.com
"I found myself reading slower in order to be able to savor this book longer.” -Butbooksarebetter.com
"I really enjoyed reading [Big Lies in a Small Town] . . . I kept thinking about it long after I was finished which is the sign of a great book for me.” -Genthebookworm.com
"Absolutely gripping and wonderfully captivating story by Diane Chamberlain!” -Aspentreesbookreviews.com
BIO for DIANE CHAMBERLAIN
I was an insatiable reader as a child, and that fact, combined with a vivid imagination, inspired me to write. I penned a few truly terrible “novellas” at age twelve, then put fiction aside for many years as I pursued my education.
I grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent my summers at the Jersey Shore, two settings that have found their way into my novels. In high school, my favorite authors were the unlikely combination of Victoria Holt and Sinclair Lewis. I loved Holt’s flair for gothic suspense and Lewis’s character studies as well as his exploration of social values, and both those authors influenced the writer I am today.
I attended Glassboro State College in New Jersey before moving to San Diego, where I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from San Diego State University. After graduating, I worked in a couple of youth counseling agencies and then focused on medical social work, which I adored. I worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria, Virginia, specializing in adolescents. I reluctantly closed my practice when I realized that I could no longer split my time between two careers and be effective at both of them.
It was while I was working in San Diego that I started writing. I’d had a story in my mind since I was a young adolescent about a group of people living together at the Jersey Shore. While waiting for a doctor’s appointment one day, I pulled out a pen and pad and began putting that story on paper. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I took a class in fiction writing, but for the most part, I “learned by doing.” That story, PRIVATE RELATIONS, took me four years to complete. I sold it in 1986, but it wasn’t published until 1989 (three very long years!), when it earned me the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel. Except for a brief stint writing for daytime TV (One Life to Live) and a few miscellaneous articles for newspapers and magazines, I’ve focused my efforts on book-length fiction and have written twenty-six novels.
My stories are often filled with twists and surprises and–I hope–they also tug at the emotions. Relationships — between men and women, parents and children, sisters and brothers – are always the primary focus of my books. I can’t think of anything more fascinating than the way people struggle with life’s trials and tribulations, both together and alone.
I now live and write in North Carolina, the state which has become my true home and has also spawned many settings for my stories. I live with my significant other, John, a photographer, and my sweet Shetland Sheepdog, Cole. I have three grown stepdaughters, a couple of sons-in-law and four grandbabies.
For me, the real joy of writing is having the opportunity to touch readers with my words. I hope that my stories move you in some way and give you hours of enjoyable reading.