Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.43 with 1,259 ratings (as of 1/15/2020)

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?…more

200 Word Review

‏I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

Diane Chamberlain is a prolific writer who has been on my “want to read” list for years. When given the opportunity to review her latest book, Big Lies in a Small Town, I jumped at the chance. Having finished it, I am glad I did.

Morgan Christopher and Anna Dale are both strong, artistic women whose stories are told in alternating chapters. In 2018, Morgan is hired to restore a mural Anna painted in 1940. Beyond the mural, they both must deal with issues that are daunting and will test their character and resolve.

The story flowed well and the writing style made it hard to put it down. I ended up reading it in 2 sittings. There is one “surprise” that seems extremely obvious but the story is definitely worth reading.

It is marketed as women’s fiction. To me, it seems to be a mystery too. Morgan makes it her mission to figure out secrets hidden in the mural. I do not want to say more than that and give anything away.

Many of her books are labeled as women’s fiction. Some as mystery. I frequently skip books labeled women’s fiction. After reading this, I probably will read more.

This review was published on, Smashbomb, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble on 1/15/2020. When available, the review will be published on and, using Overdrive, will be rated in 9 libraries.

Genre: Women’s fiction, Mystery
Print Length: 400 pages
ISBN: 1250087333
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 14, 2020

Purchase at Amazon *** Barnes and Noble

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