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Arts & Culture
There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: 'Big Lies in a Small Town'

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“As of next week, you’ve served your minimum sentence. One year, right? She asked. I half nodded, waiting. Yes I’d served my one-year minimum, but the maximum was three years, and from everything I’d been told, I wasn’t going anywhere for a long time. We..Andrea and I ..have been working on getting you released,” Lisa said.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are some lines from the beginning of Diane Chamberlain’s mystery Big Lies in a Small Town. Morgan Christopher, a promising art student, is serving time for a DUI that paralyzed the woman in the other car. Lisa is the daughter of a famous black artist Jesse Jameson Williams who has recently died. He stipulated in his will that Morgan should be the one to restore a mural by artist Anna Dale that has been in his possession for eighty years. A mural that will hang in the lobby of Williams’ art gallery. Morgan has no idea why Williams picked her as she has no experience in art restoration but she is willing to do anything to prevent returning to prison.

The chapters alternate between 2018 with Morgan restoring the mural and 1939 when Anna Dale is one of the winners of the 48-states Mural Competition and moves to Edenton, North Carolina, to design and paint a mural for the post office. Morgan tries to solve the mysteries of what happened to Anna Dale, why did the final mural have bloody elements that were not part of the original design and why was she chosen to restore the mural.

If you’re looking for a mystery set in a small town where prejudices run deep, then you must read Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain.

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