Monday, April 12, 2010

Review: Hide in Plain Sight -- by Marta Perry

Marta Perry is one of those authors who have centered almost, if not all, of her stories around the geographical area in which she was raised. Set in rural Pennsylvania and involving both Amish and "English" characters, Perry tells stories that are inspirational as well as contemporary in scope and romantic in nature
This is one of her suspense novels with an on-going mystery involving "accidents" and incidents that seem to be aimed at preventing the opening of the Three Sisters Inn, a new Bed and Breakfast designed to bring an income to the Unger family -- a grandmother and her granddaughter Rachel. However, a hit-and-run accident puts Rachel, a trained cordon bleu chef, in the hospital with two broken legs. Her sister, a professional financial planner, comes from New York to be with their grandmother while Rachel is recuperating. She is not convinced that this B & B project is wise or can really be pulled off, so her participation in the preparations for the grand opening are less than enthusiastic.
This book is also the story of Andrea Hampton, the New York granddaughter, and Calvin Burke, a tenant at the Unger residence and a person who is not well-liked by some in the village. He is somewhat mysterious, having kept his personal background to himself even while he is establishing his business as a carpenter and furniture maker in the Amish style and tradition. Their instant dislike of each other upon Andrea's arrival due to her sister's accident is gradually overcome because they must join forces to prevent further harm to the Unger B & B project as well as protect Grandmother Unger. Little incidents and "accidents" that continue to happen stop looking like isolated occurrences. Andrea is victimized by being locked in a small closet where her claustrophobia escalates into panic. Add in some questionable characters from the town and from the Unger family past, and you have a ripper of a mystery. You also have a very quiet but persistent growing romance between Andrea and Cal.
I like Perry's writing -- it is quality and her stories are substantive. The topics in her books are of contemporary interest and are taken from real life. Real people can relate. This book is no exception. She has developed the plot well and builds up the mystery to its surprising conclusion. This is one of those books that is fun to read but holds the reader's interest. It is full of caring and family, dealing with the kinds of problems so many must face who have difficult childhoods and unresolved hurts. There are wonderful moments when the kindness that is part of the Amish communal tradition also come to the fore and make a lasting and positive impression. If you have not read one of Perry's stories I think you will like this. It is inspiring and a really good read. I give this book a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

1 comment:

Hilcia said...

Oh, I have this one on my reader. I began reading it last year and stopped. I wasn't in the mood for it at the time. Thanks for the review and the reminder, I must try it again. :)