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Lie Like a Rug    by Donna Huston Murray order for
Lie Like a Rug
by Donna Huston Murray
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2001 (2001)
* *   Reviewed by G. Hall

Lie Like a Rug is the seventh book in the Ginger Barnes series starring the wife of a private school headmaster in the upscale Philadelphia suburban Main Line area. The author builds on her own experience as a headmaster's wife to create an interesting setting. Plots often touch on school life and on the significant role that the wife of a school principal leads in it. However, the books also draw on their setting in the larger Philadelphia area, and on institutions such as the Philadelphia Flower Show, the Italian market, and, in the latest novel, several key museums. Murray does her research and the reader will feel as if she / he is actually visiting the different locales.

One of the really enjoyable aspects for a reader of the Ginger Barnes series is in being able to follow the life of the Barnes family. It includes the parents, two teenagers and Ginger's mother. The relationships, especially that between Ginger and her mother, ring true. In the current world of the Mystery genre, so many female sleuths are feisty single or divorced women with cop / PI boyfriends that it is refreshing to read about a happily married woman in a fully functional family.

Lie Like a Rug focuses on a possible forgery of an antique rug, the title being the old slang expression that signifies how to be an expert liar. Ginger becomes involved in the mystery when a beloved childhood babysitter, a textile professor at Philadelphia University, is accused of artifically ageing an oriental rug. Her detection work take Ginger to both the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Winterthur Museum for Decorative Arts. The reader will learn some (but not too much) about textiles and be fascinated by what is behind the scenes at the museums. All of Murray's books are good quick reads. Although a new reader to the series can start with the latest, they will not want to miss any of the earlier entries.

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