Finished February 20
Once Upon a Lie by Maggie Barbieri
This thriller begins with Maeve Conlon taking her father to the wake for her cousin Sean. Maeve's father Jack is in a care home, due to his growing dementia. Maeve tries to take time for him, but it isn't always easy as she juggles her bakery, which is growing well, and her two teenage daughters. Rebecca is studious and well on her way to a good college, but she worries over her younger daughter Heather who seems to be involved in harmful behaviour.
Maeve is divorced, after her husband became involved with another woman, one she had considered a friend. She still has a friendly relationship with Cal, but can only be civil with his wife Gabriela.
Maeve is close to her father, having lost her mother to a hit and run accident when she was only a young child. Her father was a cop and relied on extended family to help raise Maeve.
Maeve's good friend Jo works for her at the bakery, and for now the two of them can run the business, but Maeve is looking for opportunities to grow there, so she can better support herself and the girls.
Sean was murdered, found in his car with his pants down and bullet in his head. So far the police haven't arrested anyone, but they are showing interest in Maeve's dad. Jack went for a wander the night Sean was killed and doesn't seem to remember where he was during that time. Maeve is sure that Jack wouldn't have been capable of murdering Sean, even if he had a reason to, but the police keep coming back with questions.
There is a lot going on here, with situations of domestic abuse, even possible child abuse, and Maeve is a complex character. This book is the first in a series that looks promising. I also liked the connection she made with one of the detectives investigating Sean's murder.