on August 21, 2005
Hiding in Plain Sight is the latest installment of the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries.
It is the summer, and Shelby's best friend, Betts, has gone away for vacation. Furthermore, her boyfriend, Greg, has also gone away for the summer. Shelby feels lonely and isn't sure what she's going to do to occupy herself.
Then Shelby discovers that an old man she knows vaguely, Mr. Stanley, has been injured and taken to the hospital. She goes over there and visits him, and soon enough, Shelby has taken Mr. Stanley's cat, Ernie, to care of while he's recuperating.
Ernie proves to be a bit of a spoiled, misbehaved cat, but with time, Shelby can't help but grow affectionate towards the little scoundrel.
The tending of Ernie is a pleasant backdrop to this exciting mystery.
Shelby suddenly discovers that her best friend, Betts, and her family are not, in fact, out of town on vacation. It turns out that Betts' mom has been accused of stealing an important computer program from NUTEC, her place of work.
In hopes of exonerating Betts' mom, Shelby gets a job at NUTEC as a student worker and tries to investigate who could have taken the computer program. Things don't look good, however, because all of the evidence seems to be pointing to Betts' mom, and all the while, Shelby keeps having to remind herself that her best friend's mom is innocent.
The eventual conclusion to this curious mystery is a clever, smart, and utterly satisfying one. As proven in Valerie Sherrard's previous Shelby Belgarden mysteries, Shelby is a young but precocious detective.
Other points of interest in Hiding in Plain Sight include the gossip of the office people that Shelby works with, and Shelby's deepening relationship with her boyfriend, Greg. Shelby is a very real character, and her thoughts and feelings are those that probably every teenager experiences at one time or another. Fans who have kept up with Valerie Sherrard's Shelby Belgarden mysteries will probably notice that Shelby is becoming more mature, and she has definitely honed some amazing detective skills!
All in all, Hiding in Plain Sight is an excellent and suspenseful addition to the well-liked and admired Shelby Belgarden mysteries. I can hardly wait for the next Shelby Belgarden mystery to come out! I highly recommend this novel, especially to fans of Valerie's previous Shelby Belgarden mysteries.