Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn

Title: Board Stiff
Author: Kendel Lynn
Series: Elliott Lisbon #1
Publisher: Henrey Press
Source: ARC courtesy of Frisco Public Library
(And then I bought the eBook edition through Barnes and Noble)
Adult, Mystery

Elliott Lisbon takes care of a multitude of problems for the board members of the Ballyntine Foundation, of which she is the director. From catering to courting potential donors, she's the go-to gal. She also handles small "discreet inquiries" like finding misplaced Pomeranians and smoothing ruffled feathers when restaurant checks don't get paid. Her life gets a lot more complicated and her inquiries a lot less discreet when member Leo is murdered and the board chair (and her boss' favorite) Jane is pinned with the crime.

But her complications don't end there. Her sexy ex moves into town for a new the police lieutenant. He also moves in to the house next door. He also starts dating a potential donor so Elli's got to play nice. (Mostly.) There's also Matty, who she might be dating. Thankfully she's a spunky, determined woman with a great best friend and a sporty Mini-Cooper to get her from suspect to suspect.

But proving Jane innocent is difficult with so much stacking up against her, and Elliott's inquiries aren't unnoticed. She'll have to pull out all the stops to get the criminal, the guy, and her next paycheck.

The book gods smiled upon me and I was super fortunate to receive an ARC of Board Stiff from Henery Press through the library I work for. I did a short, spoiler free gif review for it which you can see on Tumblr here if the fancy strikes you.

Board Stiff is smart and funny creates a fabulous southern atmosphere. Elliott is a heroine you can immediately get behind and root for, because you've probably been her at some point even if you've never investigated a thing in your life. She's smart, determined, and quirky (you won't find her without her hand sanitizer) and she's hilarious. Here are two of my favorite lines:

"I peek through my peep hole. I may be cranky, but I'm not crazy. I can't just open the door for some whacko killer and then yell him to death." 
"I showered quickly. As quick as I could, anyway. I do things a certain way and it makes my skin itch if I change in any way. All very reasonable and not in the least obsessive." 
If you know me well, or have traveled with me, you'll know that I'm pretty picky about showering so I emotionally bonded to Elli as a character. :p

Elli's a businesswoman with some serious people skills and smarts. What I love most about her as a character, though, is her ability to stand up for herself. Whether she's dealing with potential investors, little old  ladies, tough as nails chefs, rude women, attractive men, or jackasses, Elli doesn't take anybody's lip.

One of my absolute favorite moments is when Elli pushes somebody into a pool. I won't say who or why (spoilers!) but it's one of many moments you'll find yourself cheering for her.

If you like fast paced, humorous mysteries with a kick-butt woman who can get her man and close her case, hop in the Mini-Cooper with Elliott Lisbon and hang onto your hat.

Henery Press is having a sale on their eBooks from now until June 30th, so hit up Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your usual eBook store to snatch up Board Stiff and all the other Hen House titles for .99 cents. It's a fabulous deal for some fabulous summer reads.

Rumor from the Hen House is that Elliott and company will be back soon with her second adventure, and I can't wait!