As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, SC, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing serious until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne's reputation tanks, Jane's headed to a jail cell, and Elliott's sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town.
Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation. With victims piling up faster than shells at a clambake, Elliott realizes she's next on the killer's list.
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A strong start to a new cozy mystery series
The story was fast moving without a lot of interludes. It also included several episodes of peeling back the onion to find a new level of plot.
I personally loved the two chefs, especially their interactions with each other. i found Elliott a bit too much to believe, but that is somewhat the nature of the beast with cozy mysteries.
While the narrator was a bit breathy and off-setting at the beginning once the story began to move along it was more that sufficient to draw me right in.
Once I was past the first couple of chapters and the characters were established, I knew i would be with them through to the end. Well deserving of it's nomination for best first novel in the 2014 Agatha awards.
It would be really nice to have a ongoing successful male character who could participate in the mysteries without being a romantic interest for the main female character or one of her friends. As is common with many current cozy's, male characters are either a possible love interest for the main female character or her posse, gay, humorous figures (boozers, druggies, losers, computer nerds), or father figures too old to be of any romantic interest. i would hope that a successful 40-year-old single female would have a few mainstream male friends.
A good story
- Drew (@drewsant)