Monthly Archives: May 2014

Board Stiff, by Kendel Lynn

Board Stiff, by Kendel Lynn

Board Stiff, by Kendel Lynn

It was a happy day when I discovered the books of Henery Press, publisher of cozy mysteries with humorous flair.  I have read a number of their books, and have yet to be disappointed. The latest title, “Board Stiff” by Kendel Lynn,  is no exception.

Elliot Lisbon lives, by most people’s standards, an idyllic life. She lives on Sea Pine Island, South Carolina, and has a home on the beach. She works as the director of the prestigious Ballantyne Foundation, which gives her a flexible schedule. She has friends in the community, including the hunky principle of the local prep school. She has her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and with the help of the local police, she is working towards her PI license. If you ignore the incident of the thieving maid and the designer shoe bonfire, everything is perfect.

But the winds of change are blowing over Sea Pine Island. First, Elli gets a new neighbor; Nick Ransom, the new police chief and the man that broke Elli’s heart years ago. Second, one of the Ballantyne board members turns up dead, apparently murdered by another board member. Elli must now try to keep the taint of murder from damaging the pristine reputation of the Ballantyne Foundation, and at the same time, try to decide how she feels about Nick Ransom. Armed with her wits and her southern charm, Elli ferrets out clues about the murder from the Sea Pines Island cast of nefarious characters. The heat builds between Elliot and Nick Ransom, and the danger mounts as Elliot draws ever closer to the killer. Will she solve the crime? Will she be forced to eat seafood? And can her best party frock be saved? Slapstick situations and humor lighten up this very well-written mystery, nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. A very enjoyable book!

The best part? This title is only $2.99 for both Kindle and Nook. Buy it! Buy it now!

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Bad Things Happen, by Harry Dolan

 

Bad Things Happen, by Harry Dolan

Bad Things Happen, by Harry Dolan

David Loogan needs a shovel, and as he considers the selection at the local garden center, we become aware that the shovel must meet certain requirements. David Loogan has to bury a body, and for that purpose, some types of shovels just won’t do. At this point of the story, you might think David Loogan is a very bad guy who has done a very bad thing. And of course, you would be wrong.

David Loogan is a man with a mysterious past. Currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, David works as an editor for a mystery magazine titled Grey Streets. Tom Kristoll is his boss, and Laura Kristoll, Tom’s wife, is David’s lover. What we know about David Loogan could fit in a thimble. We know he dislikes parking garages. He is wary about being outside at night. And when Tom Kristoll says he need help to bury a body, David Loogan barely bats an eye. Yet, when a second body turns up, and a third, we see that it is David Loogan, man of mystery, who might actually be able to identify the killer. With the help of the local police, particularly detective Elizabeth Waishkey, David starts to piece together the motives behind the murders. His detective skills earn him Elizabeth Waishkey’s respect, even while they put both of their lives in danger.

This is the first book in the David Loogan mystery series. The second book is titled “Very Bad Men,” and the third is “The Last Dead Girl.” I very much enjoyed the fast-paced, witty dialogue of this book, and I appreciated the fact that, by the end of the book, we still have a lot to learn about David Loogan. He is a man who is loyal to his friends, protective of those weaker than himself, and clearly has a strong sense of justice. Yet, he is a man who seems at ease burying a body, and he also seems capable of excessive violence. The disparity in his character makes me eager to learn more about him, to find out how he came to be this way. Style-wise, “Bad Things Happen” most reminded me of books from the Spenser series from Robert Parker. I will certainly read the next two books in this series.

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