An Elliott Lisbon Mystery by Kendel Lynn
Review: Event coordinator for the Ballantyne Foundation and part-time confidential investigator Elliot "Elli" Lisbon is hired by Gilbert Goodsen to retrieve a valuable Fabergé egg that has been in his family for generations, one he believes his estranged wife Jaime has taken as leverage in their divorce settlement, in Whack Job, the second mystery in this series by Kendall Lynn.
Gilbert tells Elli to offer Jaime $25,000 in exchange for the egg, but Jaime denies having it. Even so, that amount seems incredibly low to Elli, who knows genuine original eggs run into the millions. Elli becomes even more suspicious of Gilbert, when she learns that his investment in viaticals may be illegal. When Jaime is found dead, Gilbert is the natural suspect, but Elli thinks he may be innocent, and that Jaime's death may be related to the missing egg, which in turn may be related to Gilbert's investment, though what the connection could be is still something to be investigated.
It's hard to become invested in Whack Job as the narrative lacks focus with the storyline bouncing between its various subplots, none of which appear to be related, but of course they all end up being so. The murder mystery — the death of Jaime Goodsen — is actually a relatively minor point in the story, which spends far more of its page time on Elli's search for the missing egg. To be sure, the egg itself is what ties everything together, and in a fairly clever manner, but it's so hard trying to keep track of who is doing what to whom and why that it loses its significance. Too, Elli's relationships with her male counterparts provide a diversion for her, but are a distraction for the reader and they really shouldn't be; romantic entanglements are typically an integral element to cozies, but they just don't seem to work here. Fast-paced with some admittedly appealing aspects to the story, it nonetheless takes something of an effort to finish the book, which is, on balance, faint praise indeed for this mystery.
Acknowledgment: Henery Press provided an eARC of Whack Job for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Whack Job: South Carolina
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Whack Job by Kendel Lynn — An Elliott Lisbon Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2014
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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