I received an ARC of **Whack Job** by *Kendel Lynn* from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Elliott Lisbon is very interesting to define. If the situation calls for someone to put together an event called "Wonderland Adventures Tea Party" which will attract roughly 250 people along with their entries to a teapot contest, Elli is the person to call. If someone is needed to find a valuable Faberge Egg that seems to have vanished off the face of the earth and has people prepared to kill for it, Elli will give finding that egg her best shot. And if an individual is needed who won't mind too terribly much if she's coated head to toe in fish guts or dirt, or something else that's either smelly or filthy, Elli is the go-to person for that also. Nothing stops her, not even a former boyfriend now working for the local police department who is highly opposed to a greenhorn private eye invading what he perceives as his territory. And that's what is so endearing about Elli, even when she really should slow down and ease up. Once she's committed to something, it's balls-to-the-wall to the end. I simply HAD to keep reading to find out how she'd manage to solve yet another insurmountable crisis with or without needing 4 more showers to wash away the latest yuck.
The bottom line in this book is that Elli wants to get a PI license, and she's not kidding even a little bit about that. She's very good at her job managing the Ballantyne Foundation, and the husband and wife team who own Ballantyne Foundation depend upon Elli to take care of all matters pertaining to them. The Wonderland Adventures Tea Party is one of the biggest events of the year for Ballantyne, and everyone involved wants it to be a roaring success. So when things start going wrong, Elli has to put her creativity on high because she doesn't' want to disappoint anyone. Elli also has a bit of a problem effectively delegating responsibility, so she often ends up subscribing to the "if you want it done right, do it yourself" theory of business management. That may work for the PI part of what Elli does, but it doesn't always work out for the Ballantyne Foundation. Which is why Elli gets rescued more than once by a loyal group headed by Tod Hayes. There's also Carla Otto, Zibby Archibald, Busy Hinds, and Jane Walcott Hatting.
This is a murder mystery, and in addition to the murder there is a shooting that takes place early in the book and forms the basis for the mysterious behavior Elli observes from more than one character. It was fun to read how Kendall Lynn twists and turns her characters around a crime that keeps everyone wondering why so much is invested in what appears to be a simple case of a divorce getting complicated. Kendel Lynn manages to juggle many aspects of the case without losing the reader at any point, which is not a simple task at all.
This is the second book in the Elliott Gibson mystery series, and it's a winner. Hopefully it won't be too long a wait for the third book so we can enjoy more with Elli and her posse of helpers as well as find out how much closer the PI license is in coming to fruition.
Special thanks to Henery Press for approving me to read this excellent mystery.