Swan DiveSwan Dive by Kendel Lynn is the third book in the “Elliott Lisbon” mystery series. Publisher: Henery Press, March 2015

It’s Opening Night at the Ballantyne Foundation’s production of The Nutcracker, but it’s curtains for the Sugar Plum Fairy. When her body is found backstage, fatally poisoned by a cupcake she baked herself, rumors turn to suicide. But Elli Lisbon, director of the Ballantyne and coordinator of the ballet, smells something rotten amidst the sugar and spice.

As Elli applies her PI-in-training skills on the troupe of suspects, she discovers an eccentric herbalist, a temperamental chef, a stalking choreographer, and a bevy of backstage secrets. Between her off-the-record investigation, duty as director, and highly-charged love life, she finds herself caught in a dance to stay one pirouette ahead of a half-baked killer.

This book will be on my list of favorites this year. I devoured this cleverly and well-written humorous drama that kept me both entertained and engaged (as evidence of my private comments to the author) from beginning to an ending that put a smile on my face. With great success, the author teased me with a bevy of suspects, only to make those twisty turns that when it was all said and done, all I could say was “Bravo on a job well done.” Elli is a great heroine for this story and I love her idiosyncrasies which make her more human and lovable at the same time. Elli is surrounded by an eclectic supporting cast from her BFF Sid, to Matty to Carla, to her Ballantyne cohorts and to that handsome devil himself, Nick Ransom. The witty banter between the characters added to the dynamics of this wonderfully delightful and charming read. This is the best one yet in a series which continues to get better and better with each book published and I can’t wait for Elli to knock another 1,000 hours off her PI training in her next adventures.

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