After launching Henery Press, an independent publishing house for mysteries in 2012, Kendel Lynn has published her own debut novel, ‘Board Stiff’ in 2013 .

I have read most of the books by this publishing house and have absolutely loved all of them. So far they have all been fast-paced cozy mysteries with a hint of romance involved. Most have been located in the South.

We were first introduced to Elliott Lisbon, the protagonist in ‘Board Stiff’ in the short story collection, ‘Other People’s Baggage.’ I had enjoyed her there and looked forward to reading more about her. Elliott Lisbon, the director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pines Island, SC. is an intriguing character. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, which she found came in very handy making discreet inquiries for the board. As a result, she has a preliminary license to investigate from the state but she needs many more hours of on the job training to complete her final license. She had been working with the previous police lieutenant to obtain her hours, but her ex-boyfriend, Ransom has recently replaced him.

When one of the board members is found dead and another accused of his murder, Elliott steps in to quickly and discreetly find out who committed the crime and clear the board member of the murder.

However, Ransom isn’t happy with her investigating. He points out in one of their first encounters:

“Don’t overreact. It’s just that a mishap isn’t the same as a murder. You simply can’t handle something this big.”

“You don’t know what I can handle.”

“I was in your evidence collection class. You grabbed my pants and slid to the floor in a dead faint during a crime scene slideshow. It’s how we met, remember?”

My palms started to hurt. I’d squeezed my fist so tight, my fingernails nearly drew blood. I slowly released them. “Things have changed. I’ve changed. “

“Elliott, you have a nine gallon barrel of hand-sanitizer on your desk. You aren’t ready to get this dirty.”

This is the quintessential cozy. A cross between an educated, upper class Stephanie Plum and a less neurotic Monk. Put this on your list for a great vacation read.

Five stars out of five.


In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher free of charge.  I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.