As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, SC, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing serious until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne's reputation tanks, Jane's headed to a jail cell, and Elliott's sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town. Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation.
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Elliott Lisbon blends her directorship of the Ballantyne Foundation with her PI-in-Training status by planning parties and performing discreet inquiries for charitable patrons. But when the annual Wonderland Tea Party makes everyone go mad as a hatter, Elli gets pulled into a shooting, a swindle, and the hunt for a Fabergé egg.
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.
It's time for the Irish Spring at the Ballantyne Foundation, and charity director/PI-in-training Elliott Lisbon kicks off the annual Pot of Gold Cook-Off in shamrock style. Twenty chefs compete for the corned beef and cabbage crown, but only one can win the title. The odds improve when one chef goes missing...until Elli finds the Ballantyne's own Chef Carmichael standing over the body with a knife. With pug puppies Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White by her side, Elli searches for a clue to the killer.