Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder by Sara Rosett is the 6th book in the “Ellie Avery” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, April 2011

Super-organized Ellie Avery thinks she’s prepared for everything when she and her family set off for an extended visit with her in-laws—clothes, books, and enough games and toys to entertain two stir-crazy kids on a six-hour drive. But the one thing she hasn’t planned for is cold-blooded murder.

As soon as Ellie and her husband, Mitch, arrive at his parents’ gracious home in Smarr, Alabama, they are shocked to learn that Mitch’s Grandpa Franklin has passed away. More shockingly, a too-quickly-closed police investigation raises more questions about Franklin’s death than it answers. As the quirky, extended Avery family clan closes ranks around their own, she realizes that quite a few relatives stood to profit from Franklin’s passing, and she can’t help looking for motives among the mourners. When a little more sleuthing reveals Franklin’s mysterious ties to a famous, reclusive local author whose writings are worth megabucks, something doesn’t sit right with Ellie…and it’s not just the homemade grits.

As genteel Southern tradition collides with greedy and possibly murderous passions, another disturbing death confirms Ellie’s suspicions. With Alabama’s biggest book festival fast approaching, she sees danger brewing faster than sweet tea. Who can she trust? Looking over her shoulder for a killer who’s definitely onto her, Ellie needs to act fast if she wants to save her family…and herself!

The family is on the move again, this time for a visit to Avery’s family in Alabama. Upon arriving they learned that Mitch’s grandfather has died and subsequently his home was broken in. When his casket disappears from the funeral home, Ellie feels something is amiss, but is stymied by the lack of response from Mitch’s family, that is until a dead body is found in the grandfather’s house. Ellie does what she does best and that is observing and finding all the clues needed to find the person responsible. This well-written story had me riveted to the pages. The calmly-paced mystery kept me guessing until the end, especially with so many twists and turns that author threw in my path. This was the best yet in this entertaining series and I look forward to the next adventures with Ellie and her family.

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