Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder by Sara Rosett is the 5th book in the “Ellie Avery” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, April 2010

For military wife and professional organizer Ellie Avery, the hardest thing about hosting her husband Mitch’s rambunctious Southern family reunion is remembering everyone’s name. But this summer, her backyard bash is shadowed by menace after a killer shows up without an invitation…

Before the last slice of peach pie is served, the family festivities are cut short by news that Mitch’s squadron commander has been strangled—and the prime suspect is his wife Denise, Ellie’s close friend and fellow knitting enthusiast. That same day, Ellie and the rest of the sleepy little town of North Dawkins, Georgia, are shocked to learn that one of Mitch’s cousins—a fitness fanatic who’s in town for the party—narrowly missed being shot when he collapsed during his daily workout. Everyone agrees that the bullet was a stray from hunters nearby…but to Ellie the close call is as suspicious as a possum in a persimmon tree.

As the humidity rises, so does the danger. Ellie uncovers strange clues that point to a sinister and deadly plan…and the possibility that someone wants to ground her pilot husband, Mitch—permanently. In between outdoor walks with the Mom Stroller Brigade, drumming up clients for her organizing business, and trying out new recipes for Southern-style barbecue, Ellie must unravel a mystery that grows more perplexing every day. Because if she doesn’t, Mitch’s afternoon jog just may turn out to be a run for his life.

With two toddlers at home and her part-time business, Ellie is asked by the commander’s widow to look into his death as she believe the cops are targeting her as prime suspect. Meanwhile, Mitch’s cousin is shot at and Ellie finds out that Mitch has been involved in several accidents that could have caused deadly harm and concludes that these three incidents are connected. I enjoyed this mystery which kept me turning the pages to see if I was with Ellie on who was responsible for the murder and threats. My rating: 4 stars

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