I've been following Sara Rosett's Mom Zone Mysteries since the first one, Moving is Murder. Her first one showed promise. It was a pleasure to read about a mother, an amateur sleuth, who didn't neglect her children in the course of an investigation. The third book took Ellie Avery, an Air Force wife out of her comfort zone, and it was slightly disappointing. But, Rosett is at the top of her game in the fifth book, Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder. Even if you've never read one of the books, you can pick this one up, with the promise of a riveting traditional mystery.
Ellie Avery is an Air Force wife with a busy life. Between her husband, Mitch, her two children, her part-time business organizing spaces, and her involvement with other military wives, she hardly has time to breathe. Now that they're stationed it Georgia, their lives are even busier since she and Mitch can host his family reunion, fifty competitive Avery family members. And Mitch and Ellie think his cousin, Dan, was lucky to collapse during a jog the day of the reunion. He could have been a victim of a gunshot, because he fell just as everyone heard a gunshot.
Dan was luckier than anyone knew. When Mitch's commander, Colonel Lewis Pershall, is found dead on the golf course, Ellie feels sorry for his wife, Denise. But, Denise has suspicions, and she draws Ellie into an investigation, asking her to check on a couple people. Ellie's investigations don't go far, though, before Mitch has a string of accidents, a leaf blower that backfires, a blown tire. Mitch always worried about Ellie while she investigated cases. Now, Ellie's worried as Mitch tries to watch his back, while trying to discover why he's a target.
Rosett has grown quite skillful at intermingling the Averys' family life with Ellie's cases. This latest book includes base politics, family life, and crime investigations. And, it has the added depth of a case that's threatening Mitch. There's the added pressure of the beginning of kindergarden for their oldest child. Rosett never forgets that Ellie Avery is a wife and mother. Rosett's Ellie Avery mysteries are successful because of those complicated issues that work well together. Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder is the most successful yet.
Sara Rosett's website is www.sararosett.com
Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder by Sara Rosett. Kensington Books, ©2010. ISBN 9780758226839 (Hardcover), 272p.
FTC Full Disclosure - Sara Rosett, the author, sent me a review copy, in hopes I would review it.