Marriage, Monsters-in-Law, and Murder
Sara Rosett     

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Ellie Avery
Book: 9

Ellie Avery is a professional organizer, not a diplomat. But by agreeing to help organize a family wedding, she's basically signed on to prevent two mothers-in-law from killing each other. It comes as a complete surprise, then, when another member of the wedding party is the one who's actually murdered . . .

Ellie's sister-in-law, Summer, has planned a four-day destination wedding at a posh private resort on one of Georgia's beautiful barrier islands, but it won't be a vacation for Ellie. Summer has asked her to assist with the last-minute details, which includes keeping the peace between the groom's mother and stepmother.

The ladies are a handful, but the real problems are the ones Ellie and Summer haven't anticipated--like mysterious pranks directed toward the bride. When the best man shows up with the groom's gorgeous if unstable ex-girlfriend, she seems like an obvious suspect for the practical jokes.

But when a suspicious death occurs, Ellie realizes there's more going on than mean-spirited pranks. Is Summer the killer's real target? And what could possibly be driving someone to murder? Ellie vows to get to the truth so the blushing bride can walk down the aisle without fearing she'll never reach the altar . . .

Ellie Avery puts her organization skills usually reserved for helping clients with maximizing closet or kitchen space to use in overseeing the details of her future sister-in-law's wedding. Ellie assumes the hardest part of the job she has taken on for her husband Mitch's sister will be keeping the groom's mom and step-mom from going to battle. However, just when Ellie thinks she has control over this touchy situation, a series of pranks which seem to be aimed at keeping the bride and groom from saying, "I do", become more than a game. When an unexpected death occurs, Ellie must forget about little things like seating arrangements, and instead focus on tracking down a murderer.

It's hard to believe this book is the ninth in the Ellie Avery mystery series. I have read almost all of the prior books in the series, but newcomers will have no problem jumping right in and getting to know Ellie and her family. Ellie is a military wife, but this book doesn't center on military life like most of the prior books do. I think that aspect made the earlier books unique, but it's also nice to see a different side of Ellie and Mitch's life and I greatly enjoyed the plot, characters, and humor in this book. All the wedding details and the island setting make this a pleasant read and Ellie is at her best when in the middle of an investigation, so fans of the series won't be disappointed. New readers who enjoy Mary Jane Maffini or Ayelet Waldman's Mommy Track mysteries will want to put Sara Rosett on their reading list for the summer.

~ Christine