Blurb: Super organizer Ellie Avery could really use some Christmas cheer when Gabrielle Matheson, a grinchy professional rival, sets up shop in the same small Georgia town. But before the halls are even halfway decked with holly, someone uses Ellie's terrifically tasteless white elephant swap gift as ...a murder weapon! Ellie's now a suspect. Besides playing Mrs. Santa for her Air Force pilot husband and their two kids, shielding her eyes from the garishly over-decorated house down the street, and helping a client who's a hardcore hoarder, Ellie also has to solve this ho-ho-homicide ...and find a killer who wishes her a very deadly Christmas.
My Review: I'm sad to admit this is my first Ellie Avery mystery but happy to say it won't be the last! Ellie is such a wonderful character with a sweet husband, cute kids, and an interesting job as a professional organizer. Even though these were new-to-me characters, I instantly connected with them and found myself absorbed in their lives. Christmas cozies are extra special to me so that made this the perfect book in the series for me to start with!
The mystery is fast paced and full of twists and turns that kept me riveted. The action-packed scene where a killer is brought to justice on a neighbor's overly decorated front lawn was great fun and very clever. I enjoyed Ellie's partnership with her rival Gabrielle, the victim's sister, and Marie the hoarder was one of my favorite characters...I hope she returns in a future book!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a little murder with their eggnog.
* I received a copy of this book from the author with the request for a review.