- Series: The Country Club Murders (Book 1)
- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Henery Press; First edition (February 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1941962238
- ISBN-13: 978-1941962237
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 320 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Deep End (The Country Club Murders) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 17, 2015
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"The Other Woman" by Sandie Jones
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About the Author
Julie Mulhern is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean—and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is—she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist. The Deep End is her first mystery and is the winner of The Sheila Award.
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Well fast forward to Ellison becoming a talented artist and making more money than Henry. It all started at Christmas at the Country Club when Henry and Madeline Harper were caught in the coat room and all of a sudden everyone knew about their affair.
Ellison’s daily routine began with an early morning swim at the country club pool, prior to sunrise the water started her day. Diving into the pool and starting the first lap had Ellison bump into the dead body of Henry’s mistress Madeline. A scream brought the police and Detective A. Jones.
Ellison soon becomes a suspect in Madeline’s death and forces her to confront her missing husband’s lifestyle at a sex club. However, it’s not just Madeline who has been keeping her husband busy but Prudence and Kitty, all members of the social set of the country club.
I love the style of writing Julie Mulhern brings forth in this her first novel. The development of the characters, Detective Jones, attorney Hunter Platt, daughter Grace and of course her Mother all brings forth great characters.
The body counts mount and Ellison’s secrets are a concern and leads her to deciding that she must try to find the killer before something happens to Ellison or Grace.
One of my favorite authors, Leighann Dobbs, made a recommendation of this book. Thank you, just like all the recommendations of Amazon and other authors, Ms. Mulhern will be on my list of reading from now on. Can’t wait for book 2 coming in October 2015.
Ellison Walford Russell is a married housewife and artist living in Kansas City during the early summer of 1974. Following her desire to paint has left her in the midst of an unpleasant marriage, held together for the sake of her young teen daughter, Gracie. Ellison was raised in the upper fringe of society, where expensive designer clothing and tennis games at the club are the usual topics of discussion, the place where her domineering mother Frances and her estranged husband Henry would like her to stay. But when something happens to one of the least-liked women in town, even Ellison’s passion for art won’t be able to protect her from the dark and swirling clouds of gossip and intrigue.
Julie Mulhern’s book is a well-handled whodunit cozy mystery that thoroughly entertains. The main character, Ellison, or “Ellie,” sees colors and patterns and as an artist describes things using a rich and vivid vocabulary. It’s 1974, a time period when many wives struggled to be independent of their husbands and some husbands, like Ellie’s, didn’t like the change. Mulhern does a great job in setting an accurate sense of the historic period, complete with references to drinking a specific diet soda, discussing Watergate at cocktail parties, and women who might wear purple Muumuu dresses. But the era doesn’t become the centerpiece. Rather, it’s more like important background discussion, never distracting from the plot at hand but reminding readers of the changes for women during that time period, changes mirrored in Ellie’s personal growth. Ellie’s mother, Frances, and young daughter, Gracie, serve as other fine and subtle examples of society’s shift across a single generation.
The men in Mulhern’s work also have an interesting time. Ellie’s husband, unable to accept her growing artistic skills and independence, turns his controlling impulses into ones of humiliation and infidelity. Is it any wonder that Ellie’s world begins to spin out of control when her husband’s mistress is murdered and he is nowhere to be found? It seems everyone has something to say and advice to give, as more and more things go wrong.
Two men, in particular, are at odds each certain they know what Ellie should be doing. One is an old friend, a lawyer, a handsome man her mother would like to see her date. His name is Hunter Tafft, a tall and distinguished fellow who is a member of the same club. The other is a police detective, Officer A. Smith, with deep brown eyes and deeper convictions, a man who makes her blush when she’d least like to. Using this trio of characters, Mulhern sets Ellie not only in the middle between two strong-minded men but between two levels of society and two levels of the law. The tension is fruitful.
Overall, "The Deep End" is a book that will engage the reader in every chapter as they seek to solve the many crimes, both present and implied. Ellie Russell is a colorful person in more ways than one, and the other characters are more than a background to her, adding depth to the story in unusual ways.
Funny, compassionate and endearing "The Deep End" is a well-crafted cozy, with just a touch of the exotic life, murder and mayhem, and the Bundt cake brigade to hook readers into devouring the rest of Julie Mulhern’s series, The Country Club Murders.
Two points for the author: 1) "y'all" in the South always refers to several people, not one person and 2) the term is "gaffe," not "gaff." (I looked it up to be sure.) All in all, a pretty good book.