Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Clouds in My Coffee (The Country Club Murders #3)

Author:  Julie Mulhern
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook
ISBN #: 9781635110241, 9781635110210
Henery Press
256 Pages
$31.95. $15.95, $4.99 Amazon
May 10, 2016
Five Stars

When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactor's party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident.  But when her house is fire-bombed, she's shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts.  Someone wants her dead.  But why?  And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again?  Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee.


Ellison Russell, widowed artist and member of Kansas City's elite, has a problem - several, actually.  Her father calls her and asks if she would be willing to house her Aunt Sis, a caftan-wearing hippie type, who is driving her mother crazy.  That same day her self-centered, (slutty) sister Marjorie shows up at her door, announcing she's left her husband.

It's not long after while attending a charity function that a marble statue falls and nearly kills Ellison.  She attributes this to being merely an accident - until someone sets her house on fire and shoots at her.  When her mother demands she receive police protection, none other than Detective Anarchy Jones moves in...even if it's only in the carriage house.  Which doesn't sit well at all with Hunter Tafft, Ellison's attorney and Jones's rival for her affections.

But just when she thinks it couldn't get any worse, Marjorie's husband Greg appears on her doorstep, with a tale of woe that Ellison would rather not know, and it soon turns out there are more secrets in the family that are yet to be discovered and can't be hidden forever.

This is the third book in the series, following The Deep End and Guaranteed to Bleed.  As such, we are pulled once again back into the 1970's, in a world of bridge, tennis, and golf; a world where people were polite to their enemies, respected their elders, drank coffee from a Mr. Coffee instead of a single-serve brewer (or Starbucks), and didn't worry about making anyone mad enough to kill them...so then why is someone trying to kill Ellison - again?  But all is not what it seems..

Miss Mulhern has once again given us a superb tale combining wit and vigor, sparkling conversation and thoughts that breathe on their own - her apprehension (and treacherous emotions) in regard to Anarchy and Hunter easily flows off the page - and we understand her own clouded feelings toward her family and others around her.  We see the changes in her in each book - how she was raised and the challenges she is facing as each new situation presents itself.  It is understated, yet apparent at the same time.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book.  When the ending is at last revealed, pieces come together perfectly, secrets revealed, questions answered.  It is warming, pleasing, and altogether satisfying.  Highly recommended. 

More on Julie Mulhern's books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/m/julie-mulhern/

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