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4.6 14
by Julie Mulhern

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"A sparkling comedy of errors tucked inside a clever mystery. I loved it!" - Susan M. Boyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Bordello

When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors' 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



"A sparkling comedy of errors tucked inside a clever mystery. I loved it!" - Susan M. Boyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Bordello

When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors' 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...

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, historical mysteries.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...

Author Bio:

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She 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.

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Henery Press
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Clouds in My Coffee

The Country Club Murders

By Julie Mulhern

Henery Press

Copyright © 2016 Julie Mulhern
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63511-024-1


October, 1974
Kansas City, Missouri

Max, his short grey tail wagging impossibly fast, met me at the door with a did-you-ask-the-butcher-for-a-bone expression on his expressive doggy face. Of course, I had.

"Let me put the groceries away first."

He sighed as if I had my priorities backward.

I unpacked the bags, putting the cucumber in the sink to be rinsed, the potatoes in a basket on the counter, and the Tab in the fridge. Max whined softly, reminding me that he was waiting.

I scratched behind his silken gray ears and gave him his bone.

Brrnng, brrnng.

I answered the phone, stretching the cord toward the sink and the waiting cucumber. "Hello."

"Ellie. We have a problem." No greeting, no endearment, no inquiry as to my day. Daddy's words chilled me.

Horrible possibilities scrolled through my brain. "Is Mother all right?" Had the stress of planning a major event finally gotten to her? Had she suffered a stroke or a nervous breakdown? Unlikely. Mother ran her events with military precision. She ate stress for breakfast.

General Westmoreland could have learned a thing or two about organizing an army from Mother. Probably he could have learned about guerilla warfare as well.

I wish I had learned those things. Mother was all too willing to instruct me, but I had no desire to learn.

Who knew that long tall vases topped by balls made of pink carnations could look so phallic? The thought never occurred to me. It probably occurred to lots of the women who helped with the luncheon. No one said a thing.

They let me venture into battle with my flak suit around my knees.

That luncheon, remembered forever as Ellison's penis party, would never have happened to Mother.

"What's happened?" My voice sounded breathless. "Is Mother all right?"

"Your mother's fine."

Relief flooded my veins.

"But we need your help."

Dread replaced relief in my blood stream.

Help could mean folding six hundred napkins into swans. I proceeded with caution. "What is it?"

Daddy cleared his throat. "Your Aunt Sis has arrived."

As far as I knew, Aunt Sis came to Kansas City for weddings and funerals. We'd had neither in years. Well, not if you didn't count Henry's funeral in June. I didn't. "I thought she was in Majorca."

"So did your mother." Daddy used his driest tone — the one he saved for occurrences that interrupted his golf game or cocktail hour.

"But she's here? Now?"

"In the kitchen as we speak."

I pictured him in his study, surrounded by pecan paneling and pictures of his family. We smiled in those pictures, hid the problems, filled in the cracks and slapped on a coat of new paint. Aunt Sis was a crack that couldn't be filled. Why had she come to Kansas City now?

"How's Mother?"


"You want me to take Aunt Sis?" It wasn't really a question.

"Please." Daddy didn't beg. At least not usually.

"Mother has Aggie." Taking on a houseguest without a housekeeper sounded like a recipe for disaster.

"You can have Aggie back. I'll hire your mother a temporary assistant — a Kelly Girl. Will you take Sis? Please?"

Daddy was brilliant. A Kelly Girl! We should have hired Mother a team of Kelly Girls weeks ago.

"Also, Sis has it in her head that she wants to go to a dinner theatre. If I buy the tickets, will you go with her?"

I swallowed a sigh. "Of course. What are you going to say about moving her to my house?" Foisting off a houseguest wasn't exactly polite.

"I'll tell her your Mother is terribly busy and you'd like to spend some time with her."

I hadn't seen Aunt Sis since my wedding. She'd jetted in from someplace exotic — Majorca or Cyprus — pulled me aside thirty minutes before the ceremony and told me not to marry Henry. She had no way of knowing what he'd become — a barnacle on the ass of humanity — she just thought he was boring. Her exact words were "dull as a lengthy sermon." Unfortunately, Mother overheard. The ensuing discussion was lengthy but not dull. The two dredged up four decades' worth of slights and hurt feelings and resentment at full decibel.

Daddy ended their fight by comparing them to fish wives.

Since then their only communication has been birthday and Christmas cards.

Until now.

"How long is she staying?"

Daddy grunted. Did that mean a night? A week? A month?

"How long?" I insisted.

"She hasn't said."


"I'll put her in the blue room for now."

"Thank you, Ellie. I owe you one."

Playing host to Aunt Sis couldn't come close to paying the debt I owed him. My throat tightened. "It's not a problem."

He chuckled. "You know how your aunt reinvents herself every so often?"

I made a noncommittal noise. My memories of Aunt Sis consisted of birthday gifts sent from afar and seemingly selected to annoy Mother — makeup when I was five, a lace (and completely unnecessary) brassiere when I was ten, and a Cab Calloway record when I was fifteen (Mother thought scat was something wild animals left in the woods). Then there was the year of the hookah — I still remember Mother's appalled expression (unmatched until she learned that I ran over my husband).

"How much trouble can she be?"

"You'll have to tell me what you think of the fish and the bicycle. Love you." With that, he hung up. I stared at the receiver in my hand. The fish and the bicycle? What had I gotten myself into?

I hung up the phone, climbed the back stairs with Max at my heels, and opened the door to the blue room. The room needed airing, the bed needed sheets and the dresser needed a bouquet of fresh flowers. I cracked the windows and grabbed neatly folded sheets from the linen closet. The flowers I'd collect from the garden later.

I'd just replaced the bedspread when the doorbell rang.

Max took off at a run. I followed more slowly. Aunt Sis must truly be driving Mother nuts if Daddy had bundled her out of the house and delivered her to me in less than fifteen minutes.

I donned a welcoming expression and opened the door.

Marjorie stood on the other side.

My smile morphed into slack-jawed shock.

Max whined softly.

"What are you doing here?"

"Is that any way to greet your sister?" She bent, picked up a Gucci suitcase, and brushed past me, stopping in the front hall to assess my house. "Did you paint? Is this the same color as the last time I was here?"

"No. I mean, yes. I mean, no, I didn't paint. It's the same color." Surprise had rendered me witless. "Mother said you couldn't come." Yet Marjorie was here, flawlessly made up and dressed as if she'd stepped off the pages of Vogue in a pair of decadent wool slacks and a silk shirt far too fashionable (unbuttoned) for my foyer. I suppose when you're married to the condom king of Cleveland, looking more chic than Halston's muse is probably the strongest armor available. My armor is designed by Diane von Furstenberg.

My sister dropped her expensive suitcase but kept her Hermes handbag hooked in the crook of her elbow. "I changed my mind."

"Does Mother know you're coming?"

"I thought I'd surprise her."

I gaped. Mother liked surprises the way Nixon liked Woodward and Bernstein.

Marjorie stepped forward and kissed the air next to my cheek. "It's lovely to see you."

"You too." I returned her air kiss and upped the ante with a half-hug.

"I can't wait to hear all the things you've been up to. Mother says you're dating Hunter Tafft."

Typical. Marjorie skipped right over multiple murders to ask about a man. "Not exactly."

A slight furrow appeared between her brows. "But Mother said —"

"Mother is wrong."

She tilted her head and smiled the superior smile of an older sister — one who was prettier, more experienced, more popular, and certainly better dressed. "Who's taking you to Mother's gala?"

My fingers smoothed the wales of my corduroys. "Hunter Tafft." His name somehow slipped through the tightly barred gate of my teeth.

"There you have it! You are dating Hunter."

"A date and dating are not the same thing." Why did I sound like my teenage self?

She lifted her gaze to the ceiling and shook her head slightly. "When it's a date to Mother's gala, they are."

I had a sneaking suspicion she might be right.

"Can your housekeeper take this upstairs for me?" She pointed to her suitcase.

"You'll have to take it yourself. Aggie is on loan." Then I remembered Aunt Sis. "I've already got someone in the blue room. I'll put you in the rose room."

"But the rose room has twin beds."

This was not news to me.

"I hate twin beds."

That wasn't news either. "You can always stay with Mother and Daddy."

Marjorie snorted.

"Where's Greg? Is he coming?"

"He's at home with the children." Her voice sounded flat, emotionless. Prudence's sly innuendos flashed through my memory. Uh-oh.

"Is he flying in for the gala? You're welcome here, but there's a new hotel on the Plaza — the Alameda. I don't think you've been there yet. I could book you a room."


"No, you haven't been there, or no, you don't want a room?"

With a chic flip of her wrist she flicked a stray hair back into place. "No, Greg is not coming."

"Why not?"

"I already told you, he's at home with the children."

"Did your au pair quit?"


"What about your housekeeper? Did she quit?"


"Then why isn't he coming?"

"Just drop it, Ellison."

There was trouble in Paradise. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Drop. It."

We stared at each other. It would be a cold day in hell before Marjorie looked for succor or support from her younger sister. I got that. But her insistence on being superior meant we'd never be close. It also rendered her right (and maybe left) flank open to attack.

"You need a better answer."

She curled the corner of her upper lip and glared at me as if I was the problem. It was the kind of look one can only give a sibling. No one else would forgive it. I might not forgive it.

Max growled softly.

The front bell rang and we stopped glowering at each other. I opened the door to Daddy and Aunt Sis.

My mother's sister wore faded jeans, a loose white shirt that failed to hide her lack of brassiere, and flip-flops. Her grey-streaked hair was pulled back from her face in a ponytail.

I stared at Aunt Sis.

Daddy stared at Marjorie.

No one said a word.

Then Max shoved his nose into Sis's crotch and we all laughed, a nervous sound that belonged to people who weren't quite sure what to say.

Mother's sister grinned at me — "Ellie" — then pulled me into a hug.

Over Sis's shoulder, I saw Daddy positively gaping at Marjorie. She stepped forward and he hugged her.

"What are you doing here?" He put her through the same series of questions I had. And he got the same answers. "Is Greg at least flying in for the gala?"

"No. He's staying home with the children."

Daddy crossed his arms and scowled. "I realize Greg and your mother don't much care for each other, but he's willing to embarrass her by skipping her gala with such a weak excuse?"

"Greg didn't stay home to embarrass Mother."

"Then why?"

Marjorie's gaze traveled from Daddy to me to Aunt Sis then back again. She adjusted the gold chains hanging around her neck. She patted her perfect hair. She chewed on the corner of her lip. "I left him."


After lobbing her grenade with all the insouciant elegance of a model walking a Parisian runway, Marjorie talked Daddy into lugging her suitcase up the front stairs. I carried Aunt Sis's.

The woman traveled with rocks ... or maybe bricks. There was no way clothes weighed so much.

"I can carry that," she offered.

"Don't be silly." I hefted the enormous thing onto another step, then stopped for a rest.

"It's heavy." Aunt Sis was a master of understatement.

"It's nothing." Just last night I'd helped Grace study for a chemistry quiz, so I knew osmium was the densest of the elements — heavier than gold or platinum. Maybe my aunt had a suitcase full of osmium.

"Ellison, your face is turning red."

Maybe she carried rolls of quarters ... or what was the currency in Majorca? Pesetas? Weren't hippie types supposed to travel light? I gathered my strength and climbed four steps quickly.

"What do you have in here, Aunt Sis?"


"You couldn't ship them?"

She crinkled her nose as if the postal service was something distasteful. "I'm never in one place long enough."

My heart went out to all the porters, in all the stations, in all the cities. How many had herniated discs?

Aunt Sis peeled my fingers off the handle then lifted the case as if it was filled with cotton candy instead of multiple copies of War and Peace. She traipsed up the remaining stairs with ease. I trudged.

Daddy, looking grim, stepped out of the rose room, dropped a kiss on my forehead, nodded to Aunt Sis, then started down the stairway. At the halfway point, he turned and said, "Enjoy the theatre."

"We will," said Aunt Sis.

That was optimistic.

Aunt Sis smiled. "I bet Marjorie would love to join us."

That was ridiculously optimistic.

Daddy made no comment. He just shook his head and descended the rest of the stairs. A few seconds later the sound of the front door opening reached us.

"Goodbye," he called. Then came the sound of the door closing.

"Perhaps Grace can join us," suggested Aunt Sis.

That was beyond ridiculously optimistic.

"It's a school night. If you'd like her to join us, we could postpone..." Forever.

"No, no. Just eager to meet her. Is this my room?" Aunt Sis pushed open the door to the blue room with the front of her suitcase. "I have a feeling I'm supposed to be at the theater tonight."

"A feeling?"

"I get feelings, Ellison. They come to me from the cosmos. I had a feeling you shouldn't marry Henry, and I have a feeling there's a unique experience waiting for me at the dinner theatre."

Aunt Sis was comparing my disastrous marriage to dinner theatre? I opened my mouth then shut it. That Henry's and my marriage had played out more like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf than a refurbished version of Guys and Dolls still rankled. But kicking Aunt Sis and her overburdened suitcase out before she unpacked — no matter how tempting — would be rude. Far ruder than her thoughtless comment. I pursed my lips and focused my gaze above her left shoulder.

"Your mother wears that exact expression whenever I annoy her."

I wiped my face clean — no pursing, no furrowing, no pretending to notice a stain on the wall above her shoulder.

"I'll just unpack and then we'll catch up." She surveyed the blue room with its Sister Parish elegance, cracked windows and fresh sheets, and sniffed.

That sniff ... Aunt Sis shouldn't throw stones in the glass house of similarity. She had every nuance of Mother's sniff down.

"I was on my way to the garden to cut you some late blooming roses when Marjorie arrived. I'll do that while you unpack."

She inclined her chin and looked over imaginary readers, another one of Mother's habits. "Thank you, dear. Also, I'll need you to run a load of laundry for me."

I inclined my chin too. "I'll be happy to show you the laundry room."

She tilted her head and stared at me — the sort of considering look one uses when deciding upon a major purchase. Yes, that Pucci dress is lovely, but is it worth the price? The moment stretched.

After what seemed like an eternity, she smiled. "I'd appreciate that. Thank you."

I'd won? I'd won. And easily. Maybe Aunt Sis was less like Mother than I thought.

I took Aunt Sis to the Waldo Astoria. My friends who'd attended told me it was newer and nicer than Tiffany's Attic. Marjorie developed "plans" and couldn't join us. I didn't bother asking Grace.

We stood in the lobby, admiring the 1920s-style glamor. The owners had redone a movie theatre. I'd expected tacky. This wasn't. It was lovely.

Cassie LeCoeur waved at me from across the lobby. Sometimes that happens. You don't see someone for weeks on end and then you run into them in the oddest places. Poor Cassie. Being married to a man named Kinky LeCoeur must be a heavy cross to bear. Not that her husband's real name is Kinky. He introduces himself as Kenneth. Probably when they met in college he introduced himself as Ken. But to those of us who have known him his whole life, he'll always be Kinky. Mother says when one's last name sounds as if it might belong to a professional dancer, one must be extra careful when selecting first names. The LeCoeurs obviously never heard her wax lyrical on this point ... or maybe she waxes because of what Bob and Mary LeCoeur named their children — Kenneth Keye (show me a bunch of high school boys who won't shorten that to Kinky) and his sister Candace, called Candy.

I waved back.

"A friend of yours, dear?" asked Aunt Sis.

"More of an acquaintance."

Cassie was with her mother-in-law and looked none too happy about it. I didn't blame her.


Excerpted from Clouds in My Coffee by Julie Mulhern. Copyright © 2016 Julie Mulhern. Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
AuthorsWebTVHost More than 1 year ago
In the hundreds I’ve read, I can’t remember one single murder mystery that had me laughing uncontrollably in the first chapter. That is until I began Clouds in My Coffee. It’s going to be a challenge for Mulhern to top this one, although we never did learn what happened to either Vic or the mouse. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for what was coming. The handsome and oh-so-sexy Detective Jones is back once again, attempting to protect Ellison from (most of all) herself. This time it’s the whole dysfunctional family who is involved with, of course, Ellison in the center. Our author keeps her time spans short, which means we won’t get to the end of the 1970s any time soon and that’s just fine with me. Eager for the next one? More like hungry with a sense of urgency. Waiting for book 4 will be painful.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book! Ellison Russell’s mother is planning a huge gala but when unexpected family, her daughter, Marjorie, and her sister, Sis, show up she is anything but pleased. She sends them to Ellison’s. They haven’t been home in years, why now? Nothing is going to ruin her event. What would people think? At a pre-gala party Ellison is almost killed by a falling sculpture, then someone throws a Molotov cocktail at her house and bullets are flying. Then at the gala dinner she is almost poisoned. Why would someone want Ellison dead? Until the culprit is caught another guest moves in with Ellison, hunky detective Anarchy Jones. This leaves prospective husband, at least in her mother’s eyes, Hunter Tafft a little upset. Marjorie has Ellison simmering because she may be married but that doesn’t stop her from flirting with every man in sight and maybe a little more with one or two. Ellison hasn’t got time to be worrying about her sister’s antics. She has to catch a killer before he succeeds in killing her. Julie Mulherm has written another outstanding story. These characters are so much fun. Frances Russell, Ellison’s mom, is the epitome of the country club wife. She has her committees and does lunch and does everything the “right” way, her way. Her daughters seem to always be letting her down and even when there are far away from trouble, which I know, isn’t often, they still get the blame. Especially Ellison. Ellison has grown since the series started. She knows how to handle her mother, or get her father to handle her mother. Marjorie is at a crossroads, “things always looks greener” situation. Ellison tries her best to get her back on track. Aunt Sis, is a free spirit and a huge thorn in Frances’ side. She has a secret and that is why she has returned to Kansas City. Ellison just needs to run interference between all over them and hopes that before any permanent damage is done, they all go back where they came from. There is non-stop action from the start to the finish. The killer seems to be pretty incompetent, so many tries to murder Ellison, and thankfully they haven’t succeeded. I really enjoyed that no one knew the motivation behind the attempts. Not even Detective Jones. It’s hard to catch a suspect when the victim really has no enemies or at least no one that would want her dead. The story like the first two installments is set in the early 70’s. I love the references to the early television shows and police investigations without all the technology we have today. I need to mention that along with all the drama there is a fair amount of humor. The way this family interacts both in stressful and not so stressful moments may have you giggling and even laughing out loud. This story checks all my boxes for a perfect escape. Awesome plot, terrific characters and set in a wonderful time. This truly is one of my favorite series!
GratefulGrandma 10 months ago
The Country Club will never be the same. Clouds in my Coffee is the third Country Club Murders book by Julie Mulhern, and I believe it is the best one yet. Ellison Russell is a recently widowed mother, who found out her husband was not only cheating on her, but was rather kinky at that. She is a member of the County Club set and does not need to worry about money at all. She seems to stumble onto or run over dead bodies and has enough accidents that her mother is on speed dial at the hospital. This addition to the series does not so much have her stumbling onto dead bodies as it does having her avoid becoming a victim herself. After almost being killed several times (4 times in this book) and having a woman die at her table at her mother's gala, Ellison is put under police protection. This book introduces another family member, Aunt Sis, and lets us get to know her sister Marjorie a lot better. As they both end up as houseguests at Ellison's place. Her aunt can be as haughty as her mother, but she is often described in the story as an aging hippie. She wears her hair in a greying ponytail and caftans are her formal wear. Marjorie is involved in a midlife crisis and there is another man involved in her life. Relationships get more complicated, family secrets come to light, and the mystery feels more dangerous because it hits very close to home. Of course we can not forget about the romance, or near romance in the story. Ellison is being pursued by two very eligible bachelors. Anarchy Jones the detective and Hunter Tafft the well connected lawyer. Her mother is pushing Hunter, as he is part of their social circle, but it seems Aunt Sis is rather fond of Anarchy. Unfortunately due to her trust issues with men, Ellison is not ready for a relationship with either man, but it does not stop her kisses and the tingling she gets from both of them. This is a fun part of the story that I look forward to in each book. It is a touch decision and each man offers different things to Ellison. Ellison is a great character. She is tough, strong, independent, loyal, loving and supportive to her family and the kind of person I would love to have as a friend. I love the setting in the 70s. I lived it and this hits so true, it also adds a different touch to this cozy series. The stories are fun, the family is quirky, the Country Club set is snobby and I wish that I was there! A great series that I would recommend to cozy mystery readers as well as anyone who loved the the 70s. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another winner. Couldn't put it down!
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I had just finished a harrowing tale of a psychologically abused young girl, and desperately needed some light relief, a kind of “comfort reading”. So where else to turn but Julia Mulhern’s Country Club books and “Clouds in my Coffee”. I have read and loved the previous two books, for their wit, great story telling, and wonderful characters, and this latest addition to the Club did not disappoint at all, and cheered me up no end. The Country Club world is a seething moneyed one with strict rules about keeping up appearances whilst surreptitiously stabbing (sometimes literally) co-members in the back. Scandals are very much disapproved of, but seem to be ubiquitous. As soon as one is “dealt” with, another appears on the horizon, and this tale has more than the usual number of scandals threatening. The Country Club (and local hospital, police ….) are all ruled by the indomitable Frances Walford, or Mother as she is known to Ellison. Mother specialises in looks – “Mother looked positively horrified, someone-just-presented-her-with-a-dead-rat horrified … Not just rats. Not even a platter full of rats. A heaping platter of rotting rats, garnished with snakes and spiders. That was the look Mother gave” – designed to subdue even the most courageous person. Ellison tries her best to live up to Mother’s expectations, but the fact that people frequently seem to drop dead under suspicious circumstances around her, is too scandalous for Mother. In his book Ellison and Mother are joined by their sisters (who would ever have guessed that one-of -kind Frances Walford could have a sister!). The family seem quite capable of creating scandals on their own, but the Club being the Club has to join in with added intrigue and inappropriate behaviour. Which all amounts to a very, very enjoyable book, with just the right touch of mystery, jeopardy and surprise, as well as some genuine romance hidden amongst the seedy goings on of the Club. Who could ask for more in a book? If you haven’t met the Country Club set before, then read this a become hooked like me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad for light reading. The number of cutesy phrases and metaphors gets tiresome after several pages.. . Hard to tell who dunnit for most of the book.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this installment of the Country Club Murders. This time, it looks as though Ellison's life is on the line, with many close calls on her life after both her sister and Aunt Sis show up in town. Love the 1970's references and the voice Ellison gives with such humor to the country club set. Looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a socioeconomic conundrum but the question of 1974 regarding who would be Ellison's new love interest! Third book in this series just as intriguing and witty as the first two. Really enjoyed them all...where's number four?
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Clouds in My Coffee - The Country Club Murders 3 Author: Julie Mulhern Published: 5-19-2016 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 256 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Historical, Amateur Sleuths, Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9781635110210 ASIN: B01BLO5NIC Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . A series I fell in love with has returned with a new offering. I have no reason why I began reading this series as I usually avoid non-contemporary books with a passion. In all my 50 some years I have only found four that I wanted to read more than one in. The first a friend asked me to read and give my opinion on, the second was another of her books, the third was one I picked not realizing it was set in revolutionary America. This on I chose because I read a preview excerpt and could not pass it up. It was set in my teenage years and I could not help but identify with the events and times the story was set in. Not to mention the Country Club Murders are fun to read. Ellison Russell's life is a bit more than chaotic. Her sister and her Aunt are both visiting, and the very handsome detective staying in her guesthouse are just the topping on her cake. It seems someone doesn't like Ellison very much, so far they have tried to kill her at a part, fire bombed her home and tried poison at a gala. What's a woman to do? Why find the perpetrator of course! Not knowing who that might be doesn't stop Ellison. Can she find the killer before he succeeds? As usual Julie Hearn has drawn us into the world of Ellison Russell using humor and intrigue. The characters present themselves as true personalities that you might have met in your life. They seems so real it is hard to believe they are only characters in a book. Ellison somehow finds herself in a pickle often, but manages to keep her dignity most of the time. Her sarcasm seems lost on her mother and most of her family, but will have you laughing throughout the story. The plot of Clouds in My Coffee is done well and flow very smoothly. Follow the clues scattered in the book to see if you can figure out who the villainous character is before Ms. Hearn reveals the name. This is the third book in the series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. Be prepared to get and read the previous two books, "The Deep End" and "Guaranteed To Bleed" quickly as you can. My rating is 5 out of 5 Stars.
momelaine More than 1 year ago
Ever since first seeing the cover reveal for this book, I knew I needed to get it. I really like The Deep End, the first in the series. I had to get Guaranteed To Bleed, the second book in the series. Because I needed to read Clouds In My Coffee. My husband and I met in the '70's when You're So Vain by Carly Simon was constantly playing. I have had that song going through my head every time I see this cover. Anyway, I loved this book also. Ellison is coping pretty well after the betrayal death of her cheating husband. Her mother wants her to date certain men, one of which is Hunter. He's a really nice guy and really cares for Ellison. And then there is Anarchy Jones. He also really cares for Ellison. Both men want to keep Ellison safe when it seems someone is trying to kill her. It's another madcap story in the life of Ellison. I can't wait to see what comes up in the next book! (I had to buy a bottle of Kinky Liqueur because of the story behind the character Kinky.)
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
What an entertaining and hilarious read. The antics really get out of control in this book. How far does one have to go to kill someone? And, just who is that someone? The author did a great job with the story and definitely kept me wondering those two questions. Not only was I trying to determine the suspect, but the victim as well. There were more runs to the hospital in here than someone to the john with the flu. Ha! They need to just set up their own room and just keep it available for them. There were lots of chuckles and plenty of family put downs included as extra entertainment. I loved the book and just could not put it down. It was killing me just what the heck was going on. This was a plot with a twisted twisted plot. Ha! You will never figure this one out!! I most certainly and emphatically recommend this one! Thanks Henery Press and Net Galley for once again allowing me to read and review such an enjoyable and fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. When's the next one?
AreYouStillReading More than 1 year ago
Brew a pot of coffee and try to relax. Ellison Russell is back and someone is out to kill her. It is just another day in 1974 and Ellison has agreed to be hostess to family members that are attending her mother's gala. Unfortunately for her (but lucky for us), they bring a lot of drama into her life, including adultery and a family secret. Meanwhile, those closest to Ellison suspect that someone is trying to kill her when several incidents happen over a few days. After pulling some strings, her father gets Anarchy Jones to be her personal surveillance team. However, Anarchy cannot protect her from the past. It took me awhile to decide how I felt about this book. It is very different in tone compared to The Deep End and Guaranteed to Bleed. The first two books cover some rather heavy topics while this book is comedic. It is a somewhat jarring switch if you marathon the books like I did. However, I feel like this change was necessary. Guaranteed to Bleed was fairly dark for a cozy mystery and I'm not sure it would be good for the series if it is constantly that dark. As always, Ellison is perfect. She is believable, independent and warm. Her ongoing struggle to overcome her late husband's adultery feels real. It pleases me to no end that Julie Mulhern is taking her time with the romance in this book. I truly feel like Ellison is the star of this series and not Ellison's love life. Speaking of Ellison's love life, the love triangle deepens as Anarchy tries to protect her and Hunter tries to woo her. Honestly, I'm really hoping she will eventually pick Anarchy over Hunter if she picks anyone at all. I feel like interactions between them are more genuine and enjoyable to read. For me, I cannot shake the feeling that Hunter will be no different than her late husband. Ellison's visiting family gives readers a chance to see a different side of Ellison and her mother. Mulhern explores how different familial relationships work and how that can effect who you are. I hope in future books we will see some changes in Ellison's relationship with her mother. Either way, I enjoyed the tension and drama from her family. I hope to see more of them in the future because they were a great addition to the cast. Overall, Clouds in My Coffee left me with a bittersweet feeling. It is an excellent book that I really enjoyed, but I am really sad there is not another one available for me to read currently. Hopefully, we will have more adventures with Ellison very soon. I received this book from Henery Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the third book in The Country Club Murders series written by Julie Mulhern. When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactor’s party, she brushes the incident aside. However, when her house is fire bombed, she is shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she realizes that someone is trying to kill her. She puts her sleuthing skills to work trying to find out who is trying to kill her before they succeed. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
This series just keeps getting better and better! The Country Club Murders by author Julie Mulhern are a mystery filled trip back to the 70's. In the seventies I was ages 4 - 12. While my family never held a country club membership, we knew several people from that group. Mulhern has represented the people and era perfectly. Ms. Mulhern is a superb author. Her writing style is crisp and clear, and will not only hold your attention, but will pull you into the story. With CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE, the story to me was even more intense than the first two books in the series. Edgier than the cozies I read and review 99.9% of the time, this book, indeed this series is still one most cozy mystery fans, as well as fans of many other genres, will surely to enjoy.