Guaranteed to Bleed

Guaranteed to Bleed

4.7 17
by Julie Mulhern

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"Set in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1974, this cozy mystery effectively recreates the era through the details of down-to-earth Ellison's everyday life." – Booklist

"Mulhern's lively, witty sequel to The Deep End finds Kansas City, Mo., socialite Ellison Russell reluctantly attending a high school football game...There she stumbles on a dying teenage boy


"Set in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1974, this cozy mystery effectively recreates the era through the details of down-to-earth Ellison's everyday life." – Booklist

"Mulhern's lively, witty sequel to The Deep End finds Kansas City, Mo., socialite Ellison Russell reluctantly attending a high school football game...There she stumbles on a dying teenage boy covered in blood, who asks that she tell his girlfriend that he loves her. Ellison determines to learn the girlfriend's identity and deliver the message, plus find the boy's killer...If that's not enough for one day, an unknown man turns up shot to death in her garden. Cozy fans will eagerly await Ellison's further adventures." – Publishers Weekly

"In this excellent follow-up to her debut The Deep End, author Mulhern continues to depict the trappings of a privileged community... Readers who enjoy the novels of Susan Isaacs will love this series that blends a strong mystery with the demands of living in an exclusive society. Watching Ellison develop the strength of character to break through both her own and her society's expectations is a sheer delight." – Kings River Life Magazine

"As close to a perfect summer read as mystery fans are likely to find...a well-written, entertaining mystery filled with humor and complicated family relationships...I loved every minute of it." – Goodreads Reviewer

"Written sincerely, with unforgettable one-liners including: "Kizzi lived behind a curtain sewn from dry martinis." There are many more to list, but I do not want to spoil the pleasure of unexpectedly encountering such gems tucked throughout the book. Thoroughly enjoyable." – Librarian, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library System

"Cleverly written with sharp wit and all the twists and turns of the best '70s primetime drama, Mulhern nails the fierce fraught mother-daughter relationship, fearlessly tackles what hides behind the Country Club façade, and serves up justice in bombshell fashion. A truly satisfying slightly twisted cozy." – Gretchen Archer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Double Mint

With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, "Tell her I love her."

Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.

Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly rebellious daughter is missing, and there's yet another body in her hostas. Mother won't be pleased.

Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby, and elude the killer--all before her next charity gala committee meeting.

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...

Product Details

Henery Press
Publication date:
The Country Club Murders , #2
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
551 KB

Meet 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 was a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist.

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GUARANTEED TO BLEED 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the first book and the second. And I'm rooting for Anarchy!
AuthorsWebTVHost More than 1 year ago
In the second of the Country Club Murders, we learn even more about the lives of the country club set in the mid-1970s. Ellison finds herself once again involved in a murder. She’s still struggling with her feelings for top cop Detective Jones, while battling her mother’s incessant nagging about finding another husband. Finding herself in danger and her teen age daughter missing, Ellison takes matters into her own hands. There are some humorous parts in this book that will have you laughing so hard the tears will roll. This light-hearted mystery is every bit as entertaining as The Deep End, the first in the series, and once again Mulhern leaves you eager to learn what book 3 in the series will bring.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Once again Julie Mulhern written s wonderful Country Club mystery. Dead bodies always seem to find Ellison and this time is no exception. She definitely had me until the end as to 'whodunit'. I didn't see that coming but maybe I should have. Can't wait to read the 3rd book in the series. It's so fun to read a story set in the 70s and in Kansas City. I lived the 70s but not the country club aspect. It's so fun to read.
GratefulGrandma 10 months ago
This is the second installment of the Country Club Murders and Ellison Russell is back solving another murder. These books take place in the 1970s so it is nice that there are no cellphones, ipads etc. to have instant communication. It gives another dimension to the stories. The story opens with Ellison at a highschool football game to watch her daughter cheer. When she drops her pricey lipstick she bought in Paris, she heads down under the stands to get it back. Instead of finding her lipstick, she stumbles onto the body of a young man who has been stabbed and is dying. His last words to her are “Tell her I love her.” Ellison decides that she will do whatever she can to find this young woman and give her the message. After going in the ambulance with the young man, who turns out to be the son of one of her friends, she arrives home to a group of girls. Grace, her daughter, is having an impromptu sleepover with her friends. Ellison knows them all except one, Donna, the new girl in town. The girls mourn the loss of their friend and classmate, Bobby Lowell. Ellison's focus is to find the girl Bobby loved, but she uncovers possible suspects along the way. There is the overly infatuated girl, Alice Standish who loves Bobby and thinks he feels the same to the point that she looks obsessed. Then there is her father who hangs out at a bar for cross dressers. There's also the grieving best friend Jack McCreary and his father John who becomes rude to Ellison whenever she asked about Jack's friendship with Bobby. While all this is going on, Grace's new friend Donna, has problems and secrets of her own. Dirty little secrets that involved her stepfather. When Grace and Donna run away, Ellison does not know what to do. The situation with Donna and her stepfather is handled very well and with extreme discretion. The sexual tension between Ellison and Detective Anarchy Jones, as well as Ellison and lawyer, Hunter Taft creates a dilemma for her and reading her mother's responses to their moments together is a hoot. Ellison seems to stumble into situations and dead bodies in extremely interesting ways and is able to solve these crimes in a realistic way. I was not able to figure out the murderer until almost the end of the book, which always makes the story more interesting to me. A great read for cozy mystery readers. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchane for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went to the Jewel Box in the 60s and can say with certainty the "ladies" were beautiful and very talented...The customers were regular folks who came to be entertained. There was no rowdiness or disrespect shown to the performers.The show was done with taste and style. I enjoyed this book very much and will look for another by this author.
ytaylor More than 1 year ago
This book was GREAT!!! I found it so hard to put down. Ellison Russell has a way with dead bodies.....she keeps finding them. Ellison drops a lipstick under the bleachers she goes to find it just as someone is running out and she finds a boy shot. When she runs to him he asks her to "tell her I love her".... only problem is that Ellison doesn't know who she is supposed to tell. The secrets and another dead body in the hostas later and she's still not sure. When her daughter and a friend run away she has her hands full trying to find them. Trying to find a killer while her mom keeps trying to play matchmaker, Ellison cannot let her guard down. This book is so well written and holds your attention from the very first page to the very last...
momelaine More than 1 year ago
I just finished this this afternoon and now I am in limbo as I await my copy of Clouds In My Coffee. I really enjoyed this book! The Deep End was good but this was better. I really like how the characters are developing and some of the relationships. This series is very good. There is humor and suspense and relationships. I wonder if any of the hostas will survive to show up in the next book...
AreYouStillReading More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 After reading this book, one thing is for certain. The Country Club Murders series by Julie Mulhern is out to change the genre of cozy mysteries and it is working for me. Set in 1974, Guaranteed to Bleed follows Ellison Russel after her return to Kansas City, MO from the European trip she and her daughter departed on at the end of The Deep End. While at a high school football game, Ellison becomes entangled in another mystery when she loses her lipstick and goes under the bleachers to find it. You can’t blame her for getting involved after the dying boy asks her to tell a mystery girl that he loved her. During all this, Ellison must also deal with a rebellious daughter, two men vying for her affections, a country club full of scandal and her mother. Let just say that there is not a dull moment to be found. In many ways, Ms. Mulhern writes similar to Agatha Christie's mystery writing style. Agatha Christie was the ultimate trickster when it came to mystery writing. She had a way of enchanting readers into losing their concentration on the mystery and making them get lost in the drama of the story. During said drama, Christie would sprinkle in fine detailed clues that could easily be missed by less focused readers. Mulhern does the same thing in this book. With all the side drama of missing daughter, her budding love triangle, and her mother, you become unsure who killed the boy and for what reason. The only difference in Christie and Mulhern is the Mulhern gives you more detail into Ellison's life than Christie ever did with Poirot. Honestly, I could spend more time with Ellison (Meaning: This series is not coming out fast enough for me). I adore her elite world and that she doesn't always play by the rules of that world. She is her own person that doesn't need a man (or her mother) to guide the path she takes in life. I loved how this book developed her redefining what her world was like after the events of The Deep End and how it actually continued to discuss issues brought up in that book. It made Ellison feel more human to me and not just a character in a book. This book is not your standard cozy mystery though. At about the halfway point, Ellison is presented with an ethical conundrum that gets more complicated as the book progresses. It makes you think about what you would do in her situation, what constitutes as justice served and how would you protect the real victim. It isn't black and white. The story puts you into that gray area and leaves you to decide if justice was served and if all parties involved did the right thing. With the amount of love I have been gushing for this book, you would think that I would have nothing bad to say about this book. Unfortunately, I do. I despise Hunter Tafft in this book. I wasn't his biggest fan as a love interest for Ellison in The Deep End, but I thought he was a fitting character that was overall a nice guy. However, his superior attitude was annoying in this book. I got tired of him letting himself into Ellison's home and him using his connection to the maid to get what he wanted. Ellison gets mad at him when he does that but is falling for him otherwise. I don't buy it and it hurt the book for me. Overall, Guranteed to Bleed is an exciting trip back to the 70s. I enjoyed the pace, the voice, and the mystery but the love triangle isn't convincing. However, I still adore this series and I can't wait to read Clouds in My Coffee.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Guaranteed to Bleed - The Country Club Murders Book 2 Author: Julie Mulhern Published: 10-13-15 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 268 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery, Amateur Sluths, Humor ISBN: 9781943390052 ASIN: B011PJCKPW Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Ellison Russell is having a trying day that just keeps getting worse. While reluctantly attending the football game at which her daughter Grace is cheering she drops her expensive lipstick tube and it falls between the stands. When she goes to retrieve it from the nearly pitch black area beneath the stands she stumbles over a bloody dying boy. She promises to deliver his dying message of love to a girl. What begins as a death bed promise soon becomes a hunt to find his killer. Will she be able to find the killer before the death count rises? After reading The Deep End, book one in The Country Club Murders series, I began reading Guaranteed to Bleed with high expectations. I was not disappointed. I felt for Ellison and her daily efforts to deal with life with a teenager child, a forceful mother and eclectic group of friends, while still trying to make time for herself. Ms. Mulhearn is able to provide characters so well developed you will come to think of them as real people. Using humor throughout the story to keep it to the lighter side and keep the reader entertained. The plot is well thought out and flows seamlessly from scene to scene so not leave the reader dangling or confused. I look forward to seeing where Ms. Mulhern takes Ellison next. I highly recommend Guaranteed to Bleed to anyone who enjoys a good cozy mystery and in need a few hours of escape from reality.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
I anxiously awaited the publication of this second book in Julie Mulhern's Country Club Murders and was not disappointed. Successful artist, Ellison Russell, is still recovering from literally swimming into the body of her husband's mistress in the Country Club swimming pool, the subsequent death of her less than stellar husband (she unintentionally backed her car over his already-dead body) and a slew of secrets and lies from her Country Club crowd. She has spent the summer in Europe with her daughter, Grace, then returns to pick up her life in 1974 Kansas City. While watching her daughter cheer at a high school football game, Ellison drops a very expensive lipstick she bought in Paris through the bleachers. What she finds on her search under the bleachers sends her on a quest to fulfill a dying teenager's last words, "Tell her I love her," (he doesn't say who), which leads to all sorts of ramifications, more secrets and lies, as well as the disappearance of her daughter, Grace. You cannot help but root for Ellison as she faces off with her domineering mother, rebellious daughter, a blind date that makes headlines, and her feelings for both an attorney and a homicide detective. This book was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year--Julie Mulhern does not disappoint!
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
An exciting voice in mystery, author Julia Mulhern takes on the 70’s country club set in this wonderful series. She really does capture the feel of the decade as well as the country club setting. I myself was never a member of a country club, but I have known many people who were, and they were a whole lot like the characters is GUARANTEED TO BLEED. The author has taken this second book in her series to a whole new level. With an original storyline, well thought out plot, and richly layered characters, plus an inspired ending, this book was hard to put down. For an entertaining, fast paced story, mystery fans and readers of general fiction alike are in for a great read. Ms. Logan has another hit on her hands! Note: For those who follow my reviews and blog, this is not a true cozy mystery. It’s edgier, and has subject matter not seen in cozies. There is also mild language.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern. It is the second book The Country Club Murders series and is set in 1974. Ellison Russell is a widow and an artist with a daughter to raise. Ellison lives in Kansas City, Missouri and her daughter, Grace goes to Suncrest Country Day School. Ellison is at the school watching her daughter cheer. She drops her lipstick and it falls under the stands. Ellison goes under the stands to retrieve it (she got it in Paris). Someone runs into her while she is under the bleachers and then she trips over something. That something turns out to be Bobby Lowell. Bobby, a friend of her daughter since they were little kids, is hurt on the ground. He dies in Ellison’s arms asking her to tell her that he loved her. Who is her? Detective Anarchy Jones is assigned the case (Ellison and Anarchy know each other). When Ellison arrives back home, she is greeted by a drunk babysitter (for a sixteen year old) and a gaggle of girls (her daughter needed the comfort of friends). Donna is a new girl to the group. Her mother, India and her new husband, Jonathan Hess, just moved to town (India used to live in Kansas City). Grace and her friends have decided to include Donna in their group. Ellison cannot help but look into Bobby’s murder (since she did find the body). Who would want to kill a teenage boy? While solving the crime and trying to find Bobby’s her, Ellison will have to deal with her mother (very intimidating) and her matchmaking. She wants to make sure that Ellison makes the right match this time (the first husband was not a gem). I give Guaranteed to Bleed 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). Ellison had just come back from traveling in Europe and there are constant references to new clothes, shoes, and make-up that she purchased and did not like (then why did she buy them). The mystery was extremely easy to solve and the characters were very superficial (they lacked depth). I also did not like Ellison’s friends. When Ellison would ask for assistance from a friend or even her mother, they would only do it in exchange for a favor in return (like politicians in Washington, D.C.). How is that friendship? I found Guaranteed to Bleed just to be a little bit too silly and over-the-top (for my liking). The book is nicely written, but Guaranteed to Bleed was just not for me. I received a complimentary copy of Guaranteed to Bleed from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Ellison Russell’s day was pretty normal until she drops her fancy lipstick under the bleachers at a football game. After that hold on tight because you won’t be able to put this book down. Like the first story in the series, The Deep End, it takes place in 1974. Again Ellison’s mom, part of the Country Club set, is not happy with the way her daughter is living her life. I love that Ellison is getting stronger. It seems the trip to Europe after her husband’s death really helped her. She is not letting her mother totally take over but her mother is hard at work trying to find her a new husband. All of their conversations are wonderful and a few will have you cheering and laughing out loud. Trying to live a normal life just isn’t in the cards for Ellison after she finds a injured student. His last words before he died, “Tell her I love her.” That is all Ellison wants to do but she keeps finding herself drawn into the investigation. It doesn’t help her daughter has known the young man almost all her life and is now grieving him as well as her father. Homicide Detective Anarchey Jones isn’t happy about Ellison’s involvement but she seems to be able to reach people he can’t – like Alice Standish, a young girl that is crazy in love and just plain crazy. She gave me shivers. Julie Mulhern has a gift for creating lifelike 3 dimension characters that almost leap off the pages. It would be hard to choose a favorite. She has a way of drawing you into their story that makes the real world just fall away. I started reading this late at night thinking I would just read a chapter or two and the next thing I knew I was at the end and the sun would be rising soon. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me remember life in the 70’s when I was just a teenager. I would have been a high school freshman when this story took place. While none of my friends were murdered we did lose a few so the words and the actions of the teens were very genuine to me. There was also a very important story within the story. I was so impressed by the was it was written, the way Ellison handled the situation, and blended into the main plot seamlessly. An excellent read! I think we have just scratched the surface of Ellison Russell. I am anxious for the next installment.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Series! This is a great series; this is the second book in The Country Club Murders series by Julie Mulhern. This book can be read as a standalone, but once you read this one you will want to go back and read the first book as well. This book is as good as the first book in this series. Ellison Russell has just got back from a vacation and while at the game for her daughter’s school she drops her new expensive tube of lipstick under the bleachers. When she goes under the bleachers she stumbles over a student “Bobby Lowell” who has shot. His dying words to Elllison is “Tell her I love her” but the problem is that she doesn’t know who she is supposed to tell. Ellison sets out on a mission and puts her sleuthing skills to test once again to find out who the girl is. If you are looking for a great mystery that will leave you guessing to the end, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 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.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Julie Mulhern has given us a well written first mystery series, The Country Club Murders. This is the second in the series, with The Deep End being the first. I enjoy discovering new authors ans new series. Unfortunately I have not yet read The Deep End, if it's half as good as Guaranteed To Bleed, Julie will have a well received series on her hands. I am so honored to be able to read, review and discover all of these great books and to count so many authors as friends. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange of a fair and unbiased review
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
SPOILER ALERT: ** spoiler alert ** 4 stars! There were a lot of strange and creepy characters running around in this book. I didn't like that Hess guy from the beginning. And that Quin dude? Her mother sets Ellison up with him? Ewwww!!! I found this book to be funny, quirky, suspenseful, heartbreaking and just down right sad. The characters and the story were very well developed and I enjoyed reading the book with the exception of the subject matter of why Donna ran away. It's terrible that that kind of stuff happens. The mother did the right thing and I think that extreme measures should be taken to insure that it doesn't happen. But don't let that throw you off this book. It's just a personal matter to me. I truly did enjoy reading the book and was very entertained and would recommend it to everyone. Huge thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for the free e-galley in exchange for an honest review!
Jarina More than 1 year ago
Guaranteed to Bleed, by Julie Mulhern, is the second of her Country Club Murders mystery series. It is the fall of 1974 and Kansas City socialite Ellison Russell has recently returned from a summer in Southern Europe, a summer to rest and recuperate from the occurrences of early summer when she was widowed, a murder suspect, and almost a murder victim. Returning home, Ellison expected her daughter to be reunited with lifelong friends who would support her grieving process. Instead, one of her childhood friends is murdered and Ellison is the one to come upon the young man as he lay bleeding. His last words ask Ellison to "tell her I love her," but Ellison doesn't know who she is, or who would do this to Bobby. Ellison is reintroduced to Detective Anarchy Jones and again represented by Hunter Tafft. In the course of the investigation, Ellison must deal with an unexpected house guest, runaway teenagers, and an attempted break in that results in a body in the hostas shot by an unknown assailant that escapes over the fence. A woman ahead of her time, Ellison is strong, self supporting, and figuring out how to establish herself in a world quite different than today. She has a strong sense of fairness and seeks to fulfill Bobby's final wishes as well as balance the needs of her daughter, her houseguest, and the law. Following the stellar work in Ms. Mulhern's first book in this series, The Deep End, this book is equally well written and has the same level of intricate plot and rich characters. I highly recommend this book and this series.