Telephone Line (The Country Club Murder)
9th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Henery Press (June 18, 2019)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Paperback: 256 pages
Kindle Print Length: 220 pages
A killer is calling, and Ellison’s life is on the line.
Ellison Russell is planning the event of the season—and she’s stressed. Why not yoga?
Because the yoga instructor gets murdered during class—and Ellison’s stress level rises exponentially. Now, in addition to raising a ridiculous amount of money, she’s babysitting a deranged cat (named after the devil himself), taking ten million phone calls (most of them from Mother), and finding more bodies (they’re popping up like dandelions after a spring rain).
There’s no such thing as balance when the killer makes it personal. Can Ellison catch a murderer or will her next namaste be her last?
I was warned that I may want to skip this book because the manner of death may trigger feelings about my son’s suicide. That is why I didn’t read and review it when it was released back in June. I have enjoyed every book in this series so recently I decided to give reading it a shot. One scene did make me uncomfortable and the image has stuck with me but I forged on and am happy I did so.
Ellison Russell is stressed – her mother is pressuring her to raise an obscene amount of money for an upcoming museum fundraiser and she really needs a break. Yeah right, when Ellison needs a break she usually runs to the love of her life Mr. Coffee. But this time she has been roped by her friend Libba into attending a yoga class at Winnie Flournoy’s house.
The class is ensconced in the last relaxing moves when they realize the instructor Marigold Applebottom is gone and she has locked them in the attic studio. Ellison comes up with a plan to alert a neighbor but that person leaves quickly and soon thereafter the police arrive and make a horrific discovery. Marigold is dead and there is much more drama to follow involving Winnie Flournoy and her husband, plus one of Grace’s friends is assaulted and Ellison and Grace have some new neighbors.
If Ellison wasn’t stressed before she sure in now. The question seems to be could her deceased husband’s dirty deeds have anything to do with the deaths and drama. Hopefully, Ellison can stay alive long enough to find out.
I am always excited to flashback to the ’70s with the latest book from Julie Mulhern. This time it is with Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Telephone Line.
Technically Ellison didn’t find the body this time but she identifies the body and she soon is wrapped right up in another murder investigation and her mother is apoplectic. (The Kansas City grapevine is stellar with its direct line to Frances.) She wants Ellison to focus on raising money and spending time with lawyer Hunter and not Detective Anarchy Jones. Ellison is fine being friends with Hunter but more and more her heart belongs to Anarchy. She also needs to carve out time for her daughter as a hard anniversary rolls around and to help her deal with what happened to her friend.
Ellison has grown so much over the course of this series. Her relationship with her mother continues to make me laugh, I really do see just a little bit of my mother in her mom. Ellison’s housekeeper, Aggie is a gem and is not afraid to voice her opinions. Libba continues to delve where others won’t and again keeps me laughing. The characters all come across as believable and the dialogue is perfectly written.
The murder mystery is complex especially when another person dies and another lands in the hospital. A possible connection to Ellison’s late husband Henry, adds a really nice twist. I did have a guess as to who the guilty party was but didn’t really mesh everything together until closer to the end. I did find myself reading faster and unable to put the book down as clues starting showing me I was on the right track.
Julie Mulhern writes a story full of charm and humor. She also takes on some serious topics. Topics that were hot in the 70s and still hot today. That is not to say she takes these issues lightly. She always strikes the right tone. I was very impressed with the way Ellison handled things. I hope I would be able to do the same if any of my family had to deal with similar situations. The author has a unique voice and a keen knowledge of the time frame. From the country club to Jello molds she has everything down pat. Humor does fill many pages. The scene with Libba and the cat is absolutely priceless.
It is always a treat to escape into the books in this series. This entire series is excellent. You truly can’t go wrong with anything written by Julie Mulhern. They are all “Must Reads”!
Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:
GUARANTEED TO BLEED (#2)
CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE (#3)
SEND IN THE CLOWNS (#4)
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES (#5)
COLD AS ICE (#6)
SHADOW DANCING (#7)
BACK STABBERS (#8)
TELEPHONE LINE (#9)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”