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Julie Mulhern has a bold take on the 1970s
June 15, 2017
WATCHING THE DETECTIVES
The Country Club Murders
by Julie Mulhern
Humor, Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 23 May 2017
Julie Mulhern skillfully brings the 1970s to life, capturing its vibrant color, changing attitudes and modern fashions. Ellison Russell is at once both a product of her Country Club background and a modern woman celebrating her newfound independence. She challenges the norms embodied by her mother (who thinks cocktail parties, charity work, husbands and children stave off the chaos of 70s society) by living her own life. (Of course being well off and connected does make that life easier). Ellison has a lot going for her - her career as an artist, her daughter, and her independence. Well, except for her tendency to find bodies.
It’s been less than a week since Ellison last encountered a corpse. The last thing she expects is to find the body of her decorator on the floor of her study. Mrs. White in the study with the revolver - it sounds like a game of Clue but in life is far less fun. Especially since the dishy Detective Anarchy Jones has a partner who sees Ellison as the prime suspect. The more Ellison learns about Khaki White, the more baffled she is and the more complicated life becomes.
Julie Mulhern has a definite way with words, infusing everyday situations with a welcome dash of humor. I absolutely loved the charming way Ellison viewed her coffeemaker (ah we take for granted modern convenience) and the humorous scene where a tennis dress flirts outrageously with her pocketbook. Ellison has a wit that allows her to make the most of the situation. On a more serious note, Mulhern takes on an issue that was only beginning to emerge into public view in the 70s - domestic violence. At that time, violence in the home was not viewed as a crime, but simply a matter between husband and wife. Ellison faces the issue like a woman of her time, unaware of the prevalence, especially in the homes of the wealthy. Watching the Detectives is a great book. I enjoyed the vibrant color of the 70s as well as the humor in this cozy mystery.
5 / 5
I received a copy of Watching the Detectives from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’ new partner considers Ellison a suspect?
With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.
“This series has become so enjoyable precisely because Ellison strives against the norms no matter how many times she is told how to behave. It is her sharp wit and humor that allows her to prevail, and attempting to teach the same to her daughter further cements her place as an admirable and extraordinarily likable heroine. As entertaining as it is for readers to romp through 1970s country club society, far more enthralling are the adventures of such a resilient and stalwart woman.” – Kings River Life Magazine