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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 15 star ratings
2 reviews

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4.3 out of 5
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  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    Great Start for New Cozy Mystery

    I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review. I rated it 4.5 out of 5 Stars. It’s not every day a woman finds her husband’s mistress dead and floating in a country club pool but that’s exactly what happens to Ellison Russell in the first act of Julie Mulhern’s debut cozy mystery, The Dead End. Full of colorful characters, good dialogue, and taking place in the 70’s at the height of the Watergate scandal, The Dead End kept my attention from start to finish. The first book in “The Country Club Murders” series, is off to a good start. Successful artist and a country club member with the correct pedigree, Ellison Russell arrives at the club for her customary early morning swim only to discover the body of Madeline Harper, dead and floating in the pool. While Ellison could care less about Madeline, or her death, the fact she’s her husband’s mistress puts Ellison front and center in a murder investigation, a position she’d rather avoid. Forced into conducting her own investigation, Ellison soon discovers there’s a lot more to her soon to be ex than his penchant for visiting “Club Kinky”. When two more mistresses show up, and Henry disappears, Ellison learns her husband was involved in blackmail. As dead bodies start piling up, it’s clear Ellison needs to solve the mystery before she or someone she loves becomes the next victim. Ms. Mulhern does a good job developing Ellison’s character and I really enjoyed getting to know her as the story developed. While she’s a bit “frosty” and detached at first, it soon becomes apparent that Ellison has been surrounded by dominating or domineering people a good portion of her life. As the story progresses we do see Ellison begin to develop emotionally and also watch her begin to develop a backbone. I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Ellison’s parents, her art broker Powers, her daughter Grace, and the handsome, polite detective assigned to the case. Ms. Mulhern does a good job developing the mystery, which takes several twists and turns. I also enjoyed the “historical” aspects of the story since it takes place during the “Watergate” years and I remember being glued to the newspapers (Yes, Virginia…..this was before the internet) and the television during the investigation and political scandal that ensued. I thought Ms. Mulhern captured the “feel” of the 70’s and also emphasized the difference between the “country club” crowd and the regular people. Will Ellison discover who killed Madeline? Will Henry, Ellison’s unfaithful husband get what he deserves? And is there a possible new romance in Ellison’s future? You’ll have to read The Deep End to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in this series.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    A great first story.

    Ellison Russell goes for her early morning swim just to swim into the body of her husband's mistress. After discovering a list of names in Henry's safe, Ellison decides to get to the bottom of it to protect one name on the list. During her investigation, Ellison encounters a S&M warehouse, the deaths of some of her husbands harem, and their family members, a major blackmail scheme, and art forgeries. Julie Mulhern wrote an excellent story that is a strong mystery/thriller. I would say it is more intense than Agatha Christie, but not as intense as Tess Gerritsen. She uses a great sense of humor to break up things when they start getting too intense. the story has well defined characters, a lot of intrigue and suspense, mixed with comedic timing to make this a book you really don't want to put down and will be sad that it ended so soon.

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