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The Deep End by Julie Mulhern
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I love a good mystery, and a mystery touched with some humor, and just a hint of kinky sex is even better. In The Deep End, Julie Mulhern gives us both. I rather doubt there is anything that will startle you more than going for your early morning swim and running into a body. It’s what happens next that kept me awake at night. Protagonist Ellison Russell is a whole lot stronger than she’s willing to admit, even in the mid-1970s when women were just coming into their own. She’s still learning how to stand up for herself, but she’s unwilling to be a doormat, and when independence and submission collide, the fur will fly. I am eager for the next book in the Country Club Murders series.
~ Linda Thompson, Host of TheAuthorsShow.com ( )
  lst0222 | Jan 22, 2016 |
My husband and I belong to a local country club and so when I saw this series, I thought What Fun! As I read the description, I worried because it was set back in the 70's and I didn't know if I could go there after reading books that have incorporated the newest technologies - cell phones, computers, etc.

I needn't have worried. This a magnificent mystery that doesn't require the newest technology because the characters are so well-written and the mystery so absorbing that it is never missed.

Ellison Russell goes to the Country Club pool at the crack of dawn everyday for the solitude but this morning she finds it occupied by the body of her husband's mistress. And things don't get any better. In trying to prove her innocence, Ellison finds herself in several amusing situations that I was forced to laugh out loud.

Loved this story and the writing so I had to go and buy the next one in the series and I will be reading it next month! A different change of pace I highly recommend. ( )
  cyderry | Jan 20, 2016 |
First, for those who read my blog and reviews, this really isn’t a cozy mystery. It’s somewhere between cozy and mainstream mystery, so it is a bit edgy. That being said, THE DEEP END was a really good book!

Author Julie Mulhern has penned a winning story. This wonderfully written mystery was so full of gripping, fast paced drama. From the time the body is found by the protagonist, until the last page, THE DEEP END was well plotted, had complex characters, and did an amazing job of describing the 70’s country club scene.

It's no wonder Ms. Mulhern was winner of The Shelia Award. ( )
  LisaKsBookReviews | Apr 11, 2015 |
I was looking for recommendations for humorous mysteries, and The Deep End came up several times. One thing I will say, the action raced along so fast, I couldn't stop reading and finished it in one day. Reading is subjective, not objective, so I have to say, this isn't my usual type of mystery and for me, it leaned a bit too much on the raunchy bits. There was more ugliness than I usually look for in a cozy, although I'm not at all the cats-and-tea kind of mystery reader. I do like smart, sassy women and sharp dialogue. Ellison provides all that. Oddly enough, I guessed the murderer before the end, which I usually never do. Nothing wrong with the book at all, and a lot of people really liked it; it just wasn't my usual type of book. Donating it to the library, who'll be thrilled with it since it's so recently published and a lot of people are talking about it. ( )
  booksandscones | Apr 5, 2015 |
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. ( )
  MariaD. | Feb 18, 2015 |
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Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband's mistress tends to ruin a woman's day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life. It's 1974 and Ellison Russell's life revolves around her daughter and her art. She's long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper's death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband's proclivities and his crimes-kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail. As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?… (more)

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