Sunday, October 28, 2018

Back Stabbers by Julie Mulhern – Book Review

Today, I’m featuring cozy mystery author Julie K. Mulhern with a review for her latest book in The Country Club Murders, Back Stabbers.

But first I’d like to send out a special thank you to tour host Lori Casewell and to author Julie Mulhern for their quick response to problems I encountered when trying the Adobe Digital Editions via Edelweiss for the first time. I didn’t realise that when the book expired on Edelweiss, it would also expire and be rendered useless on the Adobe Digital Editions app. So, thank you Lori and Julie.

I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to read the book, because I had featured Mulhern on Nadaness In Motion before with an excerpt from the fourth book in the series, Send in the Clowns. Since then I have been excited to read a full book for Mulhern. Finally, after some difficulties, I got my wish.

So, today I’ve got a review for Back Stabbers, book 8 in the series, along with a giveaway for ONE Signed Print Copy of Back Stabbers by Julie Mulhern.

Book: Back Stabbers
The Country Club Murders (Book 8)
Author: Julie K. Mulhern
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 23 October 2018
Genres: Cozy mystery, humour
Number of pages: 253 (Kindle edition)


All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.

With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?

Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.

With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

"Of the three partners at Bisby, Marshall, & Wallace, one was hospitalised, one was murdered, and one was a murder suspect."

Ellison Russell has a knack for finding dead bodies and by that I mean if there was ever a Guinness World Record for the number of dead bodies found, Ellison Russell would break the record several times over.

Back Stabbers by Julie K. Mulhern is the eighth book in The Country Club Murders. And even though it is my first – full – read for Mulhern, it feels as if I had known the characters a long time. Ellison is relatable, funny, down-to-earth, and tough coffee addict.

Narrated from Ellison's first person perspective, the novel is quick-paced and enjoyable, with lots of sleuthing and jumping around. The reader is introduced the murder from the first few pages.

"You have that sound in your voice."
"What sound?"
"The I've-found-another-body sound."

I loved Ellison, though I think she drinks way too much coffee and that her coffee cups are too small. I connected with her on various levels. As the novel progresses, the reader is introduced to previous books and previous murders such as Ellison's husband.

There are too many cheaters in this book, hence the title Back Stabbers. I was beginning to think there weren't any decent people in Kansas City where the book is set.

Not only does Ellison keep stumbling on dead bodies, her father surprises her with news that her never-before-seen half-sister is not only coming to town but also would be staying with her. Add to that, there is trouble in paradise, or particularly with the oddly-named Detective Anarchy Jones, whom we are led to believe it Ellison's boyfriend.

One of the things I absolutely loved about Back Stabbers is the constant humour. Not only is Ellison sarcastic, but her imagery plays into the humour as well.

"Why didn't someone else find him? Why you?...Why do these things [dead bodies] happen to you?"
"I wish I knew."
"Perhaps you should figure it out, then you could avoid making the mistake in the future."
My disappointing propensity for finding bodies was an evergreen topic.

There were a lot of angles to the mystery, allowing Mulhern to keep the reader off-track most of the time. 

There's also a lot of "show-don't-tell". Used expertly throughout the book.

"My stomach took the elevator to my ankles and all the strength left my fingers (not just left but packed it bags and took off for Palm Springs)."

One of the things I thought was odd about the book is the absence of cellphones. UPDATE: The author just informed me that the book is set in the 1970's - something I hadn't sensed while reading.

Ellison also has tough parents to deal with. Her mother is a dragon of a woman and her father is eccentric in a way. In Back Stabbers, Ellison's father appears to be distant from his daughter but lavishing his half-daughter with long over-due affection. I sympathised with Ellison but personally disliked her father, whom I thought had emotional issues.

"With his rumpled overcoat, permanently disagreeable expression, and tendency to blame for the world's ills, Detective Peters was not my favourite person to look at – especially when he was smirking at my discomfort.

Overall rating: 5 stars

Overall, I truly enjoyed this read for Julie K. Mulhern. Definitely won't be my last. I loved jumping around with Ellison, who is a strong character. Anyone who could put with a mother like that deserved a medal.

About the Author
Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She 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.

Connect with Julie Mulhern via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Purchase Back Stabbers by Julie Mulhern via Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or BookBub.


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