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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 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?


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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 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?

30 review for The Deep End

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    I loved The Deep End’s Ellison Russell from the very first page. Funny, astute, and rebellious — well, as rebellious as a member of Kansas City’s WASP elite could be (not much; cf. Mrs. Bridge). Ellison thought she had already seen her life implode. It’s 1974, and Ellison’s career as a successful artist means she’s creative, independent, and makes more money than her smug banker husband Henry. Remember that it’s 1974? In those less enlightened times, Henry’s masculinity is threatened, and he’s t I loved The Deep End’s Ellison Russell from the very first page. Funny, astute, and rebellious — well, as rebellious as a member of Kansas City’s WASP elite could be (not much; cf. Mrs. Bridge). Ellison thought she had already seen her life implode. It’s 1974, and Ellison’s career as a successful artist means she’s creative, independent, and makes more money than her smug banker husband Henry. Remember that it’s 1974? In those less enlightened times, Henry’s masculinity is threatened, and he’s taken up with another woman from their country-club set, Madeline Harper. Eight months later, Mr. and Mrs. Russell may be living in the same luxury home, but their marriage is over, and they’re waiting the few years until their 16-year-old daughter Grace goes to college to officially pull the plug. But things could definitely get worse for Ellison Walford Russell — and, of course, they do. During an early-morning swim, she discovers Madeline’s body in the country club’s pool. She’d be the No. 1 suspect if her husband hadn’t disappeared the night before. Now Ellison Russell is about to find out more than she ever wanted to know about Henry Russell — and just about every member of her country club. But unless she figures out who killed Madeline Harper and why, Ellison will never be able to restore some semblance of a life for her daughter Grace. What a fabulous novel! I couldn’t stop reading! In The Deep End, author Julie Mulhern hasn’t just created a delightful protagonist in Ellison Russell and a riveting mystery; she’s also perfectly evoked the 1970s, right down to Halston gowns, caftans, TR6 sports cars, telephones actually attached to walls, plaid pants, Diane Von Furstenberg’s ubiquitous jersey wrap-dresses, Bargello afghans, those heavenly Dr. Scholl’s sandals, Tab, wife-swapping, The Way We Were, blue and purple eyeshadows, and the interminable Watergate hearings. (Also, Hermès bags. Only those are timeless.) Readers will love the atmosphere, the well-plotted mystery, and a charming woman who’s just finding out that doing what you’re supposed to won’t get you as far as doing what you want. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Couldn't get enough of the biting sense of humor, the characters, the plot. I found myself constantly re-reading passages because of Mulhern's descriptive elements and wit. Her nod to cultural references of the 70's, woven in just enough to not slap you in the face with the setting, made me want to investigate forgotten events and moments of the era. Delightful. Couldn't get enough of the biting sense of humor, the characters, the plot. I found myself constantly re-reading passages because of Mulhern's descriptive elements and wit. Her nod to cultural references of the 70's, woven in just enough to not slap you in the face with the setting, made me want to investigate forgotten events and moments of the era. Delightful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    So fun to have an irreverent mystery series set in Kansas City and in the 70's! It's like having our own Stephanie Plum -- there is even a potential love triangle. Ellison Russell is having a bad week and it all starts with the dead body she bumps into while doing her morning laps. That body is her husband's mistress. Aack! And the hits keep coming with unwelcome surprises in her driveway and bursting out of her den. The real killer is out there and I enjoyed the hunt. Just thought the pacing wa So fun to have an irreverent mystery series set in Kansas City and in the 70's! It's like having our own Stephanie Plum -- there is even a potential love triangle. Ellison Russell is having a bad week and it all starts with the dead body she bumps into while doing her morning laps. That body is her husband's mistress. Aack! And the hits keep coming with unwelcome surprises in her driveway and bursting out of her den. The real killer is out there and I enjoyed the hunt. Just thought the pacing was a bit off, so just four stars this time. Looking forward to future installments in The Country Club Murders series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Padgett

    THE DEEP END is the debut mystery novel by Julie Mulhern. (Julie is a fellow 2014 Golden Heart® finalist and I received a free copy of her book from her publisher Henery Press.) It’s 1974 in Kansas City. Ellison Russell, an artist, heads to her country club for her customary early morning swim. She never expected to find the body of her husband’s dead mistress floating in the pool. Life gets not just complicated but messy and confusing for Ellison and her daughter Grace. Henry, Ellison’s husband h THE DEEP END is the debut mystery novel by Julie Mulhern. (Julie is a fellow 2014 Golden Heart® finalist and I received a free copy of her book from her publisher Henery Press.) It’s 1974 in Kansas City. Ellison Russell, an artist, heads to her country club for her customary early morning swim. She never expected to find the body of her husband’s dead mistress floating in the pool. Life gets not just complicated but messy and confusing for Ellison and her daughter Grace. Henry, Ellison’s husband has disappeared and not one but two more mistresses show up. Add in a kinky dominatrix, blackmail, an overbearing mother, and an attractive (and kind) police detective and poor Ellison is toast. THE DEEP END is a classic “fair play” mystery with clues and red herrings sprinkled throughout. I enjoyed this one a lot (and not just because I kinda sorta know the author or because I got a free copy of the book). The hard part of reviewing mysteries is not giving away any spoilers. So, I’ll say just a few more things: The murderer is nicely foreshadowed. Henry is vile and fully deserves the fate Mulhern gave him. The secondary characters are fully-fleshed out and add to the story. Ellison’s rationale for not telling the police everything she knows makes sense and didn’t make me roll my eyes or say, “Oh, please,” even once. This is a chronic pitfall of amateur sleuth stories, since often the whole thing could be wrapped up at the end of Chapter Five if the protagonist just trusted the police to do their job. Not so with THE DEEP END. To prove that I’m not just gushing heedlessly, I did have one teeny tiny issue with THE DEEP END that I’ll mention. Ellison felt just a tad too stoic to me. In some places I felt like she was too detached from what was going on around her. I would have liked a bit more emotion from her in a few places. Sometimes over the top is called for and I felt Mulhern kept her reined in too tightly. But that didn’t detract from my enjoyment and my ability to heartily recommend THE DEEP END. The cover declares that THE DEEP END is one of The Country Club Murders. I’m eager to read the next book in the series. Mulhern has laid the groundwork for an ongoing series, much like Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott, Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy Schlutz, or Earlene Fowler’s Benni Harper. I think Ellison Russell will be a worthy addition to the roster of amateur sleuths alongside Deborah, Goldy, and Benni.

  5. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Ellison Russell swims every morning in the pool at her Country Club. This morning, however, there's a difference...while on her first lap, she touches the body of her husband's mistress - and instantly becomes a suspect in the murder. To make matters worse, her husband has disappeared also. It doesn't help when she tells Detective Jones, the police detective investigating the murder, that she and her husband were on the verge of divorce, and she knew about the mistress. What we have here is an ex Ellison Russell swims every morning in the pool at her Country Club. This morning, however, there's a difference...while on her first lap, she touches the body of her husband's mistress - and instantly becomes a suspect in the murder. To make matters worse, her husband has disappeared also. It doesn't help when she tells Detective Jones, the police detective investigating the murder, that she and her husband were on the verge of divorce, and she knew about the mistress. What we have here is an excellent first book and an excellent mystery. Ms. Mulhern weaves a tidy tale of murder, blackmail, and life behind the scenes in the Country Club set of the 70's. In fact, it could even take place today, and if it weren't for the references to music and television of that time, you might never know when everything occurred. We believe Ellison is only trying to protect her daughter, and that without taking chances she still puts herself in danger. Her attempt at keeping herself removed from the situation while still involved with all the people she knows, eliminating them one by one as the guilty party, is easy enough to see, and like real life, she makes missteps along the way in those she thinks might be the murderer. There are hints of attraction to both Detective Jones and Hunter Tafft, the attorney her mother has obtained for her, and we see Ellison fighting her emotions down and feeling guilty that she has them in the first place. We also are with her when she comes to the realization of who the murderer is, and when discovered, the reasons behind it make perfect sense. When I discovered the killer (before Ellison herself did) I had that 'aha moment', yet it did not detract at all from the rest of the book. And although I was tempted several times to look at the last few pages and discover if I was right, I did not, and implore you not to do so either, because it will be worth it in the end to 'see how it all comes out.' All in all, again an excellent mystery, highly recommended, and I eagerly await the next in the series. This book will be released in February 2015. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review but this in no way influenced my decision. Complete review at: www.joannesbooks.blogspot.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    The Deep End is a very well written and professionally edited murder mystery. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. The heroine is a country club wife, barely existing while under the thumbs of her philandering husband and manipulative mother. Only her art gives her hope. When she discovers the body of her husband's mistress she becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders. She decides she must solve the murders in order to prove her innocence. At times I was annoyed with the h's pass The Deep End is a very well written and professionally edited murder mystery. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. The heroine is a country club wife, barely existing while under the thumbs of her philandering husband and manipulative mother. Only her art gives her hope. When she discovers the body of her husband's mistress she becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders. She decides she must solve the murders in order to prove her innocence. At times I was annoyed with the h's passivity, but she did begin to grow stronger as the plot developed. The secondary characters were interesting, especially the two men that become romantic interests. The plot was full of twists and turns. It held my interest and at times contained a quirky humor. I didn't figure out who the murderer was until it was revealed. I highly recommend The Deep End and I look forward to reading more books by this author. ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This was just the right cozy mystery I needed! It was sweet, the heroine's biting sarcasm was hilarious, and the country club setting was just as scary as the actual murders. I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series! This was just the right cozy mystery I needed! It was sweet, the heroine's biting sarcasm was hilarious, and the country club setting was just as scary as the actual murders. I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Ellison Russell is devoted to her teenage daughter, Grace, and her art. She and her husband are still living together, but that is only because they have decided to wait to get divorced until Grace is out of the house. Part of Ellison’s routine is a swim at dawn in the country club’s pool. On this particular June morning in 1974, she swims into a dead body in the pool. Worse yet, when the police arrive and pull the body out of the pool, she recognizes the victim as Madeline Harper, her husband’s Ellison Russell is devoted to her teenage daughter, Grace, and her art. She and her husband are still living together, but that is only because they have decided to wait to get divorced until Grace is out of the house. Part of Ellison’s routine is a swim at dawn in the country club’s pool. On this particular June morning in 1974, she swims into a dead body in the pool. Worse yet, when the police arrive and pull the body out of the pool, she recognizes the victim as Madeline Harper, her husband’s mistress. Ellison knows that she makes a pretty compelling suspect in the woman’s murder, as does her husband. She knows she is innocent and she believes that her husband may be an adulterer, but he isn’t a killer. However, the fact that he’s suddenly left town for parts unknown doesn’t make him appear innocent. Can Ellison figure out what really happened to Madeline? I’ve been hearing about this series for years, but I kept putting off starting it. I wish I’d read it sooner. The plot starts out right away and gives us plenty of action and twists along the way. I never saw the solution coming until Ellison figured it out either. The main characters are all strong and help pull us into the world, although I do wish that we had a little more context for some of the supporting players. I was also bothered by Ellison’s love life; it just felt inappropriate for this book. I’m sure in future books I will be fine with what is set up here. The subject matter does stray to the edges of cozies, but I thought how things were handled here was fine and it didn’t bother me. I greatly enjoyed the humor in the book, mostly coming from Ellison’s narration on things. Yet it is perfectly balances with some of the more serious elements of the plot. I can see why this series has so many fans, and I’m already one of them. Now, to find time to visit Ellison again. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chaitra

    I loved the cover art - that's the first thing that caught my eye about this mystery. The second was the rating. I was expecting a whole lot, I guess I was bound to be disappointed. It's not bad, but it's not exceptional either. It's a book about a weak-willed woman from the country club set of 1970s Kansas City, Missouri who finds the body of her husband's mistress floating in the pool. She decides to figure out the mystery of who did it for some reasons she knows best, finds several more bodies I loved the cover art - that's the first thing that caught my eye about this mystery. The second was the rating. I was expecting a whole lot, I guess I was bound to be disappointed. It's not bad, but it's not exceptional either. It's a book about a weak-willed woman from the country club set of 1970s Kansas City, Missouri who finds the body of her husband's mistress floating in the pool. She decides to figure out the mystery of who did it for some reasons she knows best, finds several more bodies, comes close to dying herself and finds the killer when she stumbles upon the evidence in a very unconvincing fashion. On the pro side, it's light, fun and page-turning. The book is written well - it's humorous, but isn't downright silly. I didn't hate the main character, at times I even sympathized with her. And she grows a spine. But it also fulfills some of the tropes of the cozy mystery genre - the heroine without any credentials trying to solve a mystery but actually doing little to no sleuthing (she doesn't even bother reading her husband's most recent mail, the one that's just lying there), the overbearing mother character, the love triangle (gag me with a spoon). Quibbles notwithstanding, it's good enough that I'll be interested in continuing with this series, and not just to complete it. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    I was a teenager in an upper middle class household (New Jersey, not Kansas City) at the time this was set, and this is not the first time I'm going to say that an author has gotten "old money" wrong. From my experience the folks described seem more "new" money than "old", although I suppose writers can emphasize things for effect. Moreover, there aren't that many dowager dragons terrifying their offspring. I suspended disbelief, and moved on, while reading the story. Not sure how old the author I was a teenager in an upper middle class household (New Jersey, not Kansas City) at the time this was set, and this is not the first time I'm going to say that an author has gotten "old money" wrong. From my experience the folks described seem more "new" money than "old", although I suppose writers can emphasize things for effect. Moreover, there aren't that many dowager dragons terrifying their offspring. I suspended disbelief, and moved on, while reading the story. Not sure how old the author might be, but in 1974 I doubt there were S&M clubs about, certainly not ones with their own matchbooks (to be awkwardly discovered). In Kansas City, I'd think such a club, if it'd existed, would've been a bit more . . . under the radar. That aspect failed for me, but maybe I'm picky, or jaded? Another reviewer said she got nothing Kansas City out of it ("could've been anywhere really"), which seems fair to me. Moreover, aside from no internet nor mobile phones, the occasional 70s references seemed forced, with one of them (I forget exactly which) I swore was after 1974. Sue Grafton's alphabet series does a much more natural job of a setting a decade later. I liked that she was proud to have an openly gay best friend at the time (stereotypical though he was), as well as Ellison's being funny often enough. Her new housekeeper Aggie sounds a hoot, definitely a reason to keep reading! The love triangle thing gets old fast, but I can live with it. Not sorry I read it, and will try the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Ellison Russell puts up with a lot--a manipulative mother, a brazenly adulterous husband--to keep her life with her daughter on an even keel. It takes a murder to launch her onto the path of finding her own voice and coming into her own. This book is flawless. From the attention-grabbing opening line to the provocative last sentence, the pace never let up. Not for a moment. With an economy of words, the author created a vivid setting and a taut emotional journey. I loved the complex relationship Ellison Russell puts up with a lot--a manipulative mother, a brazenly adulterous husband--to keep her life with her daughter on an even keel. It takes a murder to launch her onto the path of finding her own voice and coming into her own. This book is flawless. From the attention-grabbing opening line to the provocative last sentence, the pace never let up. Not for a moment. With an economy of words, the author created a vivid setting and a taut emotional journey. I loved the complex relationship Ellison had with all the people in her world--each one was drawn with detail and depth. Yes, her mom's controlling, but she loves her daughter fiercely. And, most of all, I loved watching her grow stronger with every new--terrible--development. Tragedy didn't break her--it brought out the woman she was meant to be. I can't recommend this book enough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Andre

    Have you ever judged a few chapters in a writing contest that are so exceptionally original, fast-paced and funny that the last page comes too way soon? The characters and tone stay with you long after you put it down? You comment to the author on the score sheet that you can't believe she isn't published yet, and how you wish you could have finished reading the rest of the story. Julie Mulhern was the author of that work and many months later she emailed and asked me to be a beta reader the res Have you ever judged a few chapters in a writing contest that are so exceptionally original, fast-paced and funny that the last page comes too way soon? The characters and tone stay with you long after you put it down? You comment to the author on the score sheet that you can't believe she isn't published yet, and how you wish you could have finished reading the rest of the story. Julie Mulhern was the author of that work and many months later she emailed and asked me to be a beta reader the rest of THE DEEP END. Solid mystery plot with great twists and a zany cast of characters the heroine has to deal with as if navigating a mine field. It's written in 1st person and the heroine's dry humor and snarky thoughts leave you laughing until you snort! I assure you this is a KNOCKOUT DEBUT RELEASE! Julie Mulhern is an author to watch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an free advance copy of this book. I am surprised to see all of the 5 star reviews for this book. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it, but the high ratings may lead some people to be disappointed. The Deep End is a very light funny mystery set in the 1970's amongst the Kansas City upper crust. What makes this book worth reading are the narrator's acerbic but sef-deprecating observations of her family, friends and foes and also all the references Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an free advance copy of this book. I am surprised to see all of the 5 star reviews for this book. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it, but the high ratings may lead some people to be disappointed. The Deep End is a very light funny mystery set in the 1970's amongst the Kansas City upper crust. What makes this book worth reading are the narrator's acerbic but sef-deprecating observations of her family, friends and foes and also all the references to the 1970s social and political context. A fun light read, but I wouldn't recommend going in with higher expectations.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    A very funny and entertaining mystery.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    An excellent first book in a series, I deducted a star only because I expected a cozy and this book was right on the line between cozy and non-cozy. Overall a wonderful book set in an atypical timeperiod for mysteries. Recommend!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Miglė

    This has to be the most upper-middle class book I have ever read. I mean, Agatha Christie often gets criticized because only upper-class characters are involved, and the servants and blue-collar people are largely ignored in her books, but this takes the cake. Maybe it's the lack of social-awareness that we expect from contemporary authors, maybe it's just utter strangeness of characters' lives, but it's really, really hard to empathize with those country-club members. Sometimes I had the feeling This has to be the most upper-middle class book I have ever read. I mean, Agatha Christie often gets criticized because only upper-class characters are involved, and the servants and blue-collar people are largely ignored in her books, but this takes the cake. Maybe it's the lack of social-awareness that we expect from contemporary authors, maybe it's just utter strangeness of characters' lives, but it's really, really hard to empathize with those country-club members. Sometimes I had the feeling I was reading about the inhabitants of some strange planet, the rules of which did not apply to my life at all. I'm not against science-fiction, but then again, it was supposed to be about real people? Who did not feel real at all? Take the bland heroine, who is a huge push-over, with an overbearing mother and a cheating husband. We are told she is a painter (why so many woman painters in crime-fiction nowadays?), she has a flamboyant gay agent, and a wise teenage daughter. She (the painter) goes to huge lengths to conceal important information about the murders from the police, merely, because she doesn't want her daughter to know her father was a (view spoiler)[blackmailer (hide spoiler)] ? I don't know, doesn't seem too bad having in mind all those MURDERS that are happening around them? She investigates her husband's affair and finds out he (view spoiler)[used to go to the SEX CLUB! Omg! Can you imagine how terrible and depraved people who visit sex clubs must be? Now we can, because their depravity and immorality are many times alluded to, with contrast to great moral qualities of the protagonist. (hide spoiler)] Luckily, other men notice the unbelievable beauty and integrity of the protagonist and we have two beautiful, well-to-do men lusting over her, but, like, very subtly, two kisses almost happening, but not happening. "How could he exchange someone like YOU for someone like THAT? [very sexual and thus very degenerate person]" Wow! We are lead to believe the protagonist slowly becomes more independent and self-sufficient during the course of the narrative, but this is shown in "what kind of rich people planet does she inhabit?" way. For example, "Are you wearing a bra?" Mother sounded scandalized. I wasn't. Bras were as passe as poodle skirts. I usually wore one anyway, but the Missoni* didn't allow for any extraneous straps. Instead, I'd slapped Band-aids across my nipples and hoped Mother wouldn't notice. *A type of dress, apparently. Really?? She's rebelling against her mother and rules of society, and, instead of not giving a fuck about the bra straps, or not giving a fuck if her nipples were visible, she TAPES HER NIPPLES?? What kind of rebellion is that? I don't know, this book is probably just too-removed from anything resembling normal life for me, that I couldn't really enjoy it, and the witty remarks of the protagonist fell flat.

  17. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Set in the 1970’s this book treads close to the cozy/non-cozy mystery line due to some very interesting interests of some of the characters. Since it tells you in the synopsis I am not giving anything away by telling you sex of the kinky variety takes place and could be the reason a certain woman ends up dead floating in a country club swimming pool. It was the swinging 70’s! Ellison Russell is unhappily married but sticking it out for her child and for appearances. How things Dollycas’s Thoughts Set in the 1970’s this book treads close to the cozy/non-cozy mystery line due to some very interesting interests of some of the characters. Since it tells you in the synopsis I am not giving anything away by telling you sex of the kinky variety takes place and could be the reason a certain woman ends up dead floating in a country club swimming pool. It was the swinging 70’s! Ellison Russell is unhappily married but sticking it out for her child and for appearances. How things appear to the world or other members of the country club are very important to Ellison’s mother and she is sure to tell her daughter that several times a say. As the story goes on Ellison becomes much stronger and really could care less what other people think shocking her mother and giving readers a good giggle or two. I enjoyed the references to Watergate, and old television shows like Kojak and The Streets of San Francisco. A time before cell phones and when you wanted privacy on the phone the squiggly phone cord was stretched to reach into a closet or another room. A time when news was found in a newspaper not on a computer. Julie Mulhern does a great job pulling us back in time and into Ellison’s world. She fills the story with very colorful characters and a plot that keeps us guessing the entire journey. She also makes us laugh and that is always a plus. The Deep End is an excellent start for The County Club Murder series. Ellison really evolved in this story and I look forward to where the author takes her next.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Farris

    If Agatha Christie had decided to write something akin to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” she might have ended up with “The Deep End” by Julie Mulhern. This certainly isn’t your grandmother’s cozy mystery, and I loved it. This is a Cozy Mystery with an edge. Ms. Mulhern walked a fine line in this mystery with a tantalizing topic while still being acceptable to most cozy readers. The book is set in 1974, but it felt modern day to me. As the story opens Ellison Russell, during her normal morning swim at th If Agatha Christie had decided to write something akin to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” she might have ended up with “The Deep End” by Julie Mulhern. This certainly isn’t your grandmother’s cozy mystery, and I loved it. This is a Cozy Mystery with an edge. Ms. Mulhern walked a fine line in this mystery with a tantalizing topic while still being acceptable to most cozy readers. The book is set in 1974, but it felt modern day to me. As the story opens Ellison Russell, during her normal morning swim at the country clubs discovers the body of her husband’s mistress floating dead in the pool. As Ellison is the obvious suspect, she starts investigating to determine who else would have a reason to kill her husband. She discovers her husband’s proclivities and his crimes. Ellison Russell makes an interesting protagonist. She is a successful artist with a flourishing career. She is a loving mother who is trying to hold a marriage together for the sake of her daughter. Her social life revolves around the country club where her mother is a grand dame, controlling society just like she tries to control her daughter’s life. For the rest of the review see: http://www.examiner.com/article/read-...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Georgie-who-is-Sarah-Drew

    Excellent murder mystery story, set in 1970s Kansas City's Country Club set: all hats, gloves and Bundt cakes. Plus sweet sweet bitchiness more deadly than the many lethal blunt instruments. A good sense of pace (my, those bodies just keep turning up) and an attractive heroine. The first in a series, so a little can be forgiven by way of setting up the background (which is done well); some hints of romance to come. I could have done with a little more on the MC and her art (which came out of now Excellent murder mystery story, set in 1970s Kansas City's Country Club set: all hats, gloves and Bundt cakes. Plus sweet sweet bitchiness more deadly than the many lethal blunt instruments. A good sense of pace (my, those bodies just keep turning up) and an attractive heroine. The first in a series, so a little can be forgiven by way of setting up the background (which is done well); some hints of romance to come. I could have done with a little more on the MC and her art (which came out of nowhere), but hopefully that will get covered in the rest of the series, which I've just downloaded. An iced tea, and I'm set.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Alexander

    I love a plot that keeps me guessing and surprises me. This one did just that. The heroine is strong and grows throughout the story to become everything I love in a lead character. The twists and turns offered new surprises that I didn't expect, which is one of my favorite things in a novel. I highly recommend THE DEEP END. I love a plot that keeps me guessing and surprises me. This one did just that. The heroine is strong and grows throughout the story to become everything I love in a lead character. The twists and turns offered new surprises that I didn't expect, which is one of my favorite things in a novel. I highly recommend THE DEEP END.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    This book has been on my "to-read" shelf for quite awhile. I came across the e-book and decided to dive in. I don't have many quiet chances to read, but whenever I did get the chance, I found the story pretty entertaining. Love the snarky main character, Ellison. Kinda reminds me of myself! 😜 This book has been on my "to-read" shelf for quite awhile. I came across the e-book and decided to dive in. I don't have many quiet chances to read, but whenever I did get the chance, I found the story pretty entertaining. Love the snarky main character, Ellison. Kinda reminds me of myself! 😜

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sally Berneathy

    The Deep End is an awesome book! It held my interest from the first page to the end, and I can't wait to read the sequel. I'm more of a country girl than a country club girl, so I wasn't sure I'd like the heroine. But she is a real person with the same emotions, fears and needs as the rest of us. I was totally intrigued with the fascinating characters...some a little offbeat and quirky...and the plot which kept me guessing until the exciting ending. GOOD JOB, JULIE MULHERN! Keep writing and I'll The Deep End is an awesome book! It held my interest from the first page to the end, and I can't wait to read the sequel. I'm more of a country girl than a country club girl, so I wasn't sure I'd like the heroine. But she is a real person with the same emotions, fears and needs as the rest of us. I was totally intrigued with the fascinating characters...some a little offbeat and quirky...and the plot which kept me guessing until the exciting ending. GOOD JOB, JULIE MULHERN! Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    I've had this book on my list forever but kept passing it by. This was such a fun mystery! The characters were interesting and the storyline moves pretty quickly. I'm definitely going to check out the others in this series. I've had this book on my list forever but kept passing it by. This was such a fun mystery! The characters were interesting and the storyline moves pretty quickly. I'm definitely going to check out the others in this series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Julie Mulhern is a refreshing voice in mystery. In The Deep End, her first mystery, she takes readers back to the sexy, swinging seventies. Ellison Russell is part of the Kansas City country club scene, both by birth and through marriage. But no pedigree could prepare her to find a dead body floating in the pool during her morning swim. Especially the body of her husband's mistress. Now a murder suspect, Ellison is quickly pulled into more than just a murder investigation. Her husband has gone mi Julie Mulhern is a refreshing voice in mystery. In The Deep End, her first mystery, she takes readers back to the sexy, swinging seventies. Ellison Russell is part of the Kansas City country club scene, both by birth and through marriage. But no pedigree could prepare her to find a dead body floating in the pool during her morning swim. Especially the body of her husband's mistress. Now a murder suspect, Ellison is quickly pulled into more than just a murder investigation. Her husband has gone missing and she's learning far more than she ever wanted to know about her husband, his mistress, and their particular tastes. I really enjoyed The Deep End. I think it's easy for mysteries to feel formulaic or predictable, but this story felt crisp and modern - even given the past setting. Family, sex, blackmail, art, and even a maddeningly meddling mother all come into play in the pages of The Deep End. It's a great read. I'm looking forward to more Country Club Murder mysteries - especially if they involve Detective Jones.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Saranna Dewylde

    I loved this book so much. The protagonist has to be one of my favorites in a series. Ellison was someone who felt like my friend. I genuinely cared about her and what was happening to her. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me shake my fist... It took me forever to figure out who the villain was and that takes some work. In most mysteries by page ten I know exactly what the twist is going to be. This was a fabulous read by a magnificently talented author. I can't wait for more in the I loved this book so much. The protagonist has to be one of my favorites in a series. Ellison was someone who felt like my friend. I genuinely cared about her and what was happening to her. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me shake my fist... It took me forever to figure out who the villain was and that takes some work. In most mysteries by page ten I know exactly what the twist is going to be. This was a fabulous read by a magnificently talented author. I can't wait for more in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Loved this story and when I learned it was her first mystery I was ecstatic. This means more books and I am so hoping this is a series. Extremely well written, drew me in right from the first sentence. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I can't wait to read more by this author. Loved this story and when I learned it was her first mystery I was ecstatic. This means more books and I am so hoping this is a series. Extremely well written, drew me in right from the first sentence. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I can't wait to read more by this author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annette Dashofy

    Funny and quirky and very much a page-turner. Even when I thought I'd guessed right, another twist proved me wrong. Please note: The Deep End is NOT a cozy and if sexual topics turn you off, you might want to skip this one. For everyone else, I highly recommend it! Funny and quirky and very much a page-turner. Even when I thought I'd guessed right, another twist proved me wrong. Please note: The Deep End is NOT a cozy and if sexual topics turn you off, you might want to skip this one. For everyone else, I highly recommend it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chantal

    2.5 stars This book had a lot of potential to be a fun, entertaining domestic thriller in the vain of Big Little Lies but it was so repetitive and dragged on to the extent I struggled to get through it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandee

    The story isn't new and it takes place in the 1970's. However, I was captured from the beginning. Julie's skills put me into the story and kept me there until I was finished the book. A wealthy woman, her cheating husband, their daughter and the whole country club community become engaged in murders and mystery. The characters are complete, the relationships engaging and the mystery well-written. I will be reading this series. The story isn't new and it takes place in the 1970's. However, I was captured from the beginning. Julie's skills put me into the story and kept me there until I was finished the book. A wealthy woman, her cheating husband, their daughter and the whole country club community become engaged in murders and mystery. The characters are complete, the relationships engaging and the mystery well-written. I will be reading this series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leslee Herling

    Good light reading. Currently reading the sequel now!

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