Clouds in my CoffeeMy mother is chairing a gala.

If you know my mother, that is all you need to know.

If you don’t know Frances Walford, the thought of a woman chairing a gala probably doesn’t strike fear into your heart. My chest has been frozen with terror since she realized that zucchini cups filled with carrot puree cost substantially more than glazed carrots.

For one diner, the cost difference is middling. For eight hundred, the cost adds up.

It should go without saying that Mother is determined to produce the most elegant, financially successful ball Kansas City has ever seen. She doesn’t much care who she flattens to do it. Especially not if the pancake is me.

Already she’s borrowed my housekeeper, had me design the invitation (can you make it a bit less artsy, dear?), and put me on the ambiance and benefactor committees.

Mother is relentless in her pursuit of perfection.

She has planned for every contingency, considered everything that might go wrong and crafted a solution. Frankly, if Mother had been running things instead of General Westmoreland, we would have been out of Vietnam in six months.

The one thing she can’t control, the thing that keeps her up at night, is my new found propensity of finding bodies. Dead bodies.

“Ellison.” She waves her finger in my face. “If you find a body the night of my party, you will not tell anyone. Not. A. Soul.”

“Of course not, Mother.” Then, because I have a contrary streak wider than the green on the fifteenth hole, I ask, “Should I hide the body in a closet?”

“You’re not funny.”

I am funny. I’m hilarious. . .until the person seated next to me at Mother’s gala is poisoned.


Clouds In My Coffee is the third book in The Country Club Murders mystery series, published by Henery Press, May 2016.

When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors’ party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she’s shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again?

Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee. . .

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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 at juliemulhern.com, @juliekmulhern and on Facebook.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a digital copy of The Deep End. The giveaway will end May 17, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

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