Review: The Deep End by Julie Mulhern

the-deep-endThe Deep End
by Julie Mulhern
Series: The Country Club Murders #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: 1974, Kansas City
Published by Henery Press, 2015
E-book, purchased
255 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: 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.

“Do you remember the part in The Wizard of Oz when the witch is dead and the Munchkins start singing? Think that kind of happiness. I swear every woman there was ready to break into song. Maybe a few of the men, too.”


  • I really enjoyed this mystery. It looks like it’s a debut mystery!
  • I love the cover.
  • I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue reading this book at first when I read about Ellison’s interactions with her mother. Ellison is a complete doormat where her mother’s concerned and it’s painful to read about a grown woman doing things she doesn’t want to do because her mother tells her to. However, Ellison does grow and change during the course of the book. I like watching that happen.
  • Her mother isn’t terrible. She’s a dominant personality and thinks she know best.
  • I like the historical elements–remembering Richard Nixon, for example. No cell phones which changes many things. The fashion popular at that time. Little things dropped in to give nice background for the time period.
  • The fact this is a historical period and that it’s 1974 is quite unique.
  • Everything revolves around the country club in this book. That does seem pretty strange to me, but these are all women who don’t work so I guess they have to spend their time doing something!
  • At least Ellison paints so her life doesn’t revolve completely around the country club.
  • I like the humor in this book.
  • I like that Ellison finds she’s stronger than she thinks she is.


  • It’s almost by accident that Ellison finds clues and figures things out. I like Ellison enough (after she grows a spine…lol) for that not to bother me too much!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I think I saw this book on Greg’s blog–Book Haven. I was immediately attracted by the cover. It looked like the perfect summer book and it is.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Julie Mulhern always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters and a dastardly dog. It might not be exotic or mysterious but it is romantic.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • COYER Scavenger Hunt–hosted by Fantasy is More Fun, Because Reading, and Books, Movies, Reviews.Oh My!
  • COYER–The Scavenger Hunt–#37, Read a book with water/or the ocean on the cover (3 pts)
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book based entirely on its cover)