Back Stabbers By Julie Mulhern: Review/Giveaway

Jan 12, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Back Stabbers, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

In March of 1975, long before the #MeToo movement and still lingering in the Mad Men era, the brokerage firm of Bisby, Marshall & Wallace is a male-led office staffed by vulnerable young and attractive women. Widowed Ellison Russell has learned how to fend off advances by entitled men assuming she was available and needy, but Winthrop Marshall has proved to be the most obnoxious. He still delivers on her financial investments, though, which Ellison considers just enough for her to put up with his lecherous come-ons. It seems that someone disagreed with that attitude, though, as Ellison has the unfortunate privilege of seeing his dead body, a murdered Winthrop literally with his pants down.mystery

While Ellison’s mother laments that her daughter once again disappoints by being an embarrassing discoverer of bodies, it is Ellison’s father who proves to be the disruptive force in her life. Having only recently revealed that he had a daughter before marrying Ellison’s mother, Harrington Walford informs Ellison that her half-sister will be arriving in town for a visit, and can Ellison please play hostess. Knowing that there is little other choice and that her mother is destined for an epic blowout, Ellison agrees to allow Karma Michaels to stay as they meet for the first time. What Ellison didn’t expect is that the beautiful and intelligent Karma would stir up adolescent-level feelings of jealousy and rivalry, not just with a suddenly-paternal father, but with new boyfriend Anarchy Jones. The Homicide detective seems to have a past with the impressive MBA Stanford graduate, and Ellison is feeling inadequate and insecure. For once it’s her exuberant best friend Libba who provides some unexpectedly rational and practical advice when she’s not helping Ellison follow the trail of women harmed by the brokerage’s sexism.

As always, seeing Ellison grown stronger and more independent with each new novel is a delightful treat that warms the heart and has readers cheering for her success. Ellison is at a point where she no longer kowtows to the Kansas City elitists and snaps back at wannabe socialite mean girl. By taking place in the past, the novel highlights just how far attitudes have come, and just how far we still have to go. The body count grows surprisingly high in this extremely funny, biting commentary on this insulated high society. Even more entertaining are Ellison’s family dynamics as she raises an increasingly assertive teenaged daughter and learns to know her parents as flawed adults.

In addition to the seventies mindset, the era comes alive with mentions of Supertramp, new paperbacks costing two dollars, and funeral hams and Bundt cakes. This novel of the past succeeds in feeling timely as well, with a newly independent Ellison demanding and standing up for women in the workplace. Ellison is the sharp-witted, occasionally sardonic, strong woman of the past we can all hope to be in the future.

Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.

To enter to win a copy of Back Stabbers, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “stabbers,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 19, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on iTunes and Google Play.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:


Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I love this series of Julie’s books! Can’t wait to read Back Stabbers. Hope I win a copy!

  2. Sure sounds great – thanks for the contest

  3. I’d love a chance to win this book. Thanks for the chance. JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

  4. This is a new series for me, I love the stylish covers. Thanks for the chance to win a copy! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  5. I love this series.

  6. Love this series

  7. This series sounds intriguing. Love the era and story.

  8. Great series. Thanks for the chance.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

  9. I have read a few books by this author but haven’t read one in a long time I would love to read and review on a few sites! Thank you for the chance ! Peggy clayton

  10. This is a new series to me and it looks like one I should be reading. Adding to my TBR list.

  11. I loved the 70’s. Going to the disco. College. Ah, the memories. Thank you so much for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  12. I am adding this to my To Be Read list!

  13. Thanks for the chance!

  14. We have a winner!


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