by Cynthia Chow
& Julie Mulhern
This week we not only have a review of the latest mystery from Julie Mulhern, Clouds in My Coffee, but we also have a fun guest post from Julie about a character in her book named Kinky LeCoeur. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the Clouds in My Coffee, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Clouds in My Coffee: The Country Club Murders By Julie Mulhern
Review by Cynthia Chow
Socialite Ellison Russell has certainly come a long way since being a scandalous suspect in the death of her cheating, no-good husband. That doesn’t mean that Ellison still doesn’t do all she can to escape the wrath of Mother when things fail to go her way. So when Aunt Sis unexpectedly arrives for a rare visit, Ellison doesn’t hesitate to house her liberal, hippy aunt in order to keep peace between the feuding sisters. Ellison is far less thrilled to welcome home her own sister Marjorie, who refuses to explain why she landed in Kansas City without her children or her husband, the condom King of Cleveland.
Ellison’s efforts to keep peace fail abysmally when attempts on her life disrupt her mother’s parties and galas for her numerous charities’ benefactors. While Ellison continues to assert that she’s done nothing to make anyone want her dead, a woman who took Ellison’s switched seat at the benefactor’s gala event is still dead as a result of poison. Once again, Ellison finds herself in the middle of an investigation involving irresistible Detective Anarchy Jones and the more appropriate, but no less attractive, attorney Hunter Tafft. Despite a hurtling sculpture, Molotov cocktail, and a shooting, Ellison is eager to identify other likely candidates as the intended targets. It’s not like her mother and the aggressively flirtatious Marjorie haven’t more than earned their share of enemies.
In the highest echelons of 1974 society, Ellison struggles to assert her role within the community, and her own family. She has finally started to achieve success as an artist, but feminism is still considered a foreign concept embraced by “out-there” rebels. Ironically, that battle wages the greatest amongst her own female relatives. While Ellison’s mother and sister stayed within the lines and expected to be rewarded for their propriety, they are now incensed to still have not found happiness. Ellison has her own issues trusting men, but watching her interact with her two suitors is more fun than frustrating.
Author Julie Mulhern has found a winning combination of domestic fiction, comedy of manners, and murder. She has created a thoroughly engaging heroine who refuses to be a doormat, stands up for her own needs, and responds to her mother’s unreasonable demands with humor and wit. This is a continually entertaining novel of a woman’s growth, who finds peace both with herself and with her family’s secrets.
This book was published by Henery Press. To learn more about their books check out their website: henerypress.com.
How Kinky LeCoeur came to be
By Julie Mulhern
In June, 2015, I went to Dallas. My publisher brought together some of its authors and we went to book clubs and a luncheon and a signing. The Deep End had been out four months and I was as green as new author can be ? that is to say somewhere between chartreuse and apple.
Without exception, the authors I met were lovely people and spending time with the editorial staff from Henery Press was a delight.
On Friday evening, Gretchen Archer won a bottle of Kinky Liqueur. The contents were the color of strawberry sherbet. We went back to the hotel and drank wine. The bottle of blood orange infused vodka watched us.
Saturday was a full day. So full that it seemed only natural to unwind that evening with more wine. Someone picked up the bottle of Kinky. We passed it around. We speculated on what it might taste like. We did not open it. Someone ? Phoebe Fox? Me? ? suggested we all put a character named Kinky Liqueur in our next books. This suggestion was met with Kendall Jackson-fueled enthusiasm. But a problem was quickly identified. My series was set in the 1970s, the others are contemporary. This road bump was swept aside. We’d all create our own Kinkys.
Which is how, Kenneth Keye LeCoeur, a character in Clouds came to be.
Cassie LeCoeur waved at me from across the lobby. Sometimes that happens. You don’t see someone for weeks on end and then you run into them in the oddest places. Poor Cassie. Being married to a man named Kinky LeCoeur must be a heavy cross to bear. Not that her husband’s real name is Kinky. He introduces himself as Kenneth. Probably when they met in college he introduced himself as Ken, but to those of us who have known him his whole life, he’ll always be Kinky.
Mother says when one’s last name sounds as if it might belong to a professional dancer, one must be extra careful when selecting first names. The LeCoeurs obviously never heard her wax lyrical on this point…or maybe she waxes because of what Bob and Mary LeCoeur named their children ? Kenneth Keye (show me a bunch of high school boys who won’t shorten that to Kinky) and his sister Candace, called Candy.
If you’d like to go searching for the other Kinkys, pick up Lowcountry Book Club by Susan Boyer or Heart Conditions by Phoebe Fox. And keep your eye out for a Kinky in Gretchen Archer’s sixth book (she makes no promises).
To enter to win a copy of Clouds in my Coffee, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “clouds,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 28, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
You can use this link to purchase this book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link.