by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Send in the Clowns, another Halloween related mystery. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Ellison may have acquired a disturbing record of discovering bodies, being accused of murder, and getting hospitalized after attacks by murderers, but she certainly didn’t expect to find herself in the Gates of Hell. Ellison was attempting to track down her teenaged daughter in the Kansas City Halloween Haunted House, but instead of finding Grace, Ellison hears the last dying words of a terrifying clown. The body vanishes before it appears again; somewhat suitable considering that Brooks Harney disappeared from town several years ago following a decent into drugs that shamed his family.
Ellison’s family and friends are very vocal about her not getting involved, but a bloody business card given to her by Brooks with Hunter Tafft’s name on it forces her hand. Hunter, along with Detective Anarchy Jones, are two eligible bachelors vying for her attentions, and despite the guaranteed awkwardness, Ellison refuses to believe in Hunter’s guilt. Ellison’s country club connections allow her access to the suspects who would have profited with Brooks’s death, conveniently occurring just a year before his inheritance. In their 1974 world of Junior Leagues and Golfing Clubs that do not allow women to play before noon, a reformed drug addict would bring along a wake of embarrassment, chaos, and suspects wishing he would just go away.
Having found peace and success as an artist, Ellison finds that her greatest challenge is still facing a patriarchy telling her what she should do. In some instances the patriarchy is literal, as her father refuses to even consider that she is strong enough to make her own decisions or stand on her own. While Anarchy’s exasperation is mostly derived from his experience as a law enforcement officer—one who has seen Ellison get injured more than once—her father’s need to control stems from his inability to see her as an adult. While the previous books explored Ellison’s questioning her status as a wife or a mother, here we are treated to her struggle with her identity as a daughter. Ellison’s best friend Libba continues to be the contrary mix of a sexually liberated woman constantly on the search for a suitably wealthy man, while Ellison’s mother hopes that Ellison will just get herself remarried and cared for as well.
This Country Club Murder Mystery series has become so enjoyable precisely because Ellison strives against the norms no matter how many times she is told how to behave. It is her sharp wit and humor that allows her to prevail, and attempting to teach the same to her daughter further cements her place as an admirable and extraordinarily likable heroine. As entertaining as it is for readers to romp through 1970s country club society, far more enthralling are the adventures of such a resilient and stalwart woman.
This book was published by Henery Press. To learn more about their books check out their website: henerypress.com.
To enter to win a copy of Send in the Clowns, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “clowns,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 29, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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