My Review: I loved this book and the series. Ellison had a knack of finding dead bodies, often on her own property. This book is no exception. When she gets a call from Aggie, her housekeeper about her car breaking down, she heads off to the local shopping center to get her. She leaves her decorator in the house to continue coming up with ideas while she is gone. Well, you guessed it, when she gets back home less than half an hour later, she is dead in the den with a bullet in her head. Of course Ellison calls Anarchy, the handsome detective that she has a budding relationship and he shows up with his new partner. There is a lot going on in this story, with another body along the way and some women who also end up in the hospital.
The mystery kept me guessing until the end, which I always like. This book was not just a mystery. This series takes place in the 70s and at that time, police and medical practitioners felt that physical abuse between spouses was a personal matter and they did not intervene. This was an era where women just took it when their husband or boyfriend hit them, it was almost a joke about women hiding their black eyes behind the huge sunglasses of the day. Unlike many, the woman who was abused in this book got out, and her husband’s family stood behind her, not her husband who was their relative. It was due to Ellison’s persistence that she finally spoke up. So kudos to Julie Mulhern, for dealing with this topic and maybe this will help someone now break the silence and get out. The setting is also very nostalgic to those of us who grew up during that time so it adds another enjoyable dimension. I suppose you could read this book without reading the rest of the series, but who would want to. This is one of the best cozy series I have read.
Synopsis: Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’ new partner considers Ellison a suspect?
With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.