Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders, #8)5 Stars

Published October 23rd 2018 by Henery Press

Ellison Russell is back with her knack of finding dead bodies and her love affair with Mr. Coffee. In the 8th outing in the Country Club Murders, we find Ellison discovering the body of her stockbroker, dead with his pants around his ankles, a sight she can not wipe from her mind. A call to her detective, Anarchy Jones, ends up with is partner taking the call and he does not work well with Ellison. As more bodies show up, Anarchy actually asks Ellison for her help. With her mother not happy, Grace wanting to be involved and a half-sister, who Ellison only found out about, this story moves quickly. Can Ellison catch a killer or will she be the next victim of the backstabber?

Ellison may be part of the country club set but she has a very different idea about what is important, her mother, on the other hand, cares about social standing and appearances. When Karma Williams comes to visit, her parents’ secret is out. Ellison’s father was in a relationship before marrying her mother and they had a child. Karma runs a brokerage firm in San Francisco and has never met the rest of her family. After almost 40 years she makes a trip to Kansas City to meet her sister. The other important relationship Ellison is dealing with is with Anarchy Jones. They are very slowly moving their relationship forward to the delight of many except her mother, Francis. These characters are real and believable. The dialogue and banter is well written and will have you laughing out loud. Interactions between Ellison and her mother are wonderful, humorous and realistic. I enjoyed the introduction of Karma to the story. It gives warmth to her father and even Francis shows a soft side here and there.

The storyline is very well developed. Ellison’s quest to narrow the suspect pool was very intriguing. I loved following along for each and every step. I was not sure who the culprit was, right up until the end. There were certainly many red herrings thrown in along the way that led the reader on a merry chase. Even with the humour there is a very serious issue tackled in this story, that of sexual harassment. It begins with Karma as a student and young business woman and continues with the young female staff at the brokerage firm. It shines a light on sexual harassment that was commonplace back then and widespread until recently. This is an excellent addition to this fantastic series. All the characters have evolved so much since the series began, even Francis has grown a little. I recommend new readers start at the beginning of this series so you do not miss the growth of the characters and their backstories, but you can really start anywhere in this series for a great cozy read. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book to read upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Book (From Goodreads): All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.

With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?

Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.

With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?

Julie MulhernAbout the Author: Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders.

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.