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The Deep End

(The Country Club Murders #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  3,133 ratings  ·  479 reviews
Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.

It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in
Paperback, 255 pages
Published February 17th 2015 by Henery Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  3,133 ratings  ·  479 reviews

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Ivonne Rovira
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
I loved The Deep End’s Ellison Russell from the very first page. Funny, astute, and rebellious — well, as rebellious as a member of Kansas City’s WASP elite could be (not much; cf. Mrs. Bridge). Ellison thought she had already seen her life implode. It’s 1974, and Ellison’s career as a successful artist means she’s creative, independent, and makes more money than her smug banker husband Henry. Remember that it’s 1974? In those less enlightened times, Henry’s masculinity is threatened, and he’s t ...more
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't get enough of the biting sense of humor, the characters, the plot. I found myself constantly re-reading passages because of Mulhern's descriptive elements and wit. Her nod to cultural references of the 70's, woven in just enough to not slap you in the face with the setting, made me want to investigate forgotten events and moments of the era.

Carrie Padgett
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
THE DEEP END is the debut mystery novel by Julie Mulhern. (Julie is a fellow 2014 Golden Heart® finalist and I received a free copy of her book from her publisher Henery Press.)

It’s 1974 in Kansas City. Ellison Russell, an artist, heads to her country club for her customary early morning swim. She never expected to find the body of her husband’s dead mistress floating in the pool.

Life gets not just complicated but messy and confusing for Ellison and her daughter Grace. Henry, Ellison’s husband h
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Deep End is a very well written and professionally edited murder mystery. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down.

The heroine is a country club wife, barely existing while under the thumbs of her philandering husband and manipulative mother. Only her art gives her hope. When she discovers the body of her husband's mistress she becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders. She decides she must solve the murders in order to prove her innocence.

At times I was annoyed with the h's pass
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrea by: Georgie-who-is-Sarah-Drew
Shelves: crime-thriller
This was just the right cozy mystery I needed! It was sweet, the heroine's biting sarcasm was hilarious, and the country club setting was just as scary as the actual murders. I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!
Mark Baker
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2019
Ellison Russell is devoted to her teenage daughter, Grace, and her art. She and her husband are still living together, but that is only because they have decided to wait to get divorced until Grace is out of the house. Part of Ellison’s routine is a swim at dawn in the country club’s pool. On this particular June morning in 1974, she swims into a dead body in the pool. Worse yet, when the police arrive and pull the body out of the pool, she recognizes the victim as Madeline Harper, her husband’s ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I was a teenager in an upper middle class household (New Jersey, not Kansas City) at the time this was set, and this is not the first time I'm going to say that an author has gotten "old money" wrong. From my experience the folks described seem more "new" money than "old", although I suppose writers can emphasize things for effect. Moreover, there aren't that many dowager dragons terrifying their offspring. I suspended disbelief, and moved on, while reading the story.

Not sure how old the author
I loved the cover art - that's the first thing that caught my eye about this mystery. The second was the rating. I was expecting a whole lot, I guess I was bound to be disappointed. It's not bad, but it's not exceptional either.

It's a book about a weak-willed woman from the country club set of 1970s Kansas City, Missouri who finds the body of her husband's mistress floating in the pool. She decides to figure out the mystery of who did it for some reasons she knows best, finds several more bodies
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ellison Russell puts up with a lot--a manipulative mother, a brazenly adulterous husband--to keep her life with her daughter on an even keel. It takes a murder to launch her onto the path of finding her own voice and coming into her own.

This book is flawless. From the attention-grabbing opening line to the provocative last sentence, the pace never let up. Not for a moment. With an economy of words, the author created a vivid setting and a taut emotional journey. I loved the complex relationship
Sarah Andre
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever judged a few chapters in a writing contest that are so exceptionally original, fast-paced and funny that the last page comes too way soon? The characters and tone stay with you long after you put it down? You comment to the author on the score sheet that you can't believe she isn't published yet, and how you wish you could have finished reading the rest of the story.

Julie Mulhern was the author of that work and many months later she emailed and asked me to be a beta reader the res
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an free advance copy of this book. I am surprised to see all of the 5 star reviews for this book. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it, but the high ratings may lead some people to be disappointed. The Deep End is a very light funny mystery set in the 1970's amongst the Kansas City upper crust. What makes this book worth reading are the narrator's acerbic but sef-deprecating observations of her family, friends and foes and also all the references ...more
An excellent first book in a series, I deducted a star only because I expected a cozy and this book was right on the line between cozy and non-cozy. Overall a wonderful book set in an atypical timeperiod for mysteries. Recommend!
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This has to be the most upper-middle class book I have ever read.
I mean, Agatha Christie often gets criticized because only upper-class characters are involved, and the servants and blue-collar people are largely ignored in her books, but this takes the cake.

Maybe it's the lack of social-awareness that we expect from contemporary authors, maybe it's just utter strangeness of characters' lives, but it's really, really hard to empathize with those country-club members. Sometimes I had the feeling
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Set in the 1970’s this book treads close to the cozy/non-cozy mystery line due to some very interesting interests of some of the characters. Since it tells you in the synopsis I am not giving anything away by telling you sex of the kinky variety takes place and could be the reason a certain woman ends up dead floating in a country club swimming pool. It was the swinging 70’s!

Ellison Russell is unhappily married but sticking it out for her child and for appearances. How things
Lynn Farris
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If Agatha Christie had decided to write something akin to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” she might have ended up with “The Deep End” by Julie Mulhern. This certainly isn’t your grandmother’s cozy mystery, and I loved it. This is a Cozy Mystery with an edge. Ms. Mulhern walked a fine line in this mystery with a tantalizing topic while still being acceptable to most cozy readers.

The book is set in 1974, but it felt modern day to me. As the story opens Ellison Russell, during her normal morning swim at th
Excellent murder mystery story, set in 1970s Kansas City's Country Club set: all hats, gloves and Bundt cakes. Plus sweet sweet bitchiness more deadly than the many lethal blunt instruments. A good sense of pace (my, those bodies just keep turning up) and an attractive heroine. The first in a series, so a little can be forgiven by way of setting up the background (which is done well); some hints of romance to come. I could have done with a little more on the MC and her art (which came out of now ...more
Shelly Alexander
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love a plot that keeps me guessing and surprises me. This one did just that. The heroine is strong and grows throughout the story to become everything I love in a lead character. The twists and turns offered new surprises that I didn't expect, which is one of my favorite things in a novel.

I highly recommend THE DEEP END.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has been on my "to-read" shelf for quite awhile. I came across the e-book and decided to dive in. I don't have many quiet chances to read, but whenever I did get the chance, I found the story pretty entertaining. Love the snarky main character, Ellison. Kinda reminds me of myself! 😜
Sally Berneathy
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Deep End is an awesome book! It held my interest from the first page to the end, and I can't wait to read the sequel. I'm more of a country girl than a country club girl, so I wasn't sure I'd like the heroine. But she is a real person with the same emotions, fears and needs as the rest of us. I was totally intrigued with the fascinating characters...some a little offbeat and quirky...and the plot which kept me guessing until the exciting ending. GOOD JOB, JULIE MULHERN! Keep writing and I'll ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this book on my list forever but kept passing it by. This was such a fun mystery! The characters were interesting and the storyline moves pretty quickly. I'm definitely going to check out the others in this series.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Julie Mulhern is a refreshing voice in mystery. In The Deep End, her first mystery, she takes readers back to the sexy, swinging seventies. Ellison Russell is part of the Kansas City country club scene, both by birth and through marriage. But no pedigree could prepare her to find a dead body floating in the pool during her morning swim. Especially the body of her husband's mistress.

Now a murder suspect, Ellison is quickly pulled into more than just a murder investigation. Her husband has gone mi
Saranna Dewylde
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. The protagonist has to be one of my favorites in a series. Ellison was someone who felt like my friend. I genuinely cared about her and what was happening to her. She made me laugh, she made me cry, she made me shake my fist... It took me forever to figure out who the villain was and that takes some work. In most mysteries by page ten I know exactly what the twist is going to be. This was a fabulous read by a magnificently talented author. I can't wait for more in the ...more
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story and when I learned it was her first mystery I was ecstatic. This means more books and I am so hoping this is a series. Extremely well written, drew me in right from the first sentence.

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I can't wait to read more by this author.
Annette Dashofy
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Funny and quirky and very much a page-turner. Even when I thought I'd guessed right, another twist proved me wrong. Please note: The Deep End is NOT a cozy and if sexual topics turn you off, you might want to skip this one. For everyone else, I highly recommend it!
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
2.5 stars

This book had a lot of potential to be a fun, entertaining domestic thriller in the vain of Big Little Lies but it was so repetitive and dragged on to the extent I struggled to get through it.

Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story isn't new and it takes place in the 1970's. However, I was captured from the beginning. Julie's skills put me into the story and kept me there until I was finished the book. A wealthy woman, her cheating husband, their daughter and the whole country club community become engaged in murders and mystery. The characters are complete, the relationships engaging and the mystery well-written. I will be reading this series.
Leslee Herling
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good light reading. Currently reading the sequel now!
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, net-galley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first in a new delightful and original creative story that I enjoyed very much. Ellison Russell is swimming when runs into body. After she recovers from the shock and calls the police she discovers the body is her husband's mistress. Her husband, Henry is missing and told no one where he was going. Ellison soon finds that her husband was into sadist sex. .Her home is vandalized and she was knocked unconscious. Cleaning up the room she finds that Henry was blackmailing all their friends inclu ...more
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Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures.

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

Other books in the series

The Country Club Murders (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Guaranteed to Bleed (The Country Club Murders #2)
  • Clouds in my Coffee (The Country Club Murders, #3)
  • Send in the Clowns (The Country Club Murders #4)
  • Watching the Detectives (The Country Club Murders #5)
  • Cold as Ice (The Country Club Murders #6)
  • Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders, #7)
  • Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders, #8)
  • Telephone Line (The Country Club Murders #9)
  • Stayin' Alive (Country Club Murder #10)
  • Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders #11)

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
51 likes · 14 comments
“(About a woman's funeral) Do you remember the part in The Wizard of Oz when the witch is dead and the Munchkins start singing? Think that kind of happiness. I swear every woman there was ready to break into song. Maybe a few of the men, too. (p. 80)” 5 likes
“None of this was part of the plan all the girls I'd grown up with had been given. Not a written plan, unless the book about Cinderella counted. The plan was in the water we drank, the air we breathed. It was poured into the pavement on the streets we called home. Marry a nice man, one who was a good provider, and live happily, or at least comfortably, ever after.

Safe to say I'd followed the plan. I'd married a banker. Had a baby. But the plan had failed me. It left me alone huddled in a window seat with every emotion I'd refused to let myself feel seeping through my pores until the air in my bedroom was heavy with sadness and angst and confusion. (p. 235)”
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