Last Updated 3 months ago.The ’70s were full of dead bodies, at least for Ellison Russell, the protagonist of The Country Club Murders series.
What is The Country Club Murders series about?
Written by Kansas City native Julie Mulhern, The Country Club Murders is a series of humorous mysteries set in the 1970s.
Kansas City, Mo., socialite Ellison Russell—and a member of the country club—is at the center of the series. In 1974, her husband’s mistress is found dead and Ellison became a murder suspect. After proving her innocence, she seems to always end up finding new bodies, so she keeps doing her amateur sleuth while dealing with Mother, of course!
The Country Club Murders Books in Order:
- The Deep End – 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 Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.
- Guaranteed to Bleed – With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, “Tell her I love her.” Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way. Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly rebellious daughter is missing, and there’s yet another body in her hostas.
- Clouds in My Coffee – When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors’ party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she’s shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again?
- Send in the Clowns – Haunted houses are scary enough without knife-wielding clowns. Especially murderous knife-wielding clowns. So thinks Ellison Russell, single mother, artist, and reluctant sleuth. Now death wears a red nose and Ellison is up to the blood-stained collar of her new trench coat in costumes, caffeine, and possible killers.
- Watching the Detectives – 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?
- Cold as Ice – Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble. When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet.
- Diamond Girl (short story) – For Aggie DeLucci, former assistant private investigator and current housekeeper extraordinaire, 1975 is turning out to be a banner year. There’s a new man her life, Mac. When Mac is accused of theft, it’s up to Aggie to clear his name.
- Shadow Dancing – Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again. Drat. Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room. How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly?
- Back Stabbers – 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?
- Telephone Line – Ellison Russell is planning the event of the season–and she’s stressed. Why not yoga? Because the yoga instructor gets murdered during class. Now, in addition to raising a ridiculous amount of money, she’s babysitting a deranged cat, taking ten million phone calls, and finding more bodies. There’s no such thing as balance when the killer makes it personal.
- Stayin’ Alive – When Ellison Russell, reluctant finder of bodies, chairs a gala in conjunction with the museum’s Chinese funerary exhibit, she expects disaster. So, she’s not remotely surprised when a body turns up. Ellison is willing to leave the investigation to the police till an attempt is made on her life. Now she’s juggling evading a killer, her aunt’s overly-amorous beau, her dog’s new love interest, and Mother’s displeasure.
- Killer Queen – Another day, another dead woman in Ellison Russell’s study. Only this one claimed to be Mrs. Anarchy Jones. As Ellison juggles mothers, daughter, unhappy wives, and near-miss murder attempts, one thing is clear—someone will go to any lengths to hide the truth. Can Ellison and Anarchy catch a killer before the body count rises? Or will Ellison be the next corpse in the study?
- Night Moves – Spring is in the air, and Ellison Russell has places to go, people to see, bodies to find. Strike that. For once, Ellison doesn’t discover the body. When Detective Anarchy Jones investigates a friend’s husband’s murder, Ellison can’t help but get involved. Now she’s waist-deep in toxic gossip, struggling with the soaring heights and nocuous lows of her teenager’s mood swings, fending off the advances of her first love, planning a wedding, and (of course) tripping over fresh corpses.