Dark & Not So Cozy: GUARANTEED TO BLEED (Country Club Murders)

Guaranteed to Bleed

guaranteed_to-bleed coverBook 2 in the Country Club Murders series
By Julie Mulhern
Narrated by Callie Beaulieu
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Sep 21, 2016
Running time 9 hrs 12 min

I voluntarily reviewed a review copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

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. Mother won’t be pleased.

Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby, and elude the killer—all before her next charity gala committee meeting. https://tantor.com/guaranteed-to-bleed-julie-mulhern.html

Square Blue My TakeThis was a good listen with the perfect narrator.  Her voice was pleasant, age appropriate and cultured.  The book takes place in the 1970s and the author threw me right back to my teens.  From corded phones to women’s behaviors the story was spot on. I loved the country club atmosphere too — in this book it is a sophisticated blind for people hoping to ferret out information, play with the lives of  others, or just watch the panorama of family drama play out.  Speaking of drama, this book is a good reminder of how very much society has changed in a short time.

Mulhern also handles the relationship between a mother and a fairly independent and bright teen-aged daughter. The change from a child to a rebel, and back, was adroitly handled and again took me back in time.

I don’t know much about the area in which the book takes place, but I think it is almost a story that could happen anywhere with a good sized, self-contained, upper class community.

I believe I would have had better insight if I had read or listened to the first book in the series.  There are some references to relationships from that book that would have been clearer.

The story itself is dark; I would not call it a cozy mystery with the young man dying in Ellison’s arms, and some of the darker events occurring throughout the book. It’s not horror but it’s not all tea and cupcakes either.  If there were tea there would have to be a slug of booze in it and the cupcakes could be poisoned.

I knew immediately who the killer was and who the murdered boy’s love was. I also knew early what was going on. BUT, there was a second, or maybe a third, mystery as well and that one surprised me.

If you like a darker shade of  not so cozy mystery this could be the book for you.

 

Links Blue Horizontal

AUTHOR ON GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8573907.Julie_Mulhern

PUBLISHER: https://tantor.com/guaranteed-to-bleed-julie-mulhern.html

AUDIBLE: http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Guaranteed-to-Bleed-Audiobook/B01LTDDM9M?source_code=TANP0005WS071408

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Guaranteed-Bleed-Country-Club-Murders/dp/1943390053