SHADOW DANCING: Prophecy and a Good Mother

Shadow Dancing

Shadow DancingBook 7 in the Country Club Murders series
Author Julie Mulhern
Narrated by Callie Beaulieu
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Sep 4, 2018
Running time 8 hrs

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.


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?

Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own.


My Take Oblong Shaped

I have missed many books in this series but it has totally captured my attention.  I enjoy the mysteries, and Ellison is so well-mannered, so capable, so kind and thoughtful, that it is hard to imagine how she gets involved in these criminal events where she seems to find bodies all over the place.  In this case, the body in question brings up high emotions for Ellison, and she misses the man she was falling for but they are “on a break.” 

Ellison is a good woman, devoted  mother, a successful artist, and part of high society in 1970s Kansas City. She has an unholy relationship with her beloved Mr. Coffee machine. But for seven books now she seems to find bodies. dead bodies. This is anathema to Ellison’s mother who reminds me of the elder Mrs. Stevens, Darrin’s mother, in the 1960s and 70s TV Show Bewitched. That Ellison hasn’t strangled her by now is a testament to how good a person she is.

What I really love in this series is  how well the period of time, in particular how women’s issues, and the barriers of station are portrayed.  People “like her,” do not have anything to do with people like the young woman she meets in the first few pages.  But, it is comical how America adopted the concept of class based on money.  The relationship of status and women’s liberation is subtly presented.

And, I love the way women’s issues are coming to life naturally as Ellison feels her independence as a widow and she is naturally becoming a feminist. I began my working life in the late 1970s and it is an eerie feeling to identify with a contemporary book about a period in which I lived and which changes I experienced.   You’ll love the way her fund raising and successful painting career are presented.

I find the stories suspenseful, entertaining and well written.  Callie Beaulieu does a great job with a delicate hand on the change in voices. I am reading the stories out of order  and I am enjoying them hugely, but I believe I would have a better experience if I read them in order.

And, I can almost perfectly see Ellison and “a certain handsome detective” in the sweet romance that is developing between them.  I also love the discussion of designer clothes in the book.

I will have a post on the next story later this week.

I reviewed book 2 in the series in December, 2016:


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