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Telephone Line–mystery set in the 70’s

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Telephone Line

by Julie Mulhern

Telephone LineIf asked to recommend only one cozy mystery series to be read in its entirety, I would select The Country Club Murders. It (like Ellison’s beloved Mr. Coffee machine) never lets me down. Telephone Line has characters you can care about. The main character, Ellison, really doesn’t want to live up to her reputation and find yet another dead body. Her interactions with her mother, a country club matriarch known as a force to be reckoned with if crossed, play out with great humor. The setting is Kansas City’s upper crust in the 70’s. It’s hard to believe the etiquette-following country club set can be involved in such shenanigans, but crime knows no boundaries. Ellison is aided by her kaftan wearing housekeeper with an investigative background, her boyfriend Detective Anarchy Jones, and her former boyfriend Taft, a lawyer.

With several murders upsetting the city, Ellison has to work hard to stay alive and take care of those she loves. Her dead husband’s blackmailing schemes give her some insider knowledge, but will she be forced to reveal information to Anarchy that will embarrass her family and cause her to  relive past traumas?

Although Telephone Line is a great mystery with a surprise ending and lots of humor, it contains a serious side. It deals with rape and the inability of the justice system to adequately support the victim.

I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:  5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #9 in The Country Club Murders series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Publication:   June 18, 2019—Henery Press

Memorable Lines:

“Mother—“ maybe I could reason with her (and maybe Gloria Steinem and Hugh Hefner would run away together) “—this is ridiculous.”

“It can’t be Mother.” Mother only called early when things were dire—when she’d heard I’d found a body or when someone with newly acquired wealth was put up for membership at the club.

“Painting centers me. Does that sound too woo-woo?”

“I’m from San Francisco. There’s nothing you could say that would sound too woo-woo.”


  1. carhicks says:

    This is an awesome recommendation for the Country Club Murders series. I also love this series and agree, that it is one I definitely recommend. The characters and their interactions make this one a cut above. Your quotes are perfect for this book. Ellison and her mom never fail to make me smile or even laugh out loud. Great review Linda.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with you this series is one to read. I remember when Mr Coffee was release and the became one the of the most desire essential. Good review.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve heard lots of great things about this series — thank you for sharing! Sounds good.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cozynookbks says:

    Thank you for recommending this series. I’ve seen these books around, and may even have one 🤔, but I’ll look more closely at them since you’ve enjoyed them so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lghiggins says:

      I feel I should warn you that the dead former husband of Ellison was into some kinky extramarital sex and his past occasionally plays into the plot in some of the books. As you know, the consequences of sin ripple out to affect the innocent in a family as well as the perpetrator. Ellison works hard to hide his past so it does not hurt her daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

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