Clouds in my Coffee by Julie Mulhern – Excerpt + Giveaway @JulieKMulhern

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Clouds coverClouds in my Coffee by Julie Mulhern
The Country Club Murders #3

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?

Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee…

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries, historical mysteries.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:
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A sneak peek at Clouds in my Coffee

“A buffet?” In that instant, Aunt Sis sounded exactly like Mother. With two words she conveyed disapproval, superiority, and a willingness to take the whole operation in hand, thereby improving it drastically.

She swallowed the last sip of Sazerac then stood with a sigh. If the buffet was a cross to bear, she would bear it.

That sip of Sazerac had cost us. Already the line snaked through the tables. Eager patrons queued up for salad, various vegetables, rice pilaf, a chaffing dish filled with chicken breasts swimming a white wine and butter sauce, an enormous basket of what looked like fried bread, and, at the end of the table, hand-carved roast beef.

The man with the carving knife had eyes that looked too big for his lean face, a mustache that drooped around the edges of his mouth, and a chef’s hat that looked as if it should be a flak helmet. No way would I have ever given him a nine-inch carving knife. Still, he cut through the meat with an economy of movement that suggested long practice. That or an intimate relationship with knives.

The tall woman in front of us waxed lyrical about the apple fritters. She pointed to an enormous basket of fried bread then said to her friend, “Get three or four. Maybe five. If you don’t eat them, I will.”
The friend, a tiny woman playing Jeff to the tall woman’s Mutt, nodded.

Mutt skipped the salad and the green goddess dressing, leaving plenty of room on her plate for fritters.

We took a few steps forward and Aunt Sis and I picked up dinner plates.

In front of us, Mutt and Jeff helped themselves to green beans and rice pilaf. Then Mutt took up the tongs for the fritters. One. Two. Three.

Aunt Sis watched her.

Four. Five. Six.

“How many can one woman eat?” Aunt Sis whispered.

Mutt must have heard her—she glared at us then thrust the tongs deep into the pile of fritters.
A mouse leapt from the basket seemingly aiming for Mutt’s face.

Jeff screamed and threw her plate high in the air.

Mutt bellowed, “For the love of Mike!”

I squealed.

Aunt Sis, in a maneuver worthy of a gymnast forty years her junior, jumped off the stage and landed atop a table.

The mouse hit the floor and ran.

Who could blame the little creature? Especially when the man with the carving knife gave chase.

Those who hadn’t seen the mouse screamed now. After all, there was a lunatic with a huge knife running around the stage shouting, “I’ll get you, you little son of a bitch.”

The steps bottlenecked and a few people followed Aunt Sis’s lead and leapt off the stage. Sadly, they didn’t land nimbly on tables. They brought tables crashing down in a symphony of breaking glass and falling cutlery.

Those not on stage rushed to the back of the theatre, pushing through the doors and crowding into the lobby.

Mutt pushed Jeff toward the stairs.

The mouse, seemingly tired of running around in circles, ran past the footlights and launched himself into the seats.

The man with the carving knife followed.

Louder screams ensued. As did the crash of more tables.

The stage had become the safest place to be. I stayed where I was.

A man, perhaps a manager, bellowed, “Vic, stop!”

If Vic was the man with the knife, he either didn’t hear or chose not to listen. He held his knife poised, ready to chop the poor mouse to bits, or, at the very least, cut off its tail with a carving knife.

Aunt Sis still sat on a table, her foot in a butter dish, her gaze fixed on the man with the knife as if she’d never seen such a sight in her life.

About the Author

julieJulie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders.

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 calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Author Links:
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13 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Am loving this series!! I am almost finished with book 2. I was reading on my phone last night while listening to music at the club we were at.

  2. This is a new series to me, it is definitely on my TBR list. Like the country club setting and gala planning storyline. Looking forward to reading.

  3. Your books were recommended to me by a friend, Jeanie Jackson, so I know they will be wonderful!

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