Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: Send in the Clowns by Julie Mulhern

Going to a haunted house venue isn't exactly Ellison Russell's idea of fun, Still, she is drawn there when her daughter doesn't come home on time. And being in the 1970s, neither had a cell phone.

It's even less her idea of fun when a clown stumbles forward and dies on her, literally. Who killed Brooks Harney? And why? Will she find  out before she becomes the next victim of the killer clown?

This is book 4 in The Country Club Murders series. It's the first one that I've read, though. Early on in the book, Ellison is found musing, "I'm not sure what it says about me that I have a homicide detective's home number memorized..." My guess would be that she has found bodies before and that this will probably not be the last one she finds as well.

Ellison has a good sense of humor that is evident in her thoughts and conversations with other characters in the mystery. She feels that Mr. Coffee and her father are the only two men who haven't let her down. And still, she finds herself in a little bit of a love triangle. At one point her date is hauled off for questioning in the case by the Detective Anarchy Jones. Both men would like to see her stay out of the mess, but she keeps getting drawn back in.

Romance is more of a subplot to the murder. Ellison's best friend is also dating someone new. And there is a further subplot of someone stealing and selling antiques.

It might sound like there is a lot going on. Honestly, though, it's really the right amount. The author pulls it all together seamlessly. I really enjoyed the book and all of its parts. I especially enjoyed Ellison's sense of humor and independence.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. The mystery is well written and well paced. You can guess along with the rest of them who did it before the revealing. There is just the right amount of romance and subplot. And Ellison has a good relationship with her daughter that reminds me a little of the relationship Claire Malloy has with her daughter in the Joan Hess books. This novel can be read and enjoyed as a standalone, even though it is the fourth book in the series. I did go out and buy the first book when I finished this one. Send in the Clowns became available October 25, 2016 from Henery Press.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.