Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Ellison Walford Russell. I’m a mother, an artist, and a daughter. I’m also a wife but I don’t much like to talk about Henry. Ever. It’s better that way.
What is your role in the story?
I start each day with a swim. Early. I’ve swam fifty laps at the country club pool before most people crack their eyelids.
Unfortunately, one fateful morning, when I dove into the pool, I swam into a body. Madeline Harper. My husband’s mistress.
You might say my role in the story is prime suspect. Or, you might, if you’re feeling charitable, call me an amateur sleuth.
What is your favorite hobby?
Painting began as a hobby and became something more. I earn a very good living with my art. It’s also the way I can express my feelings. Slashes of paint on canvas are much less likely to land me in the pokie than slashes with a knife…
What is the challenge you’re trying to overcome during the story?
Looking in from the outside, you might think I lead a charmed life. My art sells well. My husband is a successful banker. My daughter is smart and funny and amazing. We live in a lovely home just a few blocks from where I grew up.
The view from the inside is different. I paint to maintain my sanity. My husband cheats. I worry about my daughter. And proximity to my childhood home means Mother is just a few minutes away. Mother thinks she knows best. All. The. Time. It’s exhausting.
If you could make one wish, what would it be?
One wish? One? I wish I was a better cook, with a book full of fabulous recipes to share. No such luck. I can barely make pancakes from a box.
I also wish I was a better role model for my daughter, Grace. I want her to be strong and independent and if I meddle in her life, I want her to have the courage to tell me to go to hell. I want to be like that. I’m working on it. One of these days…
Title: The Deep End
Author: Julie Mulhern
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Women’s Fiction
Swimming into the lifeless body of her husband’s mistress tends to ruin a woman’s day, but becoming a murder suspect can ruin her whole life.
It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.
As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?
Julie Mulhern 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. She is a 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist. The Deep End is her first mystery and is the winner of The Sheila Award.
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