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?
The context is the high society country club set where appearance is everything and in the 1970s divorce is not considered acceptable and neither is a wife earning more money than her husband. Ellison's art and Grace are the plusses in her life - only her hobby is making more money than her husband. That and his interest in kinky sex spell doom for the marriage. Ellison is biding her time until Grace finishes high school to end her marriage. Her mother is domineering and Ellison's never stood up to her, until she becomes a suspect in the murder of her husband's latest mistress. She gains more strength in self-preservation as the body count rises.
Ellison stands up for herself and makes the decision for divorce. When her mother accepts that decision, it is time to match her up with the perfect man, attorney Hunter Platt. Hunter jumps right in, a bit bossy to say the least. In the meantime, Detective Jones is doing his best to get Ellison to tell her what she knows. The country club set have a lot of secrets but are also quick to speculate, stare, and may be a bit afraid of what Ellison knows.
This is the first in the Country Club Murders. I look forward to reading GUARANTEED TO BLEED and CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE to see more of Ellison - a 70s woman coming into her own. I'm hoping to see more of Detective Jones as well!