Sunday, July 17, 2016
Julie Mulhern, CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE
This is the first I've read by Julie Mulhern, and this mystery is different in tone than any I've ever read--and I'm trying to figure out exactly why. It's a quick-read cozy, with an almost-40, professional painter protagonist named Ellison; there are seemingly multiple attempts on her life that are outright violent--a bullet, a firebomb, a car accident, a poisoning--yet throughout the entire book, I found myself smiling at Ellison's wry one-liners. There is at once a lightness about the book and an intense pain--which to me came less from the attempted murders than from the characters in this fairly dysfunctional family--characters who are petty and selfish and self-sabotaging and full of secrets and yet still care about one another. The protagonist makes allusions several times to her first husband (dead) ... I'll be interested to read that one!