Hospitals are terrible places. Especially if you have a concussion. Someone comes and pokes and prods and shines a light in your eyes every two hours all night long. Sleep is as fractured as a broken mirror. When you finally wake up in a room the color of under-cooked oatmeal, you feel raw and gritty as if you never closed your eyes at all.
I wanted to snap at the nurse who asked how ‘we’ were feeling. Wanted to say I didn’t know about her but I felt like shit and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of her hospital. Instead, I went the polite route and asked for a cup of coffee.
She consulted her chart. “It doesn’t say anything about limitations. I’ll have to ask the doctor.”
About coffee? “Please. I’m quite sure a cup of coffee would make me feel much better.”
“Dr. Simmons saw you at 6:30 this morning.”
I knew that. I was there when he woke me up.
“He’s in clinic now. When’s he’s done, I’ll ask him if you can have some.”
I had to get out there. Immediately. “How long will that be?”
Her smile was fiendish. “An hour or two.”
An hour? Or two? That was just cruel, especially since I lacked the energy to argue with her. If the blonde woman – I squinted to read her nametag – Nurse Sally decided on a career change, I could introduce her to a dominatrix who’d truly appreciate her ability to torture.
The door behind her opened and Mother breezed in, resplendent in a black Chanel suit, Ferragamo pumps and the Hermés bag we bought to replace the one Max ate. The most attractive part of her ensemble was the Styrofoam cup with the plastic lid. She glided across the room and put in my grateful hands.
“We’re not sure Mrs. Russell can have coffee,” Nurse Sally objected.
Mother raised a brow. “We? I’m quite sure my daughter can have all the coffee she wants.”
I loosened the lid and took a sip. Hot and delicious with just the right amount of cream. I sighed. “Thank you, Mother.” Sometimes Frances Walford was rather fabulous.
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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