“Shadow Dancing” By Julie Mulhern: Revivew/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review & links to purchase it.

At the start of 1975, Ellison Russell has one resolution; No more bodies. It’s been a rough year for this single mother, having discovered a cheating husband, dead mistress, and a multitude of corpses. The one positive outcome has been meeting Detective Anarchy Jones, but his frustration at Ellison’s well-intentioned throwing herself into danger ended their relationship before it truly began. Ellison thinks that she may be in fact escaping her morbid destiny – and the dire predictions of a Medium – when her car hits a young girl who lives to run away, and it is Ellison’s mother who has a dead person in her closet. To be more accurate, Mother has someone’s cremains in her linen closet, and she insists that Ellison determine the who and why without telling her father.

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While the scandalous death of her husband pushed Ellison to the outskirts of Kansas City’s high society, she is unenthusiastically chairing The Nelson-Atkins Museum gala featuring a touring Chinese exhibit. The women on the committees have the classy appearances of indulgent lifestyles, but no one better than Ellison knows just how false the veneers can be. Fragile marriages, bankruptcy, exploitation, drugs, and ruthless greed all hide under the surface of this well-dressed, pretentious culture, and it is Ellison who is willing to break through the façade and risk destroying the image of perfection that has been created.

mystery book cover
Image Source Henery Press

This has unexpectedly become one of my favorite mystery series and always the first on my To Be Read List. I would never have thought an upper-class, single mother living in the 70s would be so relatable, likable, and fun. Ellison has finally grown the confidence to stand up against her mother’s dictates on how to run her life, and with that achievement finds the courage to stand tall against her neighbors and stand up for her rights against the police. Able to roll her eyes at her teenaged daughter while providing unwavering love and support, Ellison is a mother we all would want to be and wish we had. Her clever wit, sharp comebacks, and wry asides make the novel a delight, but the laugh-out-loud moments never undercut the tragedies of the crimes and secrets she uncovers. Having followed her adventures through six prior novels, seeing her struggle, grow, and achieve happiness is a genuinely rewarding experience. New readers as well will find so much to enjoy in this hilarious and thoughtful novel, and will be rooting for Ellison to find happiness and success in the family she loves and protects.

Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.

To enter to win a copy of Shadow Dancing, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "shadow,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 25, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds so good and the cover is just so cute. I would love to read and review ! ptclayton2@aol.com

  2. I've only read the first book in this series, but I enjoyed it. I'd love to receive Shadow Dancing. Hope I do.

  3. I really enjoy this series!!! Have not read this installment yet!!

  4. I really enjoyed the synopsis of "Shadow Dancing". Looking forward to reading.


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