"Killing Me Softly" By Julie Mulhern: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

When Ellison Walford Jones’s mother Frances questions her daughter’s sanity, it could be for a wide variety of reasons. Not only did Ellison divorce an appropriate” but philandering husband, she has since married a (gasp) public servant homicide detective and been unable to stop herself from becoming involved in multiple murder investigations. Ellison’s latest act of disappointment has been to pursue adopting 12-year-old Beau, the adorable boy who was collateral damage from one of Anarchy Jones’s most recent cases. Frances Walford is on the board of directors for their hospital and easily distractible by their society’s latest rumor mill though, which involves a prominent doctor whose patients seem to be departing prematurely. This wouldn’t be as much of a concern for Ellison if her best friend Libba Bray wasn’t dating said doctor, especially since for once Libba may actually have real feelings for Dr. Charlie Ardmore.

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When another of Charlie’s patients dies and suspicion over his practice grows, Libba comes to Ellison in a panic. Staying uninvolved is impossible when Ellison’s own father collapses, which results in bringing together her dysfunctional family. While Ellison’s sister is a carbon copy of their judgmental mother, their newly discovered half-sister Karma proves to be far more supportive while staying with Ellison’s unconventional – for 1975’s elite town in Kansas City, anyway – family. Frances doesn’t hesitate to begin attempting to fix Karma up with any and all eligible bachelors, many of whom are the rival doctors who may have an interest in seeing Charlie’s downfall. So Ellison will have her hands full attempting to protect both Libba’s and Karma’s hearts while questioning grieving widows, misogynistic doctors, and avoiding Charlie’s vengeful ex.

This 17th in the series proves to be as dryly funny and observant of societal norms as the first, but what has changed so much has been the growth and strengthening of Ellison’s will. While her mother has only slightly softened her barbed edges, Ellison is able to withstand the expected sniped remarks with her own witty responses and protective humor. Anarchy has played a great role in helping her to gain a sense of independence, but so has Ellison’s delightfully too-wise-for-her-age teenaged daughter Grace. High society in the 70s vividly comes alive in this series as it depicts their hypocrisy and shallowness, highlighted by Ellison’s wry reactions. Readers are able to spend more time here with Ellison and her family, and Karma and Beau prove to be refreshing contrasts to the more frustrating relatives in her life. Full of humor, wit, and a compelling plot, this latest in the Country Club mystery series entertains with clever writing and engaging characters.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Killing Me Softly, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "softly,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 17, 2024. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can click here to purchase this book.

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. I love Ellison especially since I grew up with a telephone on the wall and a lot of other things Ellison enjoys (or not)! Paulette.beal2015@gmail.com

  2. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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