REVIEW: CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE, BY JULIE MULHERN

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Autumn in Kansas City, Missouri, is the time for auctions, galas, and get-togethers. Ellison Russell’s home is overflowing with house guests, from her Aunt Sis to her sister Marjorie.

Marjorie seems to have left her husband Greg, and in her attempt to feel better about the situation, is conducting herself in a very flirtatious manner, while showing a lot of cleavage.

Aunt Sis is hiding something, and hints of a big secret come out when Frances, mother to Marjorie and Ellison, makes some remarks.

The first of many attempts on the unknown target’s life begins at the auction when a bust falls over the rail and almost strikes Ellison. But nobody is sure she was the intended victim. However, when someone firebombs her house later, it is beginning to look like she is.

At the gala, place cards have been switched around for various reasons, so nobody is sure who was supposed to be sitting in the seat Ellison has taken…and even stranger is the fact that Hammie Walsh, who just happened to grab Ellison’s “water” glass, dies from some kind of poisoning.

Anarchy Jones is front and center in the investigation, and as more deadly episodes occur, the mystery ratchets up. Secrets are revealed, and strange alliances form. Clouds in My Coffee was an engaging book that drew me into the world of the 1970s and to the connections between the characters.

As always, I loved watching the attraction grow between Anarchy and Ellison. I also liked seeing the sisters argue and one-up each other. First, the older generation of sisters: Frances and Cecelia (Sis); and then Marjorie and Ellison.

I didn’t figure out who was the target and who the perpetrator until the end, so I was pleased with how the story unfolded. A definite 5 star read.

CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS: “THE SUMMER GIRLS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

It’s time to share!  Today’s featured book is The Summer Girls, by Mary Alice Monroe, Book I of a trilogy.

 

 

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Intro:  (Sea Breeze, Sullivan’s Island, SC)

April 5, 2012

My darling granddaughters—Dora, Carson, and Harper,

Greetings, my precious girls!  On May 26 I celebrate my eightieth birthday—can you believe I’m so ancient?  Will you come home to Sea Breeze and your old mamaw and help me celebrate?  We will do it proper with a lowcountry boil, Lucille’s biscuits, and most of all, each other.

My dears, like an overripe peach, I’m past my prime.  My mind remains sharp and my health is good, considering.  Yet, with an eye to the future, I’ve decided to move to a retirement community, and it’s time to sort through all that I’ve managed to clutter my house with all these years.

(I love stories about decluttering, as there is usually some hidden treasure somewhere).

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Teaser:  (Carson) Never, not even as a little girl, had she hesitated to leap into the salt water, as eager as any other creature of the sea that had been on land too long.  The ocean, the Atlantic especially, was her motherland. (p. 49).

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Blurb:  From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, the heartwarming first installment in the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, a poignant series following three half-sisters and their grandmother.

Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.

In this enchanting trilogy set on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe captures the complex relationships between Dora, Carson, and Harper, three half-sisters scattered across the country—and a grandmother determined to help them rediscover their family bonds.

For years, Carson Muir has drifted, never really settling, certain only that a life without the ocean is a life half lived. Adrift and penniless in California, Carson is the first to return to Sea Breeze, wondering where things went wrong…until the sea she loves brings her a minor miracle. Her astonishing bond with a dolphin helps Carson renew her relationships with her sisters and face the haunting memories of her ill-fated father. As the rhythms of the island open her heart, Carson begins to imagine the next steps toward her future.

In this heartwarming novel, three sisters discover the true treasures Sea Breeze offers as surprising truths are revealed, mistakes forgiven, and precious connections made that will endure long beyond one summer.

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Would you keep reading?  I know I am already hooked.

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