Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern (Amazon Link)
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: With his dying breath, Bobby Lowell begs Ellison Russell, "Tell her I love her."
Unable to refuse, Ellison struggles to find the girl the murdered boy loved. Too bad an epically bad blind date, a vindictive graffiti artist, and multiple trips to the emergency room keep getting in the way.
Worse, a killer has Ellison in his sights, her newly-rebellious daughter missing, and there's yet another body in her hostas. Mother won't be pleased.
Now Ellison must track down not one but two runaway teenagers, keep her promise to Bobby and elude the killer - all before her next charity gala committee meeting.
Why I Picked This Book: I heard great things about the first book in this series so I was quick to grab the 2nd book of NetGalley.
My Impression: I've been on a roll of mediocre books or books that were just continuous depression. I had seen some positive reviews of this book and the first book looked great so I was hoping this would be the book to break my ho-hum streak. And it did not disappoint! Right away I was drawn into the book. From the beginning I liked Ellison and she's a character I really connected to easily.
Ellison is an interesting character to me because unlike what frequently happens in books she doesn't necessarily like brunching with her mother or dealing with the more society things she's supposed to do but she does them because she's supposed too. I also like that while her relationship with her mother wasn't all unicorns and rainbows it isn't all negative. There are times when her mother drives Ellison crazy but there are also times she really comes through for her. This just felt more realistic to me.
And while we're talking about realism the way Ellison got involved in the murder made sense too. The victim was someone that she knew and she felt like she was supposed to honor his dying request. Her goal isn't to solve the murder it's to find the girl Bobby was in love with. If she comes across something related to the murder she tells the police and the times she doesn't also make sense because it involves a child and she has no proof.
The 70s time period isn't over done. I didn't feel like certain expressions or slang were pulled out just as window dressing. Instead in showed up in subtle ways - like answering the phone and being surprised who was at the other end because there's no Caller ID or Ellison not being able to get in touch with Grace because she's not at home or a mention of Grace making a crazy amount of noise because she's wearing Dr. Scholls sandals on wood floors.
Overall, I found this to be a well done and incredibly entertaining mystery. I liked the characters, loved the author's writing style, and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I've heard her next book won't be the next in this series but I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you enjoy a good mystery this is a great read.