Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Guaranteed to Bleed - Review

Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern (Amazon Link)
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: NetGalley

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.

Genre: Mystery

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.


  1. I saw Greg read and loved it too - it's also good that it takes place in the 70's :) Great review Katherine !

  2. So glad you were not disappointed again! This series sounds so appealing.

    1. Just noticed the first book is only $2.99 on kindle. I may have done a little shopping already this morning...

  3. I keep hearing great things about this series and this book. I love the little bits of realism you pointed out; those are important. I need to try these books. I'm glad you liked the story.

  4. I liked this one too. It was good to revisit Ellison and I agree about the 70's references- not overdone. I liked the country club references. There was a good country club scene in the first book too- I'll bet those are fun to write. :)

    I think there's a third book, saw it on Facebook or somewhere, due next year maybe?

  5. Ha-- the 70's, great! I was in high school then. I had Dr. Scholl's (ouch!) and of course no caller-ID, cells phones, etc.
    I wasn't going to pick it up because I thought it would be about a snobby country club member, but she sounds pretty down to earth. Thanks for a good review.

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Katherine. I thought it was good, too. Great review.

  7. I seen this on Greg's blog and he liked it too, so I must pick it up. :)

  8. What I like about your description of this book is that it sounds like a realistic cozy mystery rather than the wacky/eccentric type. The latter can be fun, but I get tired of them quickly, whereas a series with more realistic, believable characters will hold my attention for longer. I will have to keep my eye out for these!

  9. I debated whether or not to read your review now because I'm in the middle of reading this one. But, you didn't give any spoilers..thank you :) I enjoyed the first book and I am enjoying this one too. I love the 70's era and I noticed that about not having caller ID. The olden days :) Great review, btw.

  10. Great that you found a book that finally engaged you from the beginning. Love how you mention how the author integrated the '70's into the novel. Technology has so developed.

  11. I am glad this worked out for you. I like that her reason for becoming involved was realistic. Great review

  12. Love how realistic it sounds and I like that setting too (especially as she has her reservations about being part of the club! :)

  13. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Katherine. I haven't read this series before, but it does sound like a good one. I like that the book is more on the realistic side in terms of the relationships and her involvement in the crime.