Monday, March 9, 2020

Stayin' Alive

Aggie entered the living room carrying a silver tray covered with rumaki and a shot glass filled with toothpicks.

She presented the tray to Aunt Sis who waved her away, then Gordon who helped himself. “I’ll take two.”

Aggie turned to Jerry, and the first inklings of a problem reached my ears. Claws on hardwood, advancing at a rapid (where’s the bacon?) rate.

Pansy burst into the living room and effortlessly launched herself over Gordon and Sis’s couch, a blonde streak with a singular focus.

She cleared the sofa and slammed into Aggie.

Aggie fell forward. To her knees. With her head half-buried in Jerry’s lap.

The tray flipped, covering both Aggie and Jerry in bits of bacon-wrapped water chestnut.

Pansy used Aggie’s back as a launch pad, and joined Jerry on the chair, hindering Aggie’s attempts to remove herself from between Jerry’s splayed legs.

“Pansy! Stop! Sit! Naughty dog!”

Pansy ignored me.

As for Max, he stood in the doorway. His doggy eyes wide with we’re-in-serious-trouble.

Pansy danced on Jerry’s lap and snapped up bacon as if she’d never get another chance.

“Get off!” Jerry, now a desperate soprano, shoved the at-least-sixty-five-pound dog.

Aggie thumped onto her hiney.

Pansy fell too, but she landed on her feet and noticed Aggie’s bread bowl on the coffee table. Not bacon but toothsome. She grabbed it in her teeth.

“No!” I wailed.

She swung her head my way, and the dill dip flew in a perfect white arc.

Dip splattered Gordon, Aunt Sis, and the needed-to-be-recovered-anyway couch. Jackson Pollock with a fully loaded paintbrush couldn’t have covered them more completely.

“Ellison!” Aunt Sis sounded remarkably like Mother. Get-that-damned-dog-under-control-this-instant like Mother.

Swallowing a hysterical giggle, I waded into the fray, grabbed Pansy’s collar, and pulled her away from my guests. “Bad dog!”

Pansy ignored my scolding and swallowed the empty bread bowl. Whole.

I don't know about you, but lately, I need a laugh. Perhaps that's why Stayin' Alive is my funniest book to date.

Ellison's latest mystery released on February 25th.

Springtime. Love is in the air. So is murder.

When Ellison Russell, reluctant finder of bodies, chairs a gala in conjunction with the museum’s Chinese funerary exhibit, she expects disaster. So, she’s not remotely surprised when a body turns up.

Ellison is willing to leave the investigation to the police till an attempt is made on her life.

Now she’s juggling evading a killer, her aunt’s overly-amorous beau, her dog’s new love interest, and Mother’s displeasure.

With bodies piling up, if Ellison’s not careful, staying alive might be impossible.

Barnes & Noble

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures.

She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean--and she's got an active imagination. Truth is--she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.