Blimey, That’s a Lot of Research — Welcome Back Julie Mulhern

Carhicks is the winner of Julie’s book. Watch for an email from her!

I’m such a big fan of Julie Mulhern’s books — both her Country Club mystery series and her Poppy Fields Adventures series. Julie’s back to talk about her latest book Field’s Guide to Fog! Julie is going to give away a signed paper copy (US only) or ebooks of book two (Field’s Guide to Assassins)  and three (Field’s Guide to Voodoo) to one lucky person who leaves a comment. The Kindle version of the first book in the series, Field’s Guide to Abduction, is free right now.

I have two daughters in college. There are many wonderful things about that. I get to see them blossom as young women, hear their excitement when they call about a paper or test they aced, and put my mom-hat on as the oldest struggles with what comes next. But two tuitions mean my husband and I haven’t taken any big trips lately.

What better time in my life to write the Poppy Fields series about a woman who travels the world?

If you’ve not met Poppy, she’s a Hollywood IT girl who’s recruited by a secret government agency. Poppy and her killer Chihuahua, Consuela, find trouble. Here. There. Everywhere.

Poppy travels have taken her to resorts, my favorite cities, and most recently to a city I don’t know well. London.

I read an article about the most expensive apartments in the world ($11,000 a square foot) and decided Poppy would stay there. With One Hyde Park as Poppy’s home base, I needed a map. I bought myself a whole book of them from Knopf.

The Knopf guide was invaluable, but at the end of the day, I needed more. I ventured into the time-suck that is YouTube where I discovered Joolz Guides (  I followed an amusing man in a bowler hat through Knightsbridge. I watched shoppers walk through Harrods. I entered famous pubs and took note of the décor. I learned the difference between London and the City of London.

In my research, I heard multiple references to cheeky Nandos and spent an afternoon learning more. For the record, cheeky Nandos is an impromptu visit to Nando’s for spicy grilled chicken. (They have Nando’s in Chicago, but the US version isn’t cheeky.)

My goal wasn’t just to write a humorous action-suspense novel, my goal was to take the reader to London with me. Almost as if we’d taken that vacation I can’t afford—together.

With maps, and YouTube videos, and cheeky Nandos notes, I wrote a story filled with action, adventure, the challenges of driving on the left side of the road, and the challenges posed by those we love.

I had a marvelous time on my almost-vacation. A good thing, since my girls are still in school, and Poppy is off to Egypt next.

Readers: Where have you visited without leaving your home?


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.

Action, adventure, mystery, and humor are the things Julie loves when she’s reading. She loves them even more when she’s writing!






41 Thoughts

  1. You are a creative researcher! Welcome to the blog, Julie. I’ve never heard of Juulz guides – must check them out. Best of luck with the new book!

  2. This sounds like a series I need to start. I love the Country Club Murder series. I have a friend who just visited Italy. Her pictures and descriptions were amazing and then I read a book that took place in Tuscany. Between the wonderful descriptions in the book, her pictures and descriptions, I felt like I was there. I do want to visit someday though.

    1. There’s a wonderful memoir, made into a movie with Diane Lane, about Tuscany. If you haven’t read Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, you should!

  3. I love Poppy. I think the most recent place I “visited” without leaving home was Paris via the latest Hugo Marston book. So descriptive.

    I look forward to visiting London with Poppy!

  4. I’m very content for my journeys, real and imaginary, to be within the borders of the United States. There is so much to learn and explore about our great nation. Some I have thought about and dreamed out for years but they haven’t came to life yet. One would be a trip to Alaska. I’ve heard so much about it from my parents who lived there when my Dad was stationed there during his 29 years of service in the Army. In fact, I was conceived there. However, due to Mom being RH- and medical information wasn’t as advanced as it is now, they were shipped back stateside for my birth. Another would be Hawaii which fascinates me with their active volcano and beautiful countryside. I’d explored lots of possibilities, adventures and country details both through books and watching many television documentaries.

    However, I think most of my imaginary visits occur while exploring for vacation. For a trip to go smoothly allowing for the most fun, it must be researched and planned out, sometimes months in advance. Since we travel with our furbaby, the advance and research part take on even a more detailed search. So in a sense, I feel like I have traveled to those places in every way other than putting my feet on the soil there prior to our arrival. An example is this year we went to Wind River Reservation, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier, Badlands and Mt Rushmore. However, the research and my imaginary trip took place well over a year prior with many phone calls, internet searches, looking and drooling over travel brochures, plotting over maps to see the most and get there the quickest and taking notes of what to see and when. I think it made the trip fun and it didn’t start the day we drove out the driveway but rather when my mind kicked into my mental vacation the year prior. Even now, I’m traveling to and around Utah planning next years trip the the 5 national parks in that state. My eyes can see it all (even if not in 3D), my ears can hear the sounds of the critters of the state through audios, and I think I can even feel the tiredness of the long drive as memory of this years drive is still fresh.

    Thrilled beyond words that the dog used was a chihuahua since our furbaby is a 15 year old chihuahua who is the apple of our eye and who we plan out vacations around where he can stay. 🙂

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a signed copy of your fabulous book. Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. I absolutely love that you make travel plans around your dog (please don’t tell ours)! Hope you make it to Alaska and Hawaii soon!

  5. I’ll have to control myself so that I don’t spend more time on time-suck YouTube. Somehow I never thought about research the way you’ve done it (which is why I’m not a writer) but traveling like that is fascinating. There’s nothing like visiting a place yourself but losing yourself in a book to some far off place is the next best thing. Especially when you can travel to the cold and stay in the sun.

    1. Hope your skies stay sunny! Poppy is off to Egypt next. She too will get plenty of sun.

  6. I love both of your series! I feel like I have visited all over England through Deborah Crombie’s great Kincaid/James series.

  7. The series sounds great! I love how you used different methods to conduct your research. I have traveled to countless places via books including England, France, Germany and many more fabulous locations.

    1. The last time I was in London was 1988. I NEEDED the research, I didn’t know how much fun it would be!

  8. I’ve done a lot of armchair traveling via books over the years. As someone who doesn’t have the vacation time from work, I appreciate a book that feels like a vacation. Haven’t done a trip like you did for your research. I should consider that.

    Creative way to research your book. Don’t you love what the internet can provide for us these days?

  9. Poppy in Egypt — I can’t wait! I have always wanted to visit Egypt, and with Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody books and some googling, I have been transported there. I can’t wait to see it through Poppy’s eyes ~

  10. I’ve traveled the world through books. However, the most comprehensive “trip” I took was down the Nile with a detailed guide book complete with lots of pictures. This was long before the internet. It is high on my list of places yet to visit.

    I would love to travel along with a Poppy. Thanks for the chance to do so.

  11. I’ve traveled to many places, real and imaginary, through books. What i really enjoy is traveling to some of those places in real life!

    I haven’t heard of Jooolz and will look it up. I am also ordering the first Poppy novel. Thank you.

  12. Ooh! I haven’t read Poppy yet but now it’s on my TBR. You know I love your Country Club Murders.

    I’d say my most recent travel adventure was when I dragged my family to Louisiana for Christmas so I could personally experience the Bonfires on the Levees on Christmas Eve, a unique tradition that was to be the centerpiece of A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING, the third book in my series. I had a great time and wrote the rain, soot, and noise right into the book. Not sure my family was as happy spending the holiday with strangers, though. Bless them! Something went right because it was Eliza’s first time to New Orleans and now she goes to college there!

    And BTW, readers will find a Julie Mulhern in BODY IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD, #6, due out next September. 😉

  13. Welcome to the Wickeds! Your series sounds completely delightful! Since I write historicals I love to “travel” into the past via research. I love old photos and magazines and newspapers for that sort of touring.

    1. I too love a book with a sense of place. Recently I read The Dry by Jane Harper and I really felt as if I was in that dying, thirsty town. The way books transport us is such a gift.

  14. I have “visited” so many places without leaving home. London, Paris, Germany, Mackinac Island and so many Southern states. Reading has taken me to many amazing places.

  15. Wow, authors do so much more than the average reader knows – thank you for all your hard work, and your generosity in having a giveaway

  16. I really enjoy series set in Great Britain. A friend of ours went there as a troubling nurse over three years ago and stayed. Since we are not much for physical travel for multiple reasons, books like your series fill a niche. Thank you!

  17. I was so excited to hear that I had won this giveaway. I have not started the Poppy series, but am so excited to do so now. Thanks so much.

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