Sunday, May 14, 2017

Who is Killing Off the Charwomen?

An Ellie Haskell Mystery
Dorothy Cannell
Random House Alibi
May 9, 2017

Ellie Haskell is in the throes of spring cleaning "fever" when her flamboyant charwoman, Mrs. Roxie Malloy, turns in her resignation. Mrs. Malloy is off to London to help out her son and his wife, Ellie's cousin Vanessa, with their new baby. Ellie must secure the services of a new charwoman from the Chitterton Fells Charwomen's Association (C.F.C.W.A), a tight group of women with more rules and regulations than your average large corporation. She hires Mrs. Gertrude Large (all the charwomen must be addressed as Mrs. or Miss) but for fewer hours per week than Mrs. Malloy. When Mrs. Large is killed in a fall from a ladder in the home of one of Chitterton Fells' several new residents, Ellie is in a tight spot again. Even worse, the charwomen are being murdered in quick succession, and Mrs. Malloy seems unreachable. Ellie, her husband Ben, and cousin Freddy go "undercover" as a new cleaning concern with the idea of searching the homes of their clients for clues.

The Ellie Haskell Mysteries have long been favorites of mine from The Thin Woman onward and I am delighted that Random House Alibi is bringing them out in new editions for new readers. It has been a very long time since I first read them and I find them charming as ever. They are full of good humor, village life and a cast of eccentrics that will keep you chuckling. I had forgotten much of the plot so it was almost a new experience with a nice twist at the end. I recommend them for traditional British cozy fans and for complete escape reading.

Thanks to Random House Alibi and NetGalley for an advance digital copy. The opinions above are my own.

RATING- 4 Stars

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