The Importance of Being Ernestine: An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell

Dorothy Cannell writes mysteries featuring Ellie Haskell, interior decorator and Ben Haskell, writer and chef, and Hyacinth and Primrose Tramwell, a pair of dotty sisters and owners of the Flowers Detection Agency.

The Importance of Being Ernestine: An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell is available. Click for more info or to buy it now.

The Importance of Being Ernestine: An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell


Features
Hardcover (Large Print)

Book Description
Ellie must admit that she's been missing Mrs. Malloy since her caustic, corpulent housekeeper began moonlighting at a private detective's office. So when Mrs. M invites her to Detective Jugg's office one night, Ellie is delighted. Just as the ladies have settled into a chat-and a sampling of Jugg's bourbon and Lucky Strikes-a client, Lady Krumley, walks in. Mistaking the two for private eyes, she reveals her tale of woe. Thirty years ago Lady Krumley wrongfully dismissed her parlor maid, Flossie, who died young, swearing vengeance on all Krumleys. Now several Krumleys have had fatal accidents: could Flossie's daughter, Ernestine, be the cause? Feeling magnanimous, Ellie and Mrs. Malloy take on the case. But can they find the killer without killing each other first?


Reader Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful: Talent, wit -- so what's missing?, May 14, 2003 Reviewer: rdwaters from Twin Lakes, WI United States This is the first book I have read of Cannell's and I like it very much, but not without some reservations. Her writing is tight and often very funny. Yet there is something just not quite right about the character portrayal. I think somehow that Cannell is too reserved in her portraits, especially the main characters of Mrs. Malloy and Ellie. In the right situation I think Cannell should let Ellie go "over the top" so to speak. Everything is so muted even when the situation is totally absurd. When she does allow the characters to exhibit a little more life, as in the scene where the sleuthing duo meet the hilarious Merryweathers, the pages seem to come to life. Elsewhere, Ellie's observations as the narrative voice just seem lifeless. I think one example that stands out is the bird attack (shades of Hitchcock) on Ellie -- she is in danger and narrates it so matter of fact that it is hard to buy it. Was she in serious danger? Was she truly frightened? Did she feel like Tippi Hedren? It is a dramatic/comedic opportunity lost. Still, Cannell writes well in general and the story is clever indeed. I will probably try one more of her Ellie Haskell series to see if this one (her 12th I believe) was just created at a point in time where Cannell ran out of steam even as the publishing deadline loomed. The potential is just too great not to give her another shot.

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