Sunday, January 25, 2009

Withering Heights: An Ellie Haskell Mystery by Dorothy Cannell

I haven’t read any of Dorothy Cannell’s books before but I must say I found it a lighthearted and sometimes laugh out loud change of pace. I completely enjoyed the book, however implausible it may be, that is part of the fun. Ellie obviously has a rich imagination and a problem with drifting off into her own scenarios in her mind with the slightest trigger, into a world of gothic romance fiction with herself as the main character. Her partner in crime solving is the irrepressible and ever helpful Mrs. Malloy, her housekeeper. This time out, Ellie’s husband Ben’s twice-married cousin has won the lottery. His daughter Ariel from his first marriage shows up at the house in a anxious state and begs Ellie to come to Yorkshire to Cragstone House where the family has quietly moved since winning. There are many strange events happening. Of course the mansion is spooky on entering to add to the mystique. Disappearances, sudden “accidental” deaths, a bit of “gaslight” all add up to a delightful light romp solving the mystery. Very entertaining and funny, I loved Dorothy Cannell’s writing, wit, and old-fashioned plot with modern twists. I will definitely read more of her books, especially between “heavy” reads, what a relief she will be.

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