Archive for 'Cannell, Dorothy'
Ellie Haskell and her housekeeper Mrs. Malloy are mistaken for private detectives and asked to locate a missing person by a woman named Lady Krumley. It seems that Lady Krumley had fired her pregnant maid 30 years before and has recently had a rash of unusual deaths in the family due, she believes, to a vow of vengeance the maid made before dying several months after her dismissal. She wants the two sham detectives to find the maidâ€™s daughter Ernestine so she can make amends for her actions 30 years ago.
I am having a hard time figuring out how to describe this book. It is a parody, sort of. It is a throwback in time to an earlier style of mystery, sort of. I liked it, but it is still hard to describe. The suspension of disbelief factor is very high, but the book is very enjoyable. Much of the book is very tongue-in-cheek as the detectives feel their way through their roles and draw from an assortment of mystery styles and genres â€“ from the gritty film noir private eyes, to the frolicking society detectives, and back again for classic plot twists straight out of Sherlock Holmes. If you have enjoyed mysteries since their inception, this will be a delightful trip down memory lane.
One of the strange things about the edition I read is the typos. Or what appear to be typos. Because of the style of the book, you are never quite sure if they are intended or not. Tell me what you think. Look for Mugglesby, micro-cousin, peak, and creak appearing where Mucklesby, microcosm, peek, and creek would be appropriate.
One of the great things about this book is the treatment of an overused mystery theme â€“ the long-lost/illegitimate child. As most dedicated mystery readers know, this concept is tired. But Cannell manages to make it interesting. She peppers the book with Ernestine candidates and lots of red herrings that keep you guessing until the end.
Favorite character? Mrs. Malloy. An eccentric woman who has an outfit for every occasion and detective personality.
Did I guess it? Well, there are really two mysteries in this book. One I did get fairly quickly, but the other involves that old Sherlockian plot twistâ€¦ Good luck!
Mystery Book Reviews by Reviewed By Liz.com Â©2006