This wickedly funny English whodunit was a Mystery Guild Main Selection. Its spunky heroine, interior decorator Ellie Haskell, aspires to live a perfectly normal life with her husband and children in their lovely old house. But bizarre events and outlandish characters keep landing on her doorstep in Chitterton Fells, the charming little village by the sea. Just when Ellie means to escape her hectic life by taking a vacation in France, her long-lost father shows up with the ashes of his lady love in his suitcase. Ellie becomes suspicious as Daddy recounts the details of his storybook romance with Harriet, the platinum-blonde ideal of English womanhood he met in a German biergarten.
You will relish Cannell's keen sense of the absurd as the plot thickens to include a visit from a kleptomaniac aunt, a village production called Murder Most Fowl, and missing relics of the local saint, Ethelwort. Barbara Rosenblat, with her impeccable comic timing and flair for characterization, is the perfect narrator for Cannell's uproarious series.
©1999 Dorothy Cannell (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
Unfortunately the narrator appears to be sucking a sweet or similar. It's like listening to someone talk with their mouth full. So distracting I sent it back without listening to more than about an hour.
If you can suspend disbelief sufficiently to be able to get engulfed in the amazing occurences, you will enjoy this book. Its a bit of a mix of Agatha Christie, Enid BLyton and Janet Evanovitch! I found the tongue in cheek humour quite amusing but got a bit frustrated with the plot which involved people being very gullible about events and rather 'olde English' stiff upper lip refusing to report people to the police to protect them. For instance when the barmy vicar drives off in the main character's car she doesn't consider telling the police, although it is missing for several days and has a vital piece of evidence on the front seat, because it will go badly for the vicar if she tells. THe story depends on a lot of very strange unrealistic characters but kept me listening until the end.
"Haskell books better on the page"
I enjoyed the Thin Woman so much when re-reading it for the nth time recently that I thought I'd find the audiobooks. There are only two available here and this is the better one, but Ellie Haskell has somehow become a minor character in a Wacky Farce Parade that drags quite a bit.
The doormat that Ellie's become. It makes the humor pretty forced.
When it finally ended.
"Lots of Fun"
It was a cheerful little earful.
When the three relatives of Harriett came a calling. The hilarious descriptions of them by the author, and the narrator's interpretation of how they sounded when they spoke.
Bringing to life the characters.
Mostly laugh, it was fun, with some sadness but lighthearted so you could feel uplifted no matter what.
The plot got a little convoluted toward the end, but the ridiculous twists and turns just made the book even more entertaining for me.
"Better and better"
Initially, I was intrigued by the premise. Ellie's father though drones on and on so much in the early charpters that it gives new meaning to pomposity, so I almost stopped listening. Glad I kept up with it because the characters are really quite amusing, I found myself returning to hear how it ended. The ending was a bit jumbled and not what I expected but all in all it was a good book.
The characterizations and I am a huge fan of Barbara Rosenblatt
When Freddy's mother came into the story.
This book made a plot out of nothing. Or perhaps I should say that there was no real plot. It had some interesting ideas (like the gypsy appearing to both Harriet and Giselle) but it didn't amount to anything of interest.
The story labored on and on about the relationship between Harriett and Ellie's father from the father's perspective. I found him pompous and dull.
Saved the English accent for when she was speaking words that someone actually said. She didn't pull off the accent thought the whole narrative.
No. It was a waste of my time and my credit.
Even Barbara Rosenblatt couldn't save this audiobook.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.