The Spring Cleaning Murders: 1

Dorothy Cannell, Author Viking Books $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-87571-9
Ellie Haskell dons an apron for cover in her latest adventure (following How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams, 1996). Ellie's stalwart helper, Mrs. Malloy, now a relative since her son married Ellie's cousin, gives notice before she leaves the village of Chitterton Fells for London to look after her granddaughter. As a replacement, Ellie enlists Mrs. Large, a fellow member of C.F.C.W.A. (Chitterton Fells Charwomen's Association), who appears distracted and upset on her first day. The following week, Ellie and a neighbor find the charwoman dead from a fall in the neighbor's library. Ellie lines up the help of another C.F.C.W.A. member, but then this woman and, later, another member of the group are found murdered. Mrs. Malloy, now back from London, and Ellie have to do some sleuthing to stop the rampage. Going undercover as a charwoman, Ellie discovers some secrets among the dust bunnies while searching for clues in their neighbors' homes. The house of Haskell, usually at sixes and sevens with each member skittering off on her own agenda, pulls together so that the team of intrepid amateur detectives, led by the redoubtable Mrs. Malloy, can solve the case. Cannell's lively wit and acute insights into marriage, motherhood and murderous inclinations will delight fans as well as readers new to her high-spirited tales. Mystery Guild main selection; author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-57490-162-7
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-0-14-027615-2
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