How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law (Ellie Haskell Series #6)

How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law (Ellie Haskell Series #6)

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by Dorothy Cannell
     
 

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The Thin Woman - Ellie Haskell - is back, in the most mischievous, marvelous mystery to hit the marital pike yet. Ellie's mum-in-law Magdalene has moved in permanently and poor Ellie finds herself up to her formerly fat neck in crocheted doilies and cheap statues of Catholic saints. As Magdalene runs her finger over every surface in Merlin's Court (checking,

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Overview

The Thin Woman - Ellie Haskell - is back, in the most mischievous, marvelous mystery to hit the marital pike yet. Ellie's mum-in-law Magdalene has moved in permanently and poor Ellie finds herself up to her formerly fat neck in crocheted doilies and cheap statues of Catholic saints. As Magdalene runs her finger over every surface in Merlin's Court (checking, undoubtedly, for dust), Eillie discovers that she isn't the only woman in Chitterdon Fells with the ultimate mother-in-law problem - three others are experiencing the same living hell.

One tipsy evening, four imaginary plots to bump off the resident in-laws are hatched and those plots start coming lethally true in real life. Ellie once again plunges into a desperate chase to outwit a killer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A plague of mothers-in-law descends upon the small English village of Chitterton Fells with toxic, and hilarious, results. Ellie Haskell, seen last in Femmes Fatal , plans the perfect dinner party to celebrate the 38th anniversary of her in-laws, Magdalene and Elijah. But an evening full of domestic mishaps is capped with the elder Haskells's announcement that they had never officially been wed. After an escalating quarrel, Elijah retires to a hotel, leaving the glacial, pampered and extremely hostile Mag in residence with Ellie and her nonplussed husband Ben. On a visit to a local pub to retrieve Elijah, Ellie meets three other women with raging mother-in-law problems; the foursome, under the influence of gin and tonic, devise wickedly clever ways to murder each live-in meddler. But after a spate of accidents, one of them fatal, befalls the unfortunate older women, Ellie and friends must marshall their resources to find the murderer and a blackmailer. This droll story lurches haphazardly from one crisis to the next, sometimes revealing a lunatic edge. But Chitterton Fells, its full quota of likable, loquacious eccentrics and Cannell's frazzled, overweight heroine are rendered with zest and affection. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Ellie Haskell's mother-in-law comes for a visit, making Ellie's life a living hell. Up to her neck in criticism and crocheted doilies, Ellie seeks solace one night in the village tavern with a few friends. They, too, have serious mother-in-law problems, and the friends spend a tipsy evening plotting imaginary murders to vent their frustration. Suddenly the murders begin to occur, and Ellie races to discover the killer before it's too late. With deft humor and fine characterization, author Cannell draws a pleasant, if dense, mystery. Narrator Sharon Williams's variety and quick pacing do a good job of bringing the myriad characters to life. However, the story's many whining, irritating characters can tax the patience of the heartiest listener. Recommended for larger mystery collections.-Susan B. Lamphier, Somerville P.L., Mass.
Stuart Miller
Dorothy Cannell is a master at creating wildly ludicrous characters and hilarious plots where murder is often highly justified, even if it does tend to make a mess of the house. Her latest Ellie Haskell adventure only enhances Cannell's reputation. After insisting that husband Ben's parents celebrate their anniversary with them at Merlin's Court, Ellie is dismayed when her in-laws reveal that their religious differences (she's Catholic, he's Jewish) prevented their legal marriage. The cathedral-versus-temple controversy still rages, interfering with the idea of celebrating the anniversary with a real wedding. Then Ellie's father-in-law is caught skinny-dipping with a female friend, prompting mother-in-law Magdalene to leave him. Ellie seeks solace from friends in the village and discovers that everyone is suffering from a surfeit of mothers-in-law. A commiseration session among the afflicted daughters-in-law results in several vividly imagined murder scenarios--which, unfortunately, begin to happen. As one might guess, murder and mayhem run amok with Ellie frantically chasing after both. Vintage Cannell.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553569513
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Series:
Ellie Haskell Series, #6
Pages:
275
Sales rank:
708,832
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Nancy Pickard
America's P. G. Wodehouse strikes again! If there's anybody funnier than Dorothy Cannell, I don't want to read her until my sides stop aching.

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