The Spring Cleaning Murders (Ellie Haskell Series #8)

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Spring cleaning fever almost has the inimitable Ellie Haskell scrubbing the Merlin's Court chandeliers with a toothbrush, turning the entire household topsy-turvy. But when members of the Chitterton Fells Charwomen's Association (C.F.C.W.A.) start biting the dust, Ellie must drop everything to discover what dark secrets the victims had swept under the carpet. All in the service of her investigation, Ellie pledges to abide by the rules of the Magna Char and becomes an honorary member of the C.F.C.W.A. With the ...
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Overview

Spring cleaning fever almost has the inimitable Ellie Haskell scrubbing the Merlin's Court chandeliers with a toothbrush, turning the entire household topsy-turvy. But when members of the Chitterton Fells Charwomen's Association (C.F.C.W.A.) start biting the dust, Ellie must drop everything to discover what dark secrets the victims had swept under the carpet. All in the service of her investigation, Ellie pledges to abide by the rules of the Magna Char and becomes an honorary member of the C.F.C.W.A. With the help of Bentley, her feckless cousin Freddy, and an assortment of homemade cleaning solutions derived from Abigail Grantham's diary, Ellie embarks on a brief, ill-fated stint cleaning her neighbors' houses - and snooping through their things. As Ellie seeks to uncover the skeletons in the closets of both friends and strangers alike, she must ask herself: Which was a motive for murder? And will she find out before the murderer decides to rub her out as well?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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; (May)
Library Journal
Ellie Haskell and husband Ben live in Chitterton Fells, where he runs a restaurant and she keeps house, tends their three-year-old twins, and occasionally investigates local murder (see, e.g., How To Murder the Man of Your Dreams, LJ 9/1/95). While attending a club meeting, Ellie discovers the fallen body of her new chairwoman, immediately suspects murder, and begins some insistent interrogating. Ben, meanwhile, suffers from picketers at the restaurant. Domestic chit-chat, nifty British surrounds, and a plausible if somewhat hyped-up plot make this a safe bet.
Kirkus Reviews
Housekeepers are dropping like flies in Chitterdon Fells, where designer and sleuth Ellie Haskell (God Save the Queen!, 1997, etc.) lives with restaurant-owner husband Ben and three-year-old twins. Roxie Malloy, the familyþs longtime domestic, is moving to London to care for the newborn daughter of her son George and daughter-in-law Vanessaþa cousin of Ellieþs and a famous model with no talent for mothering. Mrs. Malloy has appointed Gertrude Large, a fellow member of the Charwomenþs Association, to take over her job. After only one unsatisfactory workday at Ellieþs, Mrs. Large is found dead, fallen from a ladder, at Tall Chimneys, home of sister newcomers Vienna and Madrid Miller, during a meeting of the Hearthside Guild. Ellie was there, as were Clarice Whitcombe, also a newcomer, Brigadier Lester-Smith, and Sir Robert and Lady Pomeroy, among others. Mrs. Largeþs assignments are now undertaken by Trina McKinley, heiress to Largeþs considerable assets and girlfriend of neþer-do-well Joe Tollings. Joe and his wife Marilyn become leading suspects when Trina is found stabbed to death in Mrs. Malloyþs kitchen. Thereþs yet another victim in this absurd scenario as Ellieþs tireless snooping finally brings her face to face with the killer. Over-the-top plotting that gets no help from a torrent of domestic activities, dull dialogues, and an unrelenting air of chirpiness. (Mystery Guild main selection; )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574901627
  • Publisher: Beeler, Thomas T. Publisher
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Series: Ellie Haskell Series , #8

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