The Importance of Being Ernestine: An Ellie Haskell Mystery

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9780142002841: The Importance of Being Ernestine: An Ellie Haskell Mystery

Ellie must admit that she's been missing Mrs. Malloy since her caustic, corpulent housekeeper began moonlighting at a private detective's office. So when Mrs. M invites her to Detective Jugg's office one night, Ellie is delighted. Just as the ladies have settled into a chat-and a sampling of Jugg's bourbon and Lucky Strikes-a client, Lady Krumley, walks in. Mistaking the two for private eyes, she reveals her tale of woe. Thirty years ago Lady Krumley wrongfully dismissed her parlor maid, Flossie, who died young, swearing vengeance on all Krumleys. Now several Krumleys have had fatal accidents: could Flossie's daughter, Ernestine, be the cause? Feeling magnanimous, Ellie and Mrs. Malloy take on the case. But can they find the killer without killing each other first?

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About the Author:

Dorothy Cannell has been a bestselling mystery writer for almost twenty years, and is an Agatha Award nominee. Born in England, she has lived in the U.S. since the age of twenty.

From Publishers Weekly:

In her dozenth delight, Agatha nominee Cannell dishes up a dizzy spoof of American hard-boiled private-eye fiction (after 2001's Bridesmaids Revisited). Ellie Haskell attempts a surprise for her husband, Ben, by redecorating his study, but when her gift seemingly bombs, she seeks comfort and wisdom from her worldly daily, Mrs. Roxy Malloy. Mrs. Malloy has been moonlighting as Girl Friday to a local PI, "Milk" Jugg, and Ellie's nocturnal visit to Jugg's office coincides with the appearance of a new client, Lady Krumley. Mrs. Malloy graciously allows Ellie to act as her assistant in Jugg's absence, and they plunge fearlessly and fecklessly into Lady Krumley's case. Many years widowed, Lady Krumley once sacked a parlor maid, Flossie, whom she suspected of having stolen a valuable brooch. Flossie also managed to get herself in the family way while at Moultty Towers, and later expired from tuberculosis while trying to care for herself and her daughter, Ernestine. With her dying breath, Flossie cursed the Krumley family, and various Krumleys have recently shuffled off the mortal coil in amusingly eccentric ways. Lady Krumley wants to find the missing Ernestine and right ancient wrongs, hoping to avert any further mysterious accidents. Using Ellie's cover as an interior designer, the two gumshoes besiege the denizens of Moultty Towers, and the game is afoot. Cannell orchestrates plenty of laughs along with a clever plot, merrily winking at readers as she pokes fun at numerous genre conventions.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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