Dorothy Cannell was born in England, and moved to the United States where she currently lives in Maine. The first Ellie Haskell book, The Thin Woman, was published in 1984. This is the twelfth in the series.
Interior designer Ellie lives in a charming small English village, in a large house, with three adorable children and a wonderful husband, Ben, who is a chef and a writer of cookbooks. Her life is complicated by her wacky older housekeeper, Mrs. Malloy. The two of them have a reputation for solving the odd mystery.
Old school chum Dorcas is sent to convince Ellie to return to her school, St. Roberta's, to solve the mystery of the silver lacrosse cup that goes missing before it has to be displayed at the big competition, where it will likely be given up to a better team.
Ellie does not have many good memories of school, where she broke the games mistress's nose with a lacrosse ball. Ellie was horrible at sports. Ms. Chips, of the broken nose, is now retired and living nearby. She has inherited a lot of money and paid for a new gymnasium.
When Ellie returns she finds several old school "chums" ensconced in the retreat cottage for Old Girls (alumni). Everyone suspects the students, primarily matron's nervy great niece Gillian, but Ellie enlists the help of her cousin's precocious daughter Ariel, and uncovers a malicious nasty reason of the rumors.
When Ms. Chips is found dead at the bottom of some slippery rock steps, at first it is assumed it is an accident, but Ellie is not so sure. Is it one of the staff? One of the visiting Old Girls? And what or who is the "Grey Nun" that everyone keeps spying at night flitting around the ruins of the old rectory?
Goodbye, Ms. Chips will enchant you with its re-creation of the small private girls' school atmosphere, and the occasionally poisonous relations of students and staff.
Armchair Interviews says: A charming cozy mystery.