I quite enjoyed The Trouble With Harriet. Dorothy Cannell has given us some new characters with very unique personalities. Some are good and some so annoying you wish Ellie would box their ears. And happily there are the ones we have come to know and love like Mrs. Malloy (still in her black taffeta and heels) and Freddy. I did not give the book five stars because I felt the pace of the first half of the book was a bit slow. At page 156 I thought "now we're getting interesting" However, as a tried and true Dorothy Cannell fan I was not disappointed. It is a fun book to read, Ellie is her charming and lovable self, and as always, Ben is a picture perfect husband. This book also marks the return of kleptomaniac Aunt LuLu which adds even more English humor to the already amusing book. I would have enjoyed a faster pace but all in all it was an enjoyable read.
In Chitterden Fells, Ellie and Bentley Haskell look forward to a romantic vacation in France. However, they delay their second honeymoon when Ellie's long-lost father Morley unexpectedly (except by the Gypsy fortune teller) arrives. Accompanied by an urn containing the remains of his beloved Harriet, Morley settles into Ellie's home as if he owns it. The presence of a live Morley living with Ellie is enough to put her off tea. However, she and Bentley also must put up with kooky Aunt Lulu, who is staying for an unknown spell.
Morley plans to give the remains of Harriet to her relatives. Before they can collect her ashes, the local vicar absently takes the urn with him. Soon, another vehicle accident leads to the death of two people. The police believe Morley killed them and Harriet. Because blood is thicker than water (but less than toothpaste), Ellie tries to prove her rascally father did not kill anyone.
THE TROUBLE WITH HARRIET is a very humorous who-done-it due to the reactions of Ellie and Bentley to the lunatic universe that threatens to engulf them. The jocular story line is a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, which talented Dorothy Cannell succeeds in doing well. The characters are amusing and add to the entertainment. Anyone who relishes a comic romp of a mystery should try this novel and its predecessor, THE SPRING CLEANING MURDERS, for both are delightfully diverting novels.