The Spring Cleaning Murders
by Dorothy Cannell
The Spring Cleaning Murders carves out its own niche in the world of cozy mysteries. Ellie Haskell is the moderately well-off wife of a restaurant owner and the mother of twin three year olds. The book is indeed a mystery with multiple murders and Ellie playing the part of a sleuth. Unlike the typical cozy mystery, there is no relationship with a law enforcement officer. A lot of the story is centered around family ties and the various levels of society found in a small English town. Another strong emphasis of the book s a group of of cleaning ladies and a journal containing cleaning formulas collected by Abigail Grantham, the mistress of Ellie’s home during the first of the twentieth century. Each chapter begins with one of these tips, and making and marketing the products provides a cover story for Ellie and the cleaning ladies as they search for clues.
There are many quirky characters who strengthen the plot. The Epilogue provides closure for the familial tale after the mysteries have been solved satisfactorily. I enjoyed reading this book and anticipate reading more from the series.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Random House (Alibi) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: part of the 13 book Ellie Haskell Series, but works as a standalone
Publication: May 9, 2017—Random House (Alibi)
Feeling like a nun forsaking the convent, I went with my little girl and boy into a world painted with rainbow color for a picnic where dock leaves served for luncheon plates.
On the following Sunday, skies hung low, like soggy woolen blankets abandoned on a clothesline. The wind gurgled and moaned and rain drizzled drearily down the windowpanes.
Then I put the kettle on so I wouldn’t be the only thing steaming.
Freddy ambled over to the refrigerator to stand with the door open, peering inside with all the intensity of an anthropologist studying culture as evinced by an igloo.
Vanessa had a master’s degree in self-absorption.
“If I was a fairy godfather, do you know what I’d wish for her, Ellie girl?” “Tell me.” “That she’ll grow up to be loving and loved. That’s enough for anyone in my book.”