Wednesday, March 25, 2009

She Shoots To Conquer-Dorothy Cannell

She Shoots To Conquer
Dorothy Cannell
Minotaur, Mar 31 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312343392

On a foggy evening while driving along the Yorkshire moors, Ellie and Ben Haskell and their housekeeper Mrs. Roxie Malloy end up lost. They manage to reach Muckelsfeld Manor where they hope to stop for the night. French director Georges LeBois is in residence producing a reality TV show Here Comes the Bride in which six contestants will vie for the role of wife to Lord Aubrey Belfrey, owner of the estate.

A car accident leaves the show short a contestant so Georges persuades Roxie to participate. When they learn Ben is a highly regarded chef, Georges and Aubrey convince him to prepare the meals as the help cannot boil water. Aubrey is stunned by Ellie’s looks as she resembles the second wife of his late older brother allegedly vanishing with a fortune in jewels just before her spouse died. As the other ladies work on Belfrey’s affection, Ellie investigates the stolen jewels and the driveway accident that she thinks is a homicide.

This is a fun over the top of Big Ben (and perhaps across the Channel) Ellie Haskell amateur sleuth tale due a zany cast staying at aptly named Muckelsfeld Manor. The story line focuses on Ellie as her two traveling companions suddenly have jobs so she fills in her time by sleuthing. While the support mostly provides amusing asides, Ellie investigates the potential crimes though she fails to look closely at the reality show, which means Here Comes the Bride is underdeveloped. Fans of the series will enjoy the heroine’s exploits in a lighthearted romp on the moors of Yorkshire.

Harriet Klausner