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The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #1)
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The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell Mystery #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,709 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Reluctant to show up at her family reunion carrying so many extra pounds, unmarried, overweight Ellie Simons hires Bentley T. Haskell to pose as her fiance, thus beginning a weekend of romance, jealousy, and murder.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Crimeline (first published 1984)
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One for the Money by Janet EvanovichThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Cozy Mystery Series
43rd out of 453 books — 1,332 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
192nd out of 967 books — 1,100 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathryn
Aug 19, 2008 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of well-written cozy mysteries
Recommended to Kathryn by: Melanie, and a cozy-British mystery book list
An enjoyable, humorous and very cozy mystery. The first half of the book got off a bit slow for me--we didn't seem to be making any progress, or finding many clues, to the "mystery." However, I enjoyed the cozy and easygoing writing style, all the details and little character traits (especially of Ellie). I found the second half much more exciting as we finally got a mystery to start working out--I admit that a few of the clues were too obvious, and though I had worked out most of the "whodunit" ...more
Mariam
Ellie Haskell is a hapless young woman who is too chubby, too old, and too clumsy for life to take her seriously and bring her a man. Now, I am not a romance reader and this book is no typical romance......., you will not find here a long drawn out scene in which the main character experiences "flutterings" and "butterflies". Instead, you will find a thwarted Ellie eating an entire box of eclaires on her own (which we all know is the real story behind heartache and longing), or buying an outfit, ...more
Grouchy Editor
What a bloody mess. Cannell adopts a 1930s, Agatha Christie-like style for her debut novel, which is a pleasant enough mystery for about two-thirds of its length. But then the author loses all sense of reality.

The heroine-narrator, an interior decorator obsessed with food, utters howler after howler (“I desired a roast beef sandwich with horse-radish and pickled onions with a wanton savagery that I had never felt for any man”), and her romance with an oddball male escort almost –- but not quite
...more
Anne Hawn Smith
This is one of my all-time favorites. Overweight Ellie Simons hires Bentley T. Haskell to pose as her boyfriend for a weekend visit to her uncle's estate. He dies and leaves the estate to them if Ellie can loose weight and Bentley write clean and decent book and they both can solve the mystery. It was such a zany idea especially when the protagonists become attracted to each other. Ellie, especially, is a very well developed character and the action in the book is zany and fun. All in all, it's ...more
ara133photography
This book was Fantastic! It kept me smiling and sometimes laughing out loud the whole way through - very witty. I LOVED all of the characters; the plot was swift-moving but the descriptions gave me enough 'time' to imagine I was really there. This is by far the best of her books. In fact, I have reread it so often it is falling to shreds! A wonderful cozy book - any time I'm feeling down or nervous or moody, I can pick this up and be instantly swept up into Ellie's crazy life. Really really a gr ...more
Sonja
May 21, 2012 Sonja rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Toll, toll, toll! Dieses Buch hat mir von Anfang bis Ende sehr viel Freude bereitet! Ich liebe den Sarkasmus der etwas schrulligen Charaktere, ich mag die Idee, auf der die Geschichte aufbaut, das Rätselraten und schließlich die für mich sehr überraschende Auflösung des Falles.
Absolut empfehlenswert! Ich werde mir auf jeden Fall auch die anderen Bücher der Autorin anschauen.
Martha
I read this book a long time ago, and really enjoyed the wit...a lot of tongue in cheek humor...mystery, romance, and humor...my kind of book...Cannell has several more in this series...her last is one I just got to read, and am looking forward to it.
Erin
Ellie is the perfect main character. I laugh every time I think of her in the giant purple dress. She is unmarried and way overweight. She hires a male escort to accompany her to a family gathering. The obvious happens many times, but this is one of those great light-reads.

This is one of my very favorites for the light reading category. I have read my paperback version so many times that the cover has fallen off and has been re-taped numerous times. I was feeling sad tonight and really wanted s
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
An enjoyable, light-as-cotton-candy cozy that held my attention from beginning to end, even though I had figured out the baddy in the first couple of chapters. A twist on the country-house mystery, where the main characters have to pass a couple of tests to win the treasure and the inheritance. Ellie has to lose 60 lbs in six months (good luck, honey), while the man she hired to be her rent-a-boyfriend for the family reunion has to produce a "clean" book for publication. But can they survive unt ...more
Geokowgurl
Don't waste your time with this book. It is extremely slow moving and the author uses a TON of adjectives, (like the white, fluffy, slow moving, yet dainty clouds), in an effort to make the book long enough to publish I think. It seems as if the story was created to make a fool out of a heavyset character and it is focused on slandering her do to her weight. However, since it is written from that characters point of view I guess that makes it okay? Hmmm, I was sadly disappointed by this book.
Sherry
This is a serious "Twinkie" book, by which I mean it was yummy but I wouldn't want to subsist on a diet of it. A super fast read (less than 2 days) that combines Miss Marple with Moonlighting. Would be a perfect book to read on a long flight. Lighthearted mystery book with funny characters; somewhat predictable, but I didn't guess the big twist. Summer reading at its best. Yay me for reading something!
Janet Mahlum
This is a fun little English Country Manor mystery full of charm. The writing style is mediocre but plot and characters are nicely developed. Uncle Merlin has passed away and left a will fraught with peril. Ellie and her escort and pretend fiance Ben must live in the house for 6 months. Ben must write a book without a single word of smut and Ellie must lose 63 pounds in that time period. And, as if that doesn't sound impossible enough, they must find the house's treasure. But someone is bent on ...more
Marianne
Really enjoyed this, funny and an unexpected ending. First in the Ellie Haskins series by this author. I have already downloaded the next 3 books in the series.
Karen
This was a very good read in the light, cozy, mystery category! Fun characters, good story, and a "didn''t guess that" ending! I will absolutely read the rest of the series.
Georgiana
There were some good things lurking in this - I've always liked the trope of "I need an escort" because it offers such opportunities for couples to move into a relationship quickly. It was also interesting to see some non-standard body types being starred - the plump heroine, the short hero. The book was trailed on a number of sites as being funny, too - which is generally a plus.

Unfortunately, the sum of the parts just didn't work for me. I think the main downside was the first person narrative
...more
Judy A. Ptacek
Good mystery

Suspenseful mystery set in an old dilapidated mansion. A will has strange clause that requires Ellie and Ben to remain in the house for six months and find a treasure to inherit the house and money. If they fail complete the required tasks then the other relatives would inherit. That raises the possibility of someone trying to cause the couple to fail thru many strange accidents. Many suspicious characters add to the mix with developments and twists in the plot. A satisfactory ending
...more
Marfita
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miriam
The story was well written, but the book (which I read in electronic format) was so badly proofread I wanted to box someone's ears! It's obvious that it was typed and a spell-check was run, but there was no human intervention before the publishing. Here's an example:
"You may mink poorly of her going off with another man, but she was a remarkable woman."

This would pass spell check, but the word should have been "think". Many instances like this exist in the book, taking one out of the story and b
...more
Marcia
At times funny, at times romantic, at times mysterious, this first in the series took a little getting used to the author's style. However, this story of family secrets, a mysterious portrait, and a treasure hunt intrigued me enough to put the series on my Kindle library wish list.

Partial to cats with my mysteries, this description of Tobias Feline pleased me: A very conventional cat, he refused to come up the fire escape and through the window. Perched on the hall table outside my door, he woul
...more
Jenny Evans
This is no literary masterpiece, but it's a fun book and for what it is, it's good. It's an 80s British comedic mystery. It was cute, cozy and a light read. Since I was just reading it as that there was even a twist I didn't see coming. I'll probably read more by this author, because this was my first by her.
Bonnie
I didn't think this book was that well written but I enjoyed it. Something about the main character's mood swings was hard for me to relate to. The story was engaging, though and I was in the mood for something light to read. It was kind of funny, but some of the humor was harsh.
Judy
This is the first Dorothy Cannell mystery I have read. I liked it very much. Connell's characters and plots remind me very much of Agatha Christie. They are not full of profanity and gore, but gentler and somewhat classy. This story was about a dysfunctional family and the quest for an inheritance. Connell weaves a good story filled with humor and subtle family incongruities. The end was most satisfying and surprising. I found several books by Dorothy Cannell in my book cupboard. I met her the y ...more
Kay
Nov 12, 2014 Kay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
Deliciously overwritten with a light hand, the puce prose had me laughing out loud and never gagging. The story shots kept me grinning. Pace very fine, too, and plot, while not dropping as many bread crumbs as I would have liked, worked just fine. A lilt in a dark winter's day!
Pat
Ellie arranges an escort for a weekend trip to visit dreaded relatives. Uncle dies and leaves money to her and her escort if she can lose weight and he can write a book with no curses. And find the family mystery.
Funny mystery.
Samantha Cox
Fun read

I enjoyed this book immensely. It is a very engaging story with a fun twist at the end. The kindle version has a huge amount of spelling errors, but that wasn't too distracting.
Kristi
At first I felt the author was very heavy handed with the protagonist's weight issues. Of course I should have figured as much with the title of the book. Once the mystery began I found the book much more enjoyable. It took quite a while for the book to really take off though. The mystery didn't really present itself until 1/3-1/2 the way through. To be fair, the part leading up to the actual mystery was probably mostly needed for develop the charters fully, but the lack of action kind of put me ...more
Cynthia
Silly, and overly long. But, likable lead character, British cozy and a little interesting ending. Surprised I stuck with it, had to swipe through some chapters.
Marcia Brineman
Fun read

the book started out outrageously funny, which drew me in. it was a fun, fast read and I very much enjoyed it.
Shannon
Read this quite a few years, but definitely one of my favorites from what I guess you would call the "cozy" mystery genre, I love Ellie!
Lisa
I'm finding it hard to decide between 2 and 3 stars. I loved the voice of the author and the banter between characters but the plot really bugged me. It gained momentum around the middle but then lost me at the end. I just can't seem to give it a full 3 star praise. Although I do feel tempted to try the next book in the series to see how/if things improve.
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(from Fantastic Fiction online)

Dorothy Cannell was born in London, England, and now lives in Belfast, Maine. Dorothy Cannell writes mysteries featuring Ellie Haskell, interior decorator and Ben Haskell, writer and chef, and Hyacinth and Primrose Tramwell, a pair of dotty sisters and owners of the Flowers Detection Agency.

(from Internet Book List)

Dorothy Cannell, a mother of four, grandmother of te
...more
More about Dorothy Cannell...
The Widow's Club (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #3) Withering Heights (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #12) How to Murder Your Mother-In-Law (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #6) Mum's the Word (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #4) The Spring Cleaning Murders (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #8)

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