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  ·  2,312 ratings  ·  169 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 FlukeCatering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Cozy Mystery Series
38th out of 380 books — 1,171 voters
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Best Cozy Mystery Series
198th out of 899 books — 890 voters


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Community Reviews

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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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
Jane
I reallly wanted to be able to give this 3 stars. My goodreads friend reluctantly recommended this book at my request for a light read. I hate that I couldn't give it more stars but truthfully this book was not for me. I think I am now fully convinced that mysteries just are not my genre. I didn't care about the characters. I didn't buy into their motives. I barely cared about solving the mystery. I found the Bently character to be so unappealing that I couldn't even understand what Ellie would...more
Lauren Fidler
standard mystery fare - took me WAY too long to get into this one. something about the cadence in the early chapters was really off-putting to the normal way in which i read. so that was something. i also am sort of anti-fat-girl-cinderella right now. not that i don't think larger ladies deserve love. i just don't like it when they find love and lose a million pounds and people see their inner beauty better because they've got less outer beauty getting in the way. and i know, i know, ben loves h...more
Jill Dyches
I absolutely loved this book! I love the British humor and I've laughed through the entire book...Many times! It's been 'an upper' for me when I've needed a boost of humor in a sometimes discouraging world. It's a darling story with an interesting set of characters. I've purchased copies for at least 10 friends & relatives. I am an avid reader of technical, historical, genealogical, religious and archeological books, but when I want some fun humor to read, I search out all of the Dorothy Can...more
Charlotte
Mar 05, 2014 Charlotte added it
Shelves: for-sale
$2.00
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.
LJ
THE THIN WOMAN - G
Cannell, Dorothy - 1st in Ellie Haskell series

Overweight and unmarried, Ellie Simons balks at the prospect of attending her family reunion. But with a hired escort in tow--posing as husband--she summons the courage to go, little realizing that the weekend will lead to unexpected romance, a treasure hunt--and murder.

The story was quite light and I wasn't taken with the protagonist. It was good but definitely not great.
Patty
This mystery is classified as a "cozy" which is a book you would curl up with by the fire. I found it to be intelligently written, more so than most fluff out there. Ellie must lose weight in order to inherit a house and her boyfriend has to write a novel, plus they have to find a treasure, all within six months. I enjoyed the variety of eccentric characters, the humor and the suspense. I am anxious to read the next in the series.
The Flooze
Apr 11, 2009 The Flooze rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: cozy mystery lovers
The first of the Ellie mysteries. Delightful. Ellie is a winning protagonist-hilarious and immensely likable. Certain clues to the mystery are obvious, but in no way lessen the enjoyment derived from getting to know Ellie, Ben, Dorcas and Jonas. Described as equal parts mystery, fairy tale, treasure hunt and romance, Cannell doesn't fail to deliver-hard to believe this was her first book!
Krista
Awesome. Just awesome. This book is such a satisfying, clean, light-ish read... from the main character's inner dialogue (which is a little keen and self-hatingly honest to be "light") to the plot twists and unpredictability, to the utterly engaging writing, I LOVED it. I really recommend this if you're looking for a fun read!
Glenna


This first in a series was different than a lot of mysteries because there was no dead body! When Ellie's eccentric uncle dies, she and Ben are left his estate but they have to fill the requirements her uncle set. She has to lose weight, he has to write a "clean" book and they have to solve the mystery of the house
Darcy
This little mystery was a fun change of pace for me. Whenever I don't know what to read or can't find something I like I always revert to mysteries and I am seldom disappointed. This one was a little quirky and I especially enjoyed the sarcastic dialog between the two main characters. I'd definitely recommend this one.
Lonnie
I stumbled onto this book by accident, and after reading the inside flap I knew it was a perfect book for me (someone pretending to be someone they're not). And it was! It was a classic mystery, where nothing was as it seemed. I also loved the characters. They're funny and sarcastic. Looks like I have a new series to read!
Eunira
This is the first in the series. It introduces Ellie Simons, who wishes to be thin but can't put eclairs out of her mind. Upon receiving an invitation to a family reunion, Ellie hires an escort, returns to the family home, and finds herself face-to-face with a loss of appetite, an unexpected romance, and a sudden murder.
Amy
Clever and fun mystery. I'm not a mystery reader that tries to solve the case before the author solves it for me, and yet sometimes it's SO obvious even I can't overlook it. The solution to this one didn't stand out to me, so I liked that.

I understand this is the first in a series - will pick up the next one.
Julie
A little slow going for the first 100 pages or so but had a nice little twist at the end. Figured out the villain early on and was pretty infuriated with the characters and their naivety which drove me mad but have to say that in the end I was left interested enough to possibly read the next book in the series.
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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, #2) Withering Heights (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #11) How to Murder Your Mother-In-Law (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #5) The Spring Cleaning Murders (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #7) How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #6)

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