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The Thin Woman

(Ellie Haskell Mystery #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,356 ratings  ·  336 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, 273 pages
Published 2000 by Bantam Books (first published 1984)
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EmmyT If you're still interested...Uncle Merlin was not murdered. No one was murdered in this book. Attempts were made. One cool thing about this book is…moreIf you're still interested...Uncle Merlin was not murdered. No one was murdered in this book. Attempts were made. One cool thing about this book is about mistaken identity. How we view the elderly. Jonas the gardener) is dying. He is Uncle Merlin's best friend. Uncle Merlin and Jonas play a trick by saying that it's Uncle Merlin who dies. Uncle Merlin assumes Jonas' identity and no one notices the difference. Uncle Merlin as Jonas can see how his relatives carry on with his legacy. There are plenty of other parts in this book and their mysteries that make this a really great book.(less)

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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,356 ratings  ·  336 reviews

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Plot wasn't fascinating, except one aspect. Don't know what UK company the author uses to get remodeling done, but I want to hire them: she described her Heroine getting a complete kitchen makeover (Aga and all), complete antique-house electrical permitting and rewiring, a bedroom or two, and at least a drawing room, all done in 5-6 months, no delays, nothing in the wrong size.
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cats, cozy, e-books, own
This is the first book in the Ellie Haskell series. It is more of a novel with hunt of a mystery. It is an easy and relaxing read with no sex or graphics volience.
Ellie Simons looked at the letter on violet green stationary in voting her to Berlin's Court for a reunion of the family. Ellie was not sure she want to go and hear all the negative comments about herself. She hired Bentley T. Haskell to escort to the affair. After some unfavourable comments Ellie informs the group that Ben his her fia
Kaethe Douglas
Jan 1, 1993

Cannell appeals to the sides of me that like mash-ups. You've got a standard Romance premise combined with a cozy mystery plot, and the whole thing cracks me up.


Oct 27, 2016

I really dislike the whole fat-to-thin story line, since it assumes that A. skinny is better than fat B. fat is the fault of individuals lacking willpower and C. fat people don’t have happy love lives. But a woman gets to spend six months cleaning and decorating a Victorian faux castle on a huge budget, and who
Ellie, overweight and unhappy, hires Ben to pretend to be her boyfriend for a family reunion.

You know how sometimes you finish a book and you're glad that's done? Yep, this was one of those. I definitely wouldn't have made it through if it weren't for the fact that I read this along with my 87-year old mom (she didn't like it, either). Ellie is shrill and her 'relationship' with Ben is painful. Every interaction they have is a series of sniping and confidence busters yet it turns out that they b
Grouchy Editor
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. I loved the plot, the characters, and the mystery. I will read the next one!
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: light, favorites, mystery
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
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
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
Apr 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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!
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this book a long time ago, and really enjoyed the wit...a lot of tongue in cheek humor...mystery, romance, and 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.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read! One of the absolute best books I've ever read. And the ending! Really well done.
Reading this book felt like drinking a brisk cup of tea. Every time I put it down I felt the desire to do something practical and efficient. Initially I nearly gave up as soon as I started because the overweight heroine and her predilection for eating her feelings turned me off. However, I'm a sucker for the fake boyfriend/fiance/husband trope so as soon as she called up the agency for a fake boyfriend to bring to her family reunion, I was sold.
But then the mystery didn't seem to go anywhere. B
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great Cozy book!

I loved the story! Being a slightly overweight person, I liked the idea that Ellie had to lose weight in order to get her hands on Uncle Merlin’s millions.

The book was very well written and I enjoyed being in England at the time the book was written. I liked how some of the everyday names of things we have here in the USA are named differently from some of the English counterparts.

It is an enchanting story and fun at times. Not your original cozy to say he least, but good!

A lit
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I listened to this first book in the series of Ellie Haskell stories I laughed out loud. I have enjoyed all of the mysteries and am re-reading The Importance of Being Earnestine. The freshness diminish after you get used to the author's style. However, Ellie provides light entertainment and humor in a nice package
Sarah Messenger
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four stars for making me laugh out loud.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Started out sounding much like Bridget Jones. Couldn’t put it down. Kept me guessing until the end!
Clemmie Jackson
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good curious mystery

It was a cute humorous mystery with some ha ha moments. The main character life was very interesting with her crazy relatives.
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
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hysterical.One of the funniest books I've read.Ellie Simmons hires an escort to pretend to be her fiancé for a family reunion.After the reunion her Uncle Merlin dies and they are all brought together again for the reading of the will.Merlin bequeaths Merlin's Court to her and Ben if they meet certain conditions within six months.The first one is that Ellie lose 63 lbs.Ben must write a book with no smut in it and they must find the treasure at Merlin's Court,or else everything goes to the remaini ...more
Mar 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
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.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
2.5 stars

First, let me tell you that this review WILL NOT BE SPOILER FREE

I have a very confusing feeling about this.
I liked it a lot. It's like this perfect combination of mystery and romance. And with a struggling heroine with a real life struggle that is! (I really dislike it when a book have a heroine that has easy life and suddenly got a ton of problems. Really irritate me.). But, really, there's a but. This book has one of my biggest turn offs.

Important points:
-This is a good book. I just
Anja von "books and phobia"
Diesem Buch gab ich 2 Chancen, denn nachdem ich es das erste Mal weg legte, da mich die Geschichte mehr ärgerte, als unterhielt, gab ich mir einen Ruck und las noch weitere 100 Seiten, aber auch die brachten mir nicht den erwünschten Lesespaß, weshalb ich das Buch endgültig abbrach.

Die Geschichte an sich ist schon sehr schräg, aber auch durch aus unterhaltsam. Anstrengend wurde es für mich erst als ich bemerkte wie oft auf Ellies Übergewicht und ihre Heißhungerattacken hingewiesen wurde. Besonde
DelAnne Frazee
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: The Thin Woman - Ellie Haskell Mystery Book 1
Author: Dorothy Cannell
Publisher: Crimeline
Published: 3-12-2012
Pages: 299
Genre: Mystery
Sub-Genre: Cozy, Suspense, Family life, British Detectives
ASIN: B007IM1818
Reviewed For Myself
Reviewer: DelAnne
Rating: 4.25 Stars

Ellie Simons, Interior Decoration and single woman in need of an escort to a family gathering decides to hire Bentley Haskell from Eligibility Escorts. Her family has always put Ellie down for being chubby and unattached with no pros
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Cozy Mystery Corner : Ellie Haskell (The Thin Woman) by Dorothy Cannell 16 53 Jun 24, 2018 05:53PM  
  • Fool's Puzzle (Benni Harper, #1)
  • Murder on a Girls' Night Out (Southern Sisters, #1)
  • Malice in Maggody (Arly Hanks, #1)
  • Rest You Merry (Peter Shandy, #1)
  • The Body In The Transept (Dorothy Martin, #1)
  • Dressed to Keel (A Darcy Cavanaugh Mystery #1)
  • Death On Demand (Death On Demand, #1)
  • The Alpine Advocate (Emma Lord, #1)
  • Miss Zukas and the Library Murders (Miss Zukas, #1)
  • Grime and Punishment (Jane Jeffry, #1)
  • Them Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #1)
  • Maggie Needs An Alibi (Maggie Kelly Mystery, #1)
  • Murder at the PTA Luncheon (Susan Henshaw, #1)
  • A Tisket, A Tasket, A Fancy Stolen Casket (A Callie Parrish Mystery #1)
  • The Body in the Belfry (Faith Fairchild, #1)
  • Maid for Murder (Charlotte LaRue Mystery, #1)
  • The Body on the Beach (Fethering, #1)
  • How to Host a Killer Party (Party Planning, #1)
(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

Other books in the series

Ellie Haskell Mystery (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Widow's Club (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #2)
  • Mum's the Word (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #3)
  • Femmes Fatal (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #4)
  • How to Murder Your Mother-In-Law (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #5)
  • How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #6)
  • The Spring Cleaning Murders (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #7)
  • The Trouble with Harriet (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #8)
  • Bridesmaids Revisited (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #9)
  • The Importance of Being Ernestine (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #10)
  • Withering Heights (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #11)
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