I have been a Dorothy Cannel fan for quite a while, so was happy to have the opportunity to preview and review this latest Ellie Haskell book.
I like Cannell’s writing because it is so witty and funny. This book is certainly witty, but maybe not quite so funny, although the wry humor does emerge often.
Ellie’s handsome husband Ben and her adorable children are away at a Memory Lanes camp, and so this story is mostly just Ellie, joined by an unlikely trio of ladies introduced early on. Some of Ellie’s past has been not so pleasant, with the early loss of her mother as well as her grandmother. Ellie has always heard the trio of Rosemary, Thora, and Jane referred to as “the bridesmaids” although she has never understood why. Out of the blue, she receives an invitation from the trio to come for a visit, as her grandmother Sophie wants to make contact with her. Now that is odd and eerie, because Sophie has been dead for quite some years. Nevertheless, Ellie is intrigued, and agrees to the visit.
Once at the Old Rectory, Ellie’s experiences are unsettling–voices and visions in the night, among other things. Added to the bridesmaid trio, we encounter the ladies’ faithful employee Edna, as well as a mysterious woman with black and gold hair who seems a bit of a witch. Before long, there is a nasty death to add to the mix.
Along the way, Ellie is given a vintage Gothic romance to read, and it soon seems to her that she is living in the midst of a modern-day Gothic. What is going on here? Getting to the bottom of all this, and finding answers, proves challenging and nearly deadly to Ellie.
My thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing an advance copy to read and review.