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The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell) by Dorothy…

The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell) (original 1984; edition 2012)

by Dorothy Cannell

Series: Ellie Haskell (1)

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576929,849 (3.81)24
The Thin Woman" 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.… (more)
Title:The Thin Woman (Ellie Haskell)
Authors:Dorothy Cannell
Info:Crimeline, Kindle Edition, 299 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell (1984)



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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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 back to the real world with a thump.

Parts of the plot were a bit trite, and I was a annoyed that the heroine hit her weight goal in 6 months by dieting, which is so rarely the case.

From some of the other reviewers on Amazon I get the impression that the electronic book may have been abridged, as well, which is always annoying. Shame on Random House Digital Editions, especially since the book as listed on amazon is the full price of any of the dead tree versions.

The author can write, and I'm going to see if there are more. This one is from the library - it's definitely worth a read. ( )
  mirihawk | May 21, 2020 |
Didn't think I'd like this one at all near the beginning, but it (mostly) got better and better until by the end I was ready for the next in the series.

Pros: likable protagonists, surprising (to me at least) conclusion, but not wildly out-of-nowhere (ugh, I hate those!), good pace, interesting subplots, interesting plot (not a collection of episodic interview suspect, find clue, interview suspect, find clue, etc.)

Cons (and this all threatened to derail it for me, so I'm glad I persisted):

First, Ellie's family suffers from a very 1980s case of over-the-topness. To be fair, I've been there and done that--it just doesn't ring true anymore, but I remember that back in the days when Vanity Fair magazine was read seriously for its reporting of expensive parties, people did overdo it, so I'll forgive her this one.

Second, Ellie's attempt to lose weight (something else I've done) made no sense whatsoever in terms of execution. Giving up sweets but otherwise eating splendidly (there are many descriptions of delicious meals served up by Ben) will not shed the pounds, not without much extra exercise.

Third, she hires Ben from an escort agency that resembles real life as much as Kim Kardashian resembles Harvey Keitel, i.e. not at all.

So those irked. But not enough to knock it down past 3.6 out of 5, say.

(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = very good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm good at picking ones I'd like so I do end up with a lot of 4s!) ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
A gothic screwball cozy mystery. Starts fine and gets better. ( )
  iBeth | Aug 6, 2018 |
Ellie Haskell is an overweight interior designer who wonders what life would be like if she were thin and had someone to love. When she is summoned to her Uncle Merlin's house - a small castle, complete with moat - for a family gathering, she is reluctant to face the family without a companion. She hires an escort who happens to write porn on the side and when Uncle Merlin suddenly dies, the property is left to the two of them, much to the shock of the rest of the family. The bequest is not without conditions however. Ellie has to lose weight. Ben has to write a book that has no obscenity in it. And they both have to find the treasure hidden in Merlin's court. The characters were great and the story was fun! ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
I loved the premise of this funny first-in-a-series mystery—tired of all of the pointed comments about her weight and her relationships or lack of same, Ellie hires Ben to be her escort to a family reunion. When Uncle Merlin dies, in accordance with his will Ellie and Ben are given a year to accomplish specific tasks that might change their lives for the better – if they can also solve a puzzle before time runs out or other relatives stop them. ( )
  ehousewright | Jul 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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For my parents
Charlotte and Ashley Reddish
who gave me a childhood filled with love and books.
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New people everywhere know that family reunions are occasions of wholesome pleasure, more innocently rewarding than lavender-scented sheets in the airing cupboard or fresh pots of homemade bramble jelly cooling on a marble pantry shelf.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Thin Woman" 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.

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Ellie Simons is a talented interior designer with a passion for eating - a  passion that shows up on her considerably inflated waistline, which leaves her resigned to life as a single woman. But when her Uncle Merlin summons his kin to a dreaded family reunion, Ellie's pride motivates her to rent a companion -Bentley T Haskell, a devastatingly handsome writer of Trashy novels who moonlights at Eligibility Escorts. Ellie's little white lie works fine until old Uncle Merlin up and dies, leaving his mansion to the happy couple on three conditions: 
Ellie has to lose 63 pounds
Ben must writ4e a book without a word of smut in it,
and they have to find the treasure hidden on Merlin's estate.
The prize seems to be worth the effort until Ellie and Ben start to receive threatening phone calls, malicious visitors in the night, and clues to a possible murder. 
A thriller to be savored, The Thin Woman is as hard to resist as a chocolate-chip cookie.
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